Make us your home page

Publix and Winn-Dixie get poor grades for sustainable seafood practices

Most of the nation's big grocers improved to passing grades in Greenpeace's annual ranking of sustainable seafood practices, but Publix and Winn-Dixie flunked for the fifth straight year.

"We've made a lot of progress, but have a long way to go," said Casson Trenor, seafood campaign manager for the save-the-oceans group. "What's changed is we reached widespread acknowledgement of the problems and need for solutions."

Ratings are based on educational labeling, acceptable harvesting techniques for wild caught products and healthy practices for farm-raised seafood. They are also graded on how many of 22 "red list" species overfished to the threshold of extinction are stocked by each chain.

Since the campaign began, many chains stopped carrying monkfish, orange roughy and Chilean sea bass. But even most chains awarded passing grades sell 15 of the 22 red list species including grouper and snapper.

This year Safeway surged to the top, followed by Target. Whole Foods, Aldi, Sweetbay Supermarket, Costco and Walmart all got passing grades among the top 13.

Publix (17th) and Winn-Dixie (19th) lost points for again declining requests for information. Both were rated on store visits.

Winn-Dixie could not be reached for a response. Publix was slammed for revealing a year ago that it began a sustainable seafood evaluation, then said little since about when anything might change in stores.

"We do not believe change can happen by avoiding products," said Shannon Patten, Publix spokeswoman. "All harvested seafood is sold to someone. Change is truly driven by supporting the (seafood) industry as they work through the issues."

Publix said it has completed initial research on what it sells with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and is now evaluating solutions for each species and supplier before deciding to drop a product.

Mark Albright can be reached at or (727) 893-8252.

Fast facts

Details online

Critiques for the 20 chains rated are posted at

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch lists sustainable seafood recommendations at

Publix and Winn-Dixie get poor grades for sustainable seafood practices 04/13/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2011 2:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  2. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]
  3. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week


    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  4. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Unemployment claims double in Florida after Hurricane Irma


    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 last week to 259,000 as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey began to fade.

    Homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Big Pine Key last week. Hurricane Irma continued to have an impact on the job market in Florida, where unemployment claims more than doubled from the previous week.
[The New York Times file photo]