It’s long been a bit unnerving that one could walk into Costco and come out with a jumbo-sized, shrink-wrapped tray of Chilean sea bass. This is the same fish that’s been on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” list for years as one to avoid due to overfishing and high mercury levels.
Now, under pressure from Greenpeace and thousands of online activists, Costco has agreed to stop selling Chilean sea bass and the 11 other species on Greenpeace’s “red list.” These also include: Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, Greenland halibut, grouper, monkfish, orange roughy, redfish, shark, skates and rays, swordfish, and bluefin tuna. (Note that several of these also regularly turn up at local all-you-can eat sushi bars.) Costco has said it will, however, sell these species if they can find an option approved by the Marine Stewardship Council.
In the mid-2000s, famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle—who has spent thousands of hours studying marine life, and has also eaten a fair number of them over the years—said she has stopped eating fish altogether, based on what she knows of the ocean’s decline.