I recently sent a letter to my local grocery store to protest the sale of swordfish. Studies have shown that swordfish is severely overfished and in danger of extinction. As someone trying to advocate for a sustainable food supply, I wanted to voice my concern. Below is my letter. Spoiler alert: I got bitch slapped:)
To whom it may concern,
I’m not sure if you are aware, but the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Wildlife and Fisheries Agency have published studies indicating that the global swordfish population is on the decline. With significant overfishing, swordfish could be in danger of extinction within the next decade. As a frequent shopper at your chain of stores, I see that you often have swordfish on sale. This practice is actually encouraging greater consumption of an already endangered fish. I kindly ask that you reevaluate your sale of swordfish, at least until populations have recovered.
xxxx Main Street
This was the response I received.
Dear Mr. Robert,
Thank you for contacting [Blank] in regards to our sale of swordfish. We always appreciate hearing from our customers, particularly our loyal customers. We were not aware of the specific studies you reference but our seafood management team closely monitors regulatory developments in our supply chain. It might be interesting to note that nearly all of the seafood we carry is or has been listed as threatened or endangered in the past several years. With the exception of farm raised tilapia and salmon, most seafood populations are declining. We will continue to monitor any developments specifically related to swordfish and will look to the US FDA for policy guidance.
In closing, we also wanted to point out that after a review of your shopping habits, retrieved by linking your name to your loyalty card, we noticed that you’ve been a significant purchaser of our swordfish since 2008. In fact, you’ve purchase swordfish at one of our locations 19 times during that timeframe. The most recent being less than two months ago at our Warwick location. We appreciate your concern but we, like our competitors, are just providing the foods that consumers like you demand.
General Store Manager