AUSTIN, Texas (June 10, 2003) From the smoky rich taste of salmon kabobs to grilled balsamic-citrus fillets, it's time to enjoy the fresh harvest of wild Alaska salmon, which develops its pure flavor and firm texture in icy, pristine waters. Considered by chefs to be the finest in the world, wild Alaska salmon is at the heart of the annual seafood sustainability campaign, “Fish For Our Future,” at Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFMI) this June 15 to July 30. During that period falls “Wild Alaska Salmon Week,” June 30 through July 4.

Not only is it as delicious as it is versatile, wild Alaska salmon is also the only North American species and the only salmon in the world to earn the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) seal of approval. The seal allows consumers to easily identify seafood that has not been over fished or caught with methods harmful to ocean environments. Catch levels of MSC-certified seafood are monitored by an accredited third-party certifier, as are the age and gender of the fish being caught, which helps to maintain population levels and appropriate reproductive capacity.

“Shoppers can do their part to keep our oceans bountiful for tomorrow by making the best environmental choice today,” said Margaret Wittenberg, vice president of governmental and public affairs for Whole Foods Market. “Wild Alaska salmon is sustainable, delicious and pure. Its distinct flavor allows for so many exciting preparation options — we invite you to get it while it is in season!” Fish lovers can enjoy the flavors of MSC-certified wild Alaska salmon during its summer harvest season, but year-round they can make a world of difference for themselves, future generations and the environment by supporting healthier oceans and improved management of ocean resources. Some ways to support these efforts include: seeking out wild Alaska salmon that bears the MSC seal of approval; learning more about the MSC certification program for sustainable and well-managed fisheries; seeking out information to support environmentally friendly fishing practices by visiting or the stores' take action centers; and letting local elected officials know seafood sustainability and environmental protection are important issues.

Whole Foods Market has been a supporter of the MSC since its inception as the retailer is constantly looking for the best environmental seafood options. In addition to its annual “Fish for Our Future” promotion, the largest organic and natural foods supermarket chain has committed to help increase the number of certified sustainable seafoods available to consumers by funding the Whole Foods Market Americas Fisheries Initiative. Launching this summer, the program will identify fisheries that may ultimately be certified as sustainable and well managed under the MSC program. It will also engage other fisheries, which with improved management practices, could pursue certification in the future. The initiative's goal is to encourage more fisheries to operate sustainably so consumers can continue to enjoy seafood favorites in addition to wild Alaska salmon — such as shrimp, cod, crab, pollock, herring, hake, mackerel and tuna — well into the future.