Go Wild This Summer…for Seafood Sustainability

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy swordfish, tuna, salmon, halibut and more — straight off the grill, in tacos, over pasta or on top of a fresh summer salad. Yum!But for those of us concerned about healthy oceans and protecting fish populations for future generations, dinner can get complicated. That’s why Whole Foods Market makes choosing wild-caught seafood as easy as green, yellow, red…and blue.

All of the wild-caught seafood we offer is from fisheries* certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council opens in a new tab or rated either “Green” or “Yellow” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium opens in a new tab Seafood Watch® program and The Safina Center opens in a new tab (formerly Blue Ocean Institute). We don’t sell any red-rated seafood that you might find elsewhere.

*Side note: “Fishery” is a way to say fishing ground or an area where fish are caught. It’s a term used for wild-caught seafood as well as farm-raised fish. 

Here’s how to shop for wild-caught seafood in our stores.


This “blue fish swish” logo indicates the cream of the crop in sustainable seafood.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s leading certification program for sustainable seafood, is a non-governmental organization using an international, multi-stakeholder process to provide incentives for fisheries to address key issues such as overfishing and bycatch.

Green indicates fish that comes from well-managed fisheries; caught in ways that cause little harm to habitats or other wildlife.

Yellow indicates fisheries where there are some concerns with how species are caught or managed.

We don’t sell red-rated seafood. Overfished, poorly managed, or caught in ways that cause harm to habitats or other wildlife.

Blue, green or yellow and no red. See? It’s easier than ever to make informed choices for wild-caught seafood. Choosing for sustainability is not this simple at any other store.

Until recently, we partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Safina Center individually, and each group conducted separate research and used different criteria for ranking the fisheries. While this approach was successful, we all felt it could be even more effective. Whole Foods Market brought these leading organizations together and now our two partners are sharing the research load and ranking fisheries using one set of criteria and one ranking method. This eliminates any conflicts in ranking due to differences in methodology and through their combined efforts they can cover more fisheries than ever before.

More rankings mean that it’s easier than ever for consumers to make choices that help protect our oceans. Combined with the work of the Marine Stewardship Council, these three leaders are creating a new future for seafood sustainability.

By choosing responsibly sourced wild-caught seafood, you’re supporting the people and the fishing practices that help keep fish plentiful for the future — and you’re getting a yummy meal.

What wild-caught seafood will you be serving this summer?


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