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GFS Canada's Albion Fisheries Making Sustainable Strides

VANCOUVER (August 10, 2011)—Albion Fisheries Ltd., Western Canada's largest seafood distributor, recently told the Vancouver Sun they plan to remove several more groups of seafood not certified as being harvested sustainably from their product list—worth $250,000 in annual sales.

"It's significant, a sizable chunk of our business," Guy Dean, vice-president of Albion Fisheries, said in a recent statement. "It's our intent to continually wean our customers off non-sustainable items and to find alternatives for them."

Albion has already made sustainability-friendly steps forward with the removal of Chilean seabass, shark and bluefin tuna from their offerings.

Founded 48 years ago, the company owned by Gordon Food Service Canada sells about 50 percent of its seafood to retailers and 50 percent to food service outlets. It is committed to "constantly challenge" its product line and to work to convince its customers to move toward sustainable seafood products, said Dean.

The company says it will no longer carry skates and rays, Atlantic halibut, Greenland halibut and turbot, New Zealand hoki, orange roughy, monkfish and hake unless they come from fisheries that are both traceable and certified as sustainable by the London-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

While Albion removed Chilean sea bass from its product list in 2005, a handful of fisheries for the species have since become MSC-certified.

The company continues to sell tropical prawns and shrimp on the red list; it has sourced some prawns out of Alabama in a closed, inland pond water system.

In deciding to phase out certain products, Albion relied on Greenpeace Canada's red list of unsustainable seafood. The company did not work directly with the environmental organization, whose efforts to-date have largely been focused on retail.

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