Sustainable Seafood
Raley's Sustainability
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Your Guide to Sustainable Seafood.
Sustainability is about making a
difference in our community.

And that's why we're committed to choices that are better for you - and better for our planet.

It's about working with fisheries and fishermen that we trust, ensuring we bring you seafood that is sourced sustainably and ethically.

It's a journey - we're not 100% sustainable yet, but by December 2017, we will be.

So, how do you know which of our seafood is sustainable?

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What is Sustainable Seafood?

Whether wild-caught or farmed, it is fish from responsible farmers and fishermen who are dedicated to preserving the marine ecosystems and environment.

It is a commitment to manage and protect, so that future generations may also enjoy.

At Raley's, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods, we believe that sustainable seafood is responsible seafood.


But what does that really mean?

It's certified.
By 2017, we will only source from fisheries or farm programs with one of these certifications:

  • Global Aquaculture Association
  • Marine Stewardship Council
  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council
  • Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management

If a fishery is not certified, they must be on a time-bound path to certification by December 2017. Certified fisheries and farms must go through a rigorous process to ensure the practices used comply with requirements that have been established by international experts. A specially trained certification team will examine every aspect of an operation and issue a certificate that must be renewed every two to five years, depending on the species being certified. The certification bodies that Raley's works with for our program are all recognized as credible by scientific, industry, and non-governmental organizations internationally.


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It is not a threatened species.
We do not purchase species that are threatened and have no credible improvement plan, including shark, bluefin tuna, orange roughy, Russian cod, non-U.S. squid, spiny lobsters, Atlantic sardines and South American wild shrimp.

It's accountable.
We only buy from clearly traceable sources. This includes third party certification documents and chain of control documents. Our vendors must provide documented evidence that products do not come from sources that utilize any illegal methods. We require full seafood traceability, including audits and substantial documentation. Additionally, we only buy from vendors who follow the provisions of the Lacey Act and the California Transparency in Human Trafficking Act. The Lacey Act bans trafficking in illegal wildlife, and falsely identifying fish imported or received from foreign countries. The California Transparency Act ensures that no human trafficking or slavery is used in the seafood supply chain (i.e. enslaved fishermen).



Which of your seafood is currently sustainable?

At Raley's, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods, we believe that sustainable seafood is responsible seafood.


You'll find these sustainable varieties in our stores now:

  • Pacific Cod
  • Crab (King, Snow, Dungeness)
  • Pacific Halibut
  • Black Cod/Sablefish
  • Gulf Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Pink Shrimp
  • Rockfish (Pacific Snapper)
  • Wild Salmon
  • Wild Scallops
  • Tuna - (Albacore, Yellowfin, Skipjack)
  • Sea Bass
  • Sardines
  • Squid
  • Swordfish
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Sole
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Catfish
  • Clams, Mussels, and Oysters
  • Farm Scallops
  • Tilapia
  • Farmed Salmon (certified farms)
  • Farmed Shrimp (certified farms)

We do not carry these non-sustainable fish:

  • Shark
  • Bluefin Tuna
  • Orange Roughy
  • Squid - Non US
  • Russian Cod
  • Spiny Lobsters - South America
  • Atlantic Sardines
  • South American Wild Shrimp


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What is the difference between aquaculture (farmed) and wild-caught?

As worldwide demand for seafood continues to increase, many wild species are reaching or have gone beyond the maximum it is safe to harvest without being overfished. Farm fish, or aquaculture, has become important to fill global needs, now supplying over 50% of total harvests and continuing to grow. As world populations reach an estimated 9 billion people by 2050, aquaculture will become an ever bigger component of the global food supply.


Wild-caught fish
Wild fish live in open waters and eat a natural diet. All wild-caught fish are harvested in the open water of their natural habitat. Because of the seasonal nature of many species, some are more expensive, and may only be available for limited times in stores.

However, there are not enough wild-caught fish to meet the growing demand. Overfishing has damaged not only the fish population, but the ecosystem around it. Some species are now on the threatened or endangered list, which we do not carry, while other species are now being harvested using more sustainable methods. We are sourcing our supplies from these better-managed fisheries.

Most of the fresh wild-caught seafood we offer is from fisheries that are harvested in either the USA or Canada - the two best-regulated countries in the world. Buying these products supports, in many cases, local California fishing communities.


Farmed fish
Farmed fish are more readily available as fresh and frozen products on a year-round basis than most wild fish. Additionally, when fish are farmed, there is a lower danger of impact to the population of wild fish. Farmed fish are more highly regulated, in many countries, than wild fisheries. When sourced from certified suppliers who follow best practices, harmful environmental consequences on everything from water pollution to breeding techniques are reduced.

Depending on the species and the country they are farmed in, some farmed fish are raised in floating net pens, while others are raised in ponds on land. Most commercial seafood farming began less than 30 years ago, before negative impacts to the surrounding environment were known or understood. As these impacts became evident, practices have been improved, standards have been implemented and now farmed species are making important contributions to the overall supply of healthy, high-quality seafood.

Improvement in feed development for aquaculture has reduced the need for large amounts of fish meal and fish oil from small 'forage' fish like sardines and anchovies, leaving more in the water for wild fish to feed on and grow healthy. Plant-based material such as corn and soybean makes up the largest component of most aquaculture feed. Farmed seafood is now the most efficient way of providing protein of all the different farmed livestock options.

Farmed fish has a milder flavor and more consistent texture than some wild-caught fish, and a carefully monitored diet that may increase the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which some studies indicate contribute to heart-health. It may also contain naturally occurring additives in the feed that helps give the flesh a brighter, more attractive color.