The Estonian Chamber of Environmental Associations (EKO) chose the decision of the Rimi store chain to stop selling all endangered fish species and products made from them as an environmental act for 2020.
In the spring of 2020, the Rimi store chain decided to make the selection of fish offered in stores in line with the recommendations of the fish traffic light, i.e the guide for the consumption of responsible fish and seafood. Stores removed from sale or exchanged for a more environmentally friendly option all fishery products that are endangered from fish or have not been caught sustainably. Rimi is the first and so far the only Estonian store chain that has made the fish selection of its stores more sustainable.
“Rimi’s decision to choose sustainable fish for sale is bold and gratifying,” says Joonas Plaan, coordinator and expert of the Estonian Fund for Nature’s sustainable fisheries program. “Many fish species are endangered across the globe or in regions, or their catching and farming causes significant damage to the environment. By putting endangered species or products made from them on the table, we are boosting the loss of biodiversity. At the same time, the individual responsibility for changing consumption habits cannot be left to the individual; finding an environmentally friendly product from a dense information and product range is by no means easy. Rimi has taken an important step, hopefully setting an example for other store chains as well” says Plaan.
The traffic light guidelines are based on the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) methodology and are used in twenty-eight countries. The Baltic States introduced the traffic light in 2019, being the last among the countries bordering the Baltic Sea. The traffic light is based on the specifics of each country and also takes into account the assessments of local fish scientists.