“They just doing it to make all the green people happy,” the New York Times reported fisherman Mr. Sanfilippo as saying. He’s referring to Whole Foods’s decision to only sell fish it considers sustainable:

Starting Sunday, gray sole and skate, common catches in the region, will no longer appear in the grocery chain’s artfully arranged fish cases. Atlantic cod, a New England staple, will be sold only if it is not caught by trawlers, which drag nets across the ocean floor, a much-used method here.

Whole Foods has already put the kibosh on orange roughy, shark, bluefin tuna, and some types of marlin. This latest change will add to the list gray sole and skate, with some restrictions on Atlantic cod as well.

As with “organic,” the term “sustainable” is one of those vague marketing terms without a clear legal definition.

American fisherman who rely on the revenue to make a living are not happy, but the real question is, why is Whole Foods doing it? Is it simply a marketing ploy to placate their “green” customers and maintain their earth-friendly brand, or do they truly “believe” it?

And, how long will customers put up with grocery stores hurting domestic industry in the interest of ever-changing environmental philosophies?