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Henry's Farmers Market has discontinued selling shark meat at its fresh seafood counter in an effort to provide more sustainable seafood offerings to its shoppers.
The grocery chain took this step in sustainability on September 2nd of this year after several meetings with Non-profit organization Iemanya Oceanica (pronounced ya-MON-ja) to discuss transitioning Henry's to sustainable seafood and receiving petitions by Iemanya Oceanica supporters to discontinue selling shark meat. In a formal letter to Iemanya, Doug Veranai, meat and seafood director for Henry's said the company is working to find alternative resources so it can start to reduce and eliminate any additional unsustainable seafood from our counters."
According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), sharks are especially vulnerable to overfishing because they reach sexual maturity late in life and have relatively few offspring. The IUCN estimates that tens of millions of sharks are fished and finned each year, a rate that is quickly depleting their populations (finning is the practice of removing a shark's fins and discarding the body at sea). Sharks are important to the health of the oceans as they regulate populations of other fish species and help balance marine ecosystems.
"Henry's has taken a critical step in protecting our oceans by joining the growing number of companies nationwide that are shifting to offering sustainable seafood, including grocers such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market," said Iemanya president, Laleh Mohajerani. “Henry's will continue its efforts to create a sustainable seafood menu with the support of Iemanya Oceanica going forward.”
Iemanya Oceanica is dedicated to the global conservation of sharks and rays.
Irvine, Calif.-based Henry's operates 33 stores in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties.