By Dan Shapley
In a move that throws the weight of the world's largest retailer behind the health of the oceans, Wal-Mart will sell only shrimp that is harvested in a sustainable manner. It claims to have suspended sales of some overfished species entirely. It is also committed to selling Chilean sea bass (known as Patagonian toothfish before marketers stepped in, contributing to an overfishing crisis) only if the bass comes from a certified sustainable fishery. The move by Wal-Mart is just a piece of what must be a broad effort to prevent the depletion of the world's fisheries. Scientists recently predicted that most major food fish would be depleted by 2050 if current fishing practices don't change. For anyone wondering what "sustainable" means when it comes to fishing, it means taking only as much from the ocean as the ocean will give back. That's a maxim Wal-Mart seems to get, at least when it comes to shrimp, according to a story in the May 23 San Francisco Chronicle.