AUSTIN, Texas (March 8, 2000) Whole Foods Market, Inc. introduced in their markets today the first ecologically certified seafood to carry the Fish Forever label. The notable seal of approval guarantees consumers that the labeled product was from a well-managed fishery and caught in an environmentally sustainable manner.

“As the largest retailer of natural and organic food, we want to be able to continue over the long-term to provide our customers with fish to buy,” said Margaret Wittenberg, Vice President of Governmental & Public Affairs for Whole Foods Market. “However, at the same time, we want to support ecological health and the abundance of marine life. We believe the Marine Stewardship Council's “Fish Forever” certified sustainably managed seafood program accomplishes both. Today's debut of Australian rock lobster as the first certified sustainably-managed fishery shows that it is a real plan that works.”

A global independent, not-for-profit organization, the Marine Stewardship Council promotes sustainable fisheries and responsible fishing practices world-wide to help preserve fish stocks for future generations. Whole Foods Market, Inc. was one of the first American companies to support and participate in the Marine Stewardship Council.

Accredited, independent certifying agencies measure compliance to the principles and criteria of sustainability developed by the Marine Stewardship Council. Certified fisheries are rewarded the right to use the “Fish Forever” eco-label to signify to consumers that the product was caught using environmentally sound, economical and socially responsible management practices.

The certification logo is a line drawing of a fish whose back and tail fin are shaped like a check mark of approval, along with the phrase “Fish Forever”. The Western Australia Rock Lobster Fishery, the first to earn use of the “Fish Forever” label, has been practicing responsible fishery management for over 40 years.