Photo © Courtesy of the Fisheries Council of Canada
World Ocean Day is June 8, 2023
When it comes to making food choices, there’s a lot to consider. Health, affordability, taste, ethics and, of course, environmental sustainability. Which one should you prioritize? Is there a way to have it all?
There is! Seafood is a high-protein choice that is known for its heart and brain benefits, and there is a wide range of products at every price point, from fresh to frozen to canned. And Canadian seafood, specifically, checks those sustainability boxes too.
Canadian seafood is one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly protein sources out there. Not only do certain harvesting methods produce up to 250 times less carbon per kilogram than beef, but science-based fisheries management practices have created an industry that knows how much fish it can take without disrupting the ecosystems around them. In fact, the federal department in charge of the Canadian fisheries industry reports that 98 per cent of fisheries are harvested at sustainable levels. Some experts, like the High Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, even say that the oceans could sustainably provide six times as much food as they do today.
But Canadian fishing companies go above and beyond to ensure they’re meeting the highest sustainability standards. You’ve probably seen a little blue fish on the packaging of some seafood brands at the grocery store. This recognizable label is the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Blue Fish, the hallmark of their world-renowned sustainability program: a voluntary, third-party audit against a set of rigorous global standards that certifies seafood has been harvested in a way that goes above and beyond for protecting our oceans, our ecosystems and the planet.
You’ll see this certification label on 61 per cent of fish harvested in Canada—a rate that makes Canada a world leader in the most sustainable seafood. Canada’s fisheries rank second in the world in rates of MSC compliance, meaning that they voluntarily adhere to the highest sustainability standards in the world. Compare that to a rate of just 16 per cent of total fish harvested globally holding an MSC certification, and you can see that Canada really
It’s easy to see that Canada’s three oceans are some of the best-taken care of on the planet. Fishing supports families and communities in coastal and Indigenous areas and has been doing so for hundreds of years. The seafood industry is the largest ocean-based jobs provider, supplying 90,000 jobs nationwide. Fishermen and women are experts in keeping their resources thriving and are the biggest champions of ensuring there are fish in our waters until the end of time.
You can feel good choosing Canadian seafood to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8 or any day. Look for Canadian products and packages with an MSC blue fish label, or ask your local retailers and restaurants to source certified sustainable seafood. You can find everything you need to know about finding, buying and cooking sustainable Canadian seafood with the Supporting Sustainable Seafood: Where Do I Start? Guide at fisheriescouncil.ca/shopseafood, or find easy, tasty, affordable and sustainable seafood recipes from Choose Canadian Seafood at chooseseafood.ca.
So go ahead, eat Canadian seafood, and rest easy knowing you’ve made a choice you can feel good about.
Photo © Kali Nine LLC | Canadian Fishing Companies Fishermen, fisherwomen, and processors provide food for tables worldwide, but more importantly, they also support the
The Fisheries Council of Canada is a non-profit trade association that has been representing, for over 100 years, companies engaged in the harvesting, processing, importing and marketing of wild-capture fish and seafood.