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NGOs to blitz Costco, Target, Albertsons on Bering Sea protection

Ad campaign supporting the effort launches in Seattle, but retail action will roll out nationwide.

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Photo: Greenpeace USA

Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue on Wednesday launched a new campaign calling major US retailers including Costco, Target and Albertsons to commit to restrictions on fishing in the Bering Sea.

 The campaign, which rolls out in Seattle, Wash. for four weeks, is calling for the retails “to step as leaders” and reject seafood harvested from underwater canyons in the Bering Sea.

The campaign will be supported with a media blitz including billboards, posters and online ads.

Ads targeting retailers will launch at certain locations nationwide in the coming weeks, the groups said.

The NGOs hope to increase the percentage of US protected waters from 10 to 20 percent by 2020, and is dubbing the campaign “2020 Vision.”

“For far too long, industrial fisheries have depleted marine populations and destroyed sensitive ocean habitat, while major retailers have bought and sold that destruction without any accountability,” Greenpeace senior oceans campaigner Jackie Dragon said.

The Bering Sea canyons are home to hundreds of species of fish, crustaceans and mollusks, 80 percent of the US seabird population and 25 species of marine mammals, Greenpeace said.

"In addition to protecting fragile habitats, a healthier ocean means better business for them as well," Marine Conservation Institute President Lance Morgan said.