Image: © gvictoria Fishing boats along the harbor front of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, one of the Maritime Provinces, Canada a UNESCO world heritage site.
© Edgar Bullon

Among the many lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the most important were the value of individual health and the health of our local economies. As we continue to recover from this global crisis, we would do well to keep those lessons in mind.

For Canadian consumers interested in supporting local while maximizing health, seafood is a logical choice. Seafood is one of the most sustainable, lowest-carbon and heart-healthy protein sources available and is one of the oldest livelihoods employing Canadians.

Full of omega-3s, healthy fatty acids, and vitamins, fish and seafood are nutritionally dense superfoods. Health authorities like Health Canada recommend Canadians eat seafood twice per week, but most households aren’t reaching that mark. Eating more seafood can be as easy as swapping a fresh, frozen, or shelf-stable product into an old-favourite recipe: try shrimp alfredo on spaghetti night or swap fish into your Taco Tuesday rotation.

Seafood is a feel-good choice. Globally, more than three-quarters of fish stocks by volume have reached biological sustainability. In Canada, 94 percent of fish stocks are harvested in sustainable quantities, and Canadian fishing companies hold levels of third-party certification that are multiple times higher than the global average. Recent studies have also indicated that effective fisheries management, like we have in Canada, is helping to restore fish stocks that have been depleted in the past.

Asking for Canadian seafood products like lobster, crab, salmon, shrimp, and prawns from restaurants and markets also helps to support local, coastal and Indigenous communities. The seafood industry is the largest ocean-based job creator in Canada, supporting 90,000 jobs and generating $9 billion in GDP for the national economy. Fishing has been supporting Canadians all along our three coasts for over 200 years.

Canadians should be proud of our seafood heritage! A water nation with the longest coastline in the world and among the most freshwater resources, our seafood is known around the globe for its freshness, quality and sustainability. Canada supplies seafood to the United States, China, Europe, Japan, the United Kingdom and over 125 other export markets. It’s a hallmark of Canada’s natural resources that we should be proud to support at home.

Even better, we have an opportunity to sustainably increase the economic capacity of our fisheries through Canada’s Blue Economy mandate and reclaim our place as a world leader in the production of sustainable seafood, creating even more benefits for Canadians.

Learn more about Canadian seafood by visiting the Fisheries Council of Canada website: fisheriescouncil.ca and looking for our Canadian Fisheries Facts and Seafood Supports Canada infographics. Or, visit us on social media @FisheriesCA

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The Fisheries Council of Canada and our members in the Canadian fish and seafood industry are committed to mitigating the COVID-19 situation by following the advice of international public health organizations and the federal and provincial governments.

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