Harris Teeter seafood counter (Photo: Harris Teeter)
Another US retailer vows to stop selling seafood from the Ross Sea
Thursday, March 08, 2012, 16:20 (GMT + 9)
Harris Teeter is the third US supermarket chain to announce it will no longer carry seafood sourced from Antartica's Ross Sea for environmental reasons, according to Greenpeace.
Safeway and Wegmans were the first to take the 'Ross Sea Pledge,' a vow not to buy or sell seafood fished from that area.
Harris Teeter is also calling for the entire Ross Sea to receive protection from fishing, Voxy News reports.
"We have pledged not to buy or sell any seafood harvested from the Ross Sea," the company has vowed. "By taking the "Ross Sea Pledge," we encourage the nations who are members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to designate the entire Ross Sea as an MPA [Marine Protected Area]."
Many Scientists are advocating for the Ross Sea -- the least tainted large oceanic ecosystem left on Earth -- to be designated as a fully protected marine reserve.
However, New Zealand launched a longline fishery for Antarctic toothfish in the late 1990s which continues to operate in the Ross Sea.
"The delicate balance of the fragile Ross Sea is under threat from commercial fishing," warned Greenpeace New Zealand Oceans Campaigner Karli Thomas.
"Although technology has made it possible, it is simply not sustainable to be fishing every last corner of our ocean. The Ross Sea is a special place that we should be protecting as the home to diverse and unique wildlife, and a refuge in the face of climate change - not exploiting to feed the wealthy," she remarked.
Two years ago, Greenpeace published a report to encourage seafood traders, retailers and chefs to help protect the Ross Sea and described steps they could take.
"The announcement by Harris Teeter shows there is a growing awareness by retailers that the Ross Sea should be protected as no-go area," Thomas added.
Last week, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) – a group representing environmental agencies including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace – introduced a new campaign to protect Antarctica’s ocean including the Ross Sea through the world’s largest network of marine reserves yet, Green Answers reports.
The Ross Sea’s protection network would span 3.6 million sqmi on the border of Antarctica closest to New Zealand.
By Natalia Real