Choosing Sustainable Seafood
The health of our oceans depends on all our actions… including choosing sustainable seafood.
SeaChoice has transformed its program to improve sustainability and traceability throughout the entire seafood supply chain. As part of this sea change, we are no longer ranking seafood (find out more about what we are doing). However, Canadians still have several options to make sustainable seafood decisions.
The following organizations provide seafood recommendations for consumers and businesses. While eco-labels play an important role in sustainable seafood procurement, challenges in their implementation and application have led to instances of disagreement. Learn more about our work to strengthen eco-labels.
Ocean Wise Seafood Program (Canada)
Ocean Wise seafood recommendations are based on two categories: sustainable (Ocean Wise) or unsustainable (Not Recommended). Recommendations are generated from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (SFW) assessment scores.
Seafood Watch (U.S.)
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (SFW) program recommends seafood based on a three-tiered traffic light system of Red (Avoid), Yellow (Good Alternative), and Green (Best Choice). Recommendations are generated from their own science-based seafood assessments.
The SFW standards consist of guiding principles, science-based criteria and a robust scoring methodology. That said, we disagree with the recent ranking change for B.C. farmed salmon from Red (Avoid) to Yellow (Good Alternative) because the assessment failed to take a precautionary approach, despite methodology that requires it.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is the most prominent wild fisheries eco-label in the world. SeaChoice has been, and will continue to be, an engaged MSC stakeholder, and we generally support MSC assessments. Nevertheless, we maintain that some MSC certified fisheries are unsustainable, particularly in respect to their environmental impacts, and should be avoided (e.g. North Atlantic Pelagic Longline Swordfish, Scotian Shelf Herring, and the recently suspended 3Ps Cod fishery).
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an eco-label for farmed seafood. In Canada, ASC labelled farmed salmon is becoming increasingly common. SeaChoice was an active stakeholder in the development of the Salmon Standard, which sets a robust sustainability bar for salmon farm certification. However SeaChoice recommends caution when purchasing ASC-labelled farmed salmon because in Canada, and elsewhere in the world, ASC has allowed certification of farms where practice in reality differs substantially from the multi-stakeholder approved Salmon Standard.
Learn more about our work to improve eco-certifications.
Bringing it all Together for Businesses — Fish Choice
FishChoice.com is a sustainable seafood platform that enables businesses to address sustainable seafood on their own. FishChoice.com aggregates sustainability ratings and certifications from the leading global sustainable seafood organizations and, in turn, applies this information to several resources, including a seafood product search, a supplier directory, seafood buying guides, and a seafood assessment tool.