SeaChoice is a coalition of leading Canadian conservation organizations working together to raise public awareness of the threats to oceans and the solutions for sustainable fisheries and seafood consumption. Since 2006, SeaChoice has helped seafood consumers, chefs and retailers make informed choices that support ocean-friendly seafood. We’ve been part of the push that’s bumped sustainable seafood from niche market status to holding a widely popular share of the seafood market place.
SeaChoice works closely with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program to ensure that sustainability assessments are accurate and grounded in science. The SeaChoice program is operated by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, and Living Oceans Society.
Understanding the issues of seafood sustainability can be daunting. SeaChoice offers Canadian consumers a variety of user-friendly tools to help guide their choices toward ocean-friendly options. These tools include our popular wallet-sized Seafood Guide, a separate Sustainable Sushi Guide and an iPhone app that you can tap into right in the store.
SeaChoice – Program Facts and Achievements
Seachoice guides and supports our partners with implementing a Sustainable Seafood Policy.
There are over 500 retail locations in Canada that are either working with SeaChoice or sourcing SeaChoice-labelled sushi. Our retail partners include Overwaitea Food Group, Federated Cooperatives Limited, Canada Safeway, Whole Foods Market (Canada) and Toronto’s Big Carrot (links). SeaChoice sushi partner Bento Nouveau is the largest sushi company in Canada. SeaChoice supplier partners include Albion Fisheries, 7Seas, Seacore and Les Pêcheries Norref.
SeaChoice’s comprehensive online Seafood Database includes over 100 assessments. SeaChoice has performed a number of Canadian assessments, including: BC Sablefish, Atlantic haddock, BC Pacific halibut, Atlantic lobster, BC Pacific salmon and Atlantic cod.
SeaChoice has distributed nearly one million seafood guides. We make shopping ocean-friendly and easy with our online searchable seafood database, seafood shopping guides (general and sushi), and iPhone SeaChoice app
State of Our Oceans – Facts
Overfishing, destructive fishing gear and open-net salmon aquaculture have taken a big toll on ocean health. With over 90 per cent of the large fish gone, the resilience and productivity of many marine ecosystems is severely compromised. What happens to the ocean affects ecological cycles on land. Most urgently, preserving and restoring ocean health is a priority for ensuring our own food security.
One of the greatest threats to our oceans today is fishing. In 2005 government biologists (Worm et. al.) determined that some 90 per cent of the ocean’s big fish were gone, caught to satisfy our appetites. This is a stunning destabilization of ecological pyramids and inversion of normal predator effects, where the large and healthy escape and the small and ailing are caught. In the process, industrialized fisheries not only deplete the lifeblood of the ocean but also take away the means of survival from aboriginal communities and subsistence fishermen in the developing world.
Stock collapses have already taken their toll on Pacific salmon, halibut, sturgeon, humpback and orca whales, lingcod, and English sole, among many other species. Coastal marine ecosystems have suffered greatly as a consequence, and so have coastal and fishing communities.
Collapsing fisheries and other signs of ecological decline warn us that we are pushing the ecological limits of marine food webs. Many of our marine resources have been hugely overexploited, leading to diminished economic opportunities for coastal communities.
v 75 per cent of the world’s fisheries are either fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed
v 90 per cent of the large predatory fish (e.g. shark, tuna) are gone
v At least a quarter of the world’s catch is illegal (approx 25 million tonnes/per year)
v Some fishing gear types such as bottom dredging can cause the equivalent of clear-cutting a forest several times a year
v Around 25 per cent (approx 25 million tonnes/per year) of the global fishery catch is wasted as bycatch