Whole Foods Market Responds to Seal Hunt Issue

Whole Foods Market consistently offers the highest quality seafood gathered from the best sources locally and around the world. We pride ourselves on seeking the best environmental choices for seafood and informing our customers about the latest issues pertaining to seafood. For the last 25 years, Whole Foods Market has championed livestock production standards that address the treatment of animals.

Q & A

What is the issue?

Fishermen off Canada’s East coast around Prince Edward Island (PEI), Newfoundland/Labrador and Magdalen Islands participate in the annual hunt commercial for baby seals during the off‐season from fishing by clubbing them to death or shooting them primarily to sell their fur.

What is Whole Foods Market's response?

Since 2005 Whole Foods Market has suspended purchase of seafood from the areas where the brutal killing of baby seals is taking place until the fishermen commit to stopping this practice or from companies that may be connected to the seal hunt. Seafood normally sourced from that area, including snow crab, wild PEI mussels, and bay shrimp, have been replaced by similar product from other areas of the world. However, farmed mussels or other farmed seafood from PEI and Nova Scotia, which are not implicated in the seal hunt, will be allowed to be sold.

What else is Whole Foods Market doing to urge that the clubbing of baby seals stops?

If it is determined that population control of the seals is necessary for the balance of the ecosystem and health of the seal population, then we will encourage the fisherman and the Canadian government to find more humane ways to achieve this.

Where can I find more information about the issue?

Check out the Humane Society of the United States' Protect Seals website for more information.