Posted by... Sarah Foster on Apr 12, 2017

SeaChoice launches labelmyseafood.ca

SeaChoice has launched its new website on seafood labelling the Canadian marketplace.

Visit labelmyseafood.ca to find out more about the inadequacy of Canadians seafood regulations, why it matters, SeaChoice’s recommended labelling action plan for Canada, and what you can do to help!

(Please note that the recent job postings for various types of engineer, using the SeaChoice name and logo, IS NOT REAL. It is a scam, set-up to get personal information and money from applicants. If you have applied, and are concerned about how it might affect you – please get in touch with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.)


Posted by... Sarah Foster on Mar 15, 2017

Canada scores an F in regulatory report

Canada’s seafood labelling regulations are insufficient. Businesses and consumers deserve to know more about the fish they buy.

Our latest report found that Canada’s seafood labelling lags behind its primary trading partners (the EU and US) – we gave gave Canada an “F” for its failing seafood labelling regulations.

The full report can be downloaded at www.labelmyseafood.ca

Read the SeaChoice seafood labelling report.

Learn more about labelling and traceability.

 

Posted by... Sarah Foster on Mar 10, 2017

Canadians want better labelling for their seafood

((Please note that the recent job posting for a mechanical engineer, using the SeaChoice name and logo, IS NOT REAL. It is a scam, set-up to get personal information and money from applicants. If you have applied, and are concerned about how it might affect you – please get in touch with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.))


Thank you so much to everyone for lending their voice to demand better seafood labelling and traceability in Canada!

Canadians clearly want the power to choose seafood that is good for the oceans and the people that depend on them. We are thrilled to have exceeded our goal of 10,000 signatures!

While we wait to see if our recommendations are accepted into Canadian regulations, don’t forget to ask these questions when you buy seafood with insufficient labelling:

  • What species is this?
  • Is it wild or farmed?
  • Where is it from?
  • How was it caught or farmed?

Then check the SeaChoice website or app to see if it’s a sustainable choice!

Click here for more information about traceability and labelling.

Posted by... Sarah Foster on Jan 31, 2017

Are you eating seafood in the dark?

((Please note that the recent job posting for a mechanical engineer, using the SeaChoice name and logo, IS NOT REAL. It is a scam, set-up to get personal information and money from applicants. If you have applied, and are concerned about how it might affect you – please get in touch with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.))


You may not be eating the seafood you think you are. And as a result you may be contributing to environmental degradation in the marine environment, modern slavery or even eating seafood that’s not as healthy as you think it is. This is why SeaChoice launched a petition – asking the federal government to improve labelling for seafood in Canada.

Canadians want to know what seafood they are eating and whether it comes from environmentally and socially sustainable sources — or if it doesn’t. But Canadian consumers are currently “in the dark”. How can we know when the information available on seafood packaging only requires a “common” name?

According to Canadian guidelines, a package labeled with the common name “rockfish” could be one of more than 100 possible species, some of which are endangered and others which are sustainably caught. A recent study by Oceana in the United States estimated that nearly half of sampled seafood was mislabelled.

A 2016 study by SeaChoice identified many uncertainties and inconsistencies in official Canadian data – making it likely that Canadians are also subject to seafood fraud. The risk is high – more than half of the seafood in Canadian markets is imported, however current import data does not trace that product back to its source, indicating to consumers only the country where it was last processed, not even its true origin.

In Canada, consumers cannot currently choose to preferentially purchase seafood that comes from legal, regulated fisheries that do not involve human rights abuses, or even that meet our health requirements. This is why SeaChoice asked for public support in petitioning the federal government to ensure that all seafood sold in Canada bears a label indicating the following:

  • Scientific (Latin) species name,
  • whether is it wild or farmed,
  • the location of the fishery in which it was caught (or farm where it was cultivated), and
  • the gear type or farming method.

Legislating access to this information would allow you to choose seafood that makes a positive contribution to the environmental, economic, social and cultural fabric of the community it comes from. It would also put us on more of a level playing field with some of our largest seafood markets – the US and the European Union.

Knowledge is power – and SeaChoice’s newest campaign aims to ensure that all Canadian’s have the power to choose seafood that is good for the oceans and the people that depend on them.

Click here for more information about traceability and labelling.

Posted by... Sarah Foster on Jan 30, 2017

Eating seafood in the dark?

Posted by... Kurtis Hayne on Nov 29, 2016

Who actually eats Canadian seafood?

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SeaChoice has worked diligently over the last decade to find solutions for healthy oceans by working with Canadian businesses and shoppers to take an active role in supporting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Despite achieving many successes  to date, there is still more to do. Canada still produces and consumes a large amount of unsustainable seafood. Based on  our Taking Stock report, 14% of seafood produced in Canada is ranked ‘Avoid’, with an additional 9% that is currently  ‘Unranked’. To continue to improve the sustainability of Canadian produced seafood, we’ve set out to understand exactly where our unsustainable, red-ranked seafood is ending up. Though it may sound like a simple question, finding the answer is very complicated! Seafood is one of the most highly traded products worldwide, and the supply-chains can be very long and murky, often having little to no traceability or data tracking.

When examining the trade data of the major Canadian red-ranked seafood categories, we found that the United States actually consumes more of this seafood than Canadians do! While initially surprising, this makes more sense when we see that the United States is the largest importer of seafood in the world.

For the largest red-ranked seafood species (open-net farmed salmon, longline caught Atlantic swordfish, Atlantic cod and Manitoba pickerel, perch and pike) we found that on average, 70% was consumed in the U.S., 5% in other countries, and only a quarter of it consumed in Canada.

So why is this important? To continue to promote positive change in these Canadian fisheries, we need to be able to reach the markets where this seafood is sold. Thankfully many sustainable seafood programs exist across North America, and SeaChoice collaborates with many of them through our participation in the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. This Alliance connects leading conservation groups that work with businesses representing 80% of the North American grocery and food-service markets. While it seems a little odd to have to work with the US supply chain in order to improve the sustainability of Canadian fisheries, it’s a reality in this globalized world of seafood trade.

 

Posted by... Lana Brandt on Sep 26, 2016

Celebrating good, clean and fair fish with Slow Fish Canada

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Small-scale gooseneck barnacles – Credit Lana Brandt

By Lana Brandt, SeaChoice

In British Columbia, we are fortunate to have many local ocean-friendly seafood delicacies. Small scale fishers and aquaculturists supply seafood lovers with local and delicious seafood year round. For the third consecutive year, SeaChoice supported the annual Slow Fish dinner to raise awareness and demand for some of B.C.’s local sustainable seafood treasures. Co-hosted with the Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, the Slow Fish dinner was another huge success this year!

In 2014, Slow Food Canada launched a Slow Fish campaign in an effort to celebrate good, clean and fair fish. Good seafood as in traceable, local and seasonal fish supplied by small-scale producers. Clean fish refers to sustainable harvesting practices as well as local processing efforts that reduce waste by using as much of the fish as possible. Fair seafood involves paying a fair price for the fish to ensure that local communities are supported as well as ensuring that human rights are respected.

This year’s producers and chefs included the following participants: 

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‘Best Choice’ Farmed Mussels – Credit Lana Brandt

Our chefs

Lisa Ahier, SoBo

Ned Bell, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program

Karen Barnaby, Albion Farms and Fisheries

Sean Cousins, The Vancouver Club

Meeru Dhalwala, Vij’s / Rangoli

Bruno Feldeisen, Semiahmoo Resort

Roger Ma, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Thompson Tran, The Wooden Boat

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ThisFish! supporting traceable seafood – Credit Lana Brandt

Our local delicacies

Geoduck

Gooseneck Barnacles

Humpback Shrimps

Ling Cod

Mussels

Pink Salmon

Octopus

Sturgeon

On behalf of the SeaChoice team, we thank everyone for coming out to support local, fair and sustainable seafood!

Posted by... Lana Brandt on Sep 14, 2016

Consumer tips for buying salmon

Credit: John Brouwer

Credit: John Brouwer

By Lana Brandt, SeaChoice

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program released a report last week assessing B.C. chinook and coho commercial salmon fisheries. For the first time, four of the fourteen fisheries assessed were ranked as “avoid”, creating alarm for both seafood consumers and suppliers. The four red-ranked fisheries in southern B.C. left some British Columbians wondering if they should continue to buy wild salmon.

The report identified 10 fisheries that represent about 99 per cent of total chinook and coho catch as having “some concerns”, while the other four fisheries responsible for the remaining one per cent of the catch were ranked as “avoid”. Even though the vast majority of B.C. coho and chinook found in grocery stores is likely sourced from one of the “some concerns” fisheries, the bottom line is that some red-ranked salmon still exists in the marketplace. The good news is that because of summer chinook and coho fisheries closures in southern waters, consumers are most likely to find yellow-ranked coho and chinook salmon from other parts of British Columbia on grocery shelves, as well as other species such as chum, pink and sockeye.

So what can consumers and seafood suppliers do? Now, more than ever, seafood consumers and buyers need to know more about their fish. Without proper seafood labelling legislation in Canada this isn’t easy, but consumers can still ask where their fish is caught, what gear was used and, better yet, get to know a fisherman supplier. Supporting Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs), such as Skipper Otto in British Columbia, helps seafood lovers feel confident they know the location and even the fishing boat that caught their fish. Consumers can make a more informed decision by asking the right questions. If answers are missing, there is always the option to choose another species of salmon or different seafood all together.

Farmed salmon grown in land-based closed containment aquaculture systems is another option. Unfortunately, the majority of marketplace farmed salmon is raised in open net-pens, associated with concerns about disease spread to wild salmon and ranked as “avoid’. Learn more about last week’s chinook and coho salmon report here.

“Some concerns” seafood should be consumed infrequently, or when a green choice is not available. There are concerns with abundance, management, or impacts on habitat or other marine life.

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