Latest posts in Healthy Oceans

World leaders in Mexico to protect biodiversity. What will Canada have to say?

December 7, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: World leaders in Mexico to protect biodiversity. What will Canada have to say?

(Credit: Center for Whale Research)

By Jay Ritchlin

"We're back." Just over a year ago, freshly elected Justin Trudeau jubilantly broadcast his intention to revive Canada's reputation as a progressive, co-operative and inclusive nation to the international community. But is that how Canada will be represented at the Convention on Biological Diversity's 13th Conference of the Parties (COP 13) in Cancun, Mexico this month?

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To help protect Canada's oceans, we've made it easy to call your MP.

November 7, 2016 | Leave a comment

The federal government's announcement of an "oceans protection plan" has little to do with protecting the ocean. Instead it sets the stage for increased marine shipping and development.


  • Say who you are (that you live in their riding) and a bit about yourself (e.g., a mother, concerned citizen, scientist, immigrant, Indigenous person, voter, etc.).
  • Ask why the recent "Coastal Protection Plan" doesn't focus on marine planning and protection, but instead provides funding for infrastructure that facilitates oil tanker traffic.
  • Explain that even the best oil spill response leaves 80 per cent of spilled oil in the water. Shouldn't we focus on reducing or eliminating transporting oil in coastal areas?
  • Tell them that increased container and tanker traffic means increased ship strikes on whales and dolphins.
  • Ask them for a commitment to work in Parliament to stop all new oil and gas infrastructure projects, especially pipelines like Kinder Morgan that will lead to increased tanker traffic.
  • Leave them your name and phone number and ask them to reply to confirm whether they will commit to fighting for real ocean protection.


  • Use a headset or hands-free — This will give you both hands to take notes about what was said.
  • Be polite but firm — MPs are our elected representatives. They will likely be happy to hear from engaged constituents. Be polite and direct. Make sure to ask for a response.

If you have any problems using the tool, please contact:

Rockfish: Many distinct fish reduced to a single name

July 26, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Rockfish: Many distinct fish reduced to a single name

(Credit: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

By Theresa Beer, Senior Communications Specialist

Foodies know a local place of origin makes a food item more appealing. Pemberton potatoes, Fraser Valley blueberries, Niagara grapes and Holland Marsh carrots are hot commodities at local markets and in restaurants. But when you buy fish at the market or order it at a restaurant, there's a good chance you won't know what it is.

For example, more than 100 species of fish go under the generic name "rockfish" or "snapper." These include Pacific Ocean perch, chilipepper fish, cowcod and treefish. Most belong to the genus Sebastes, which belongs to the order Scorpaeniformes — the scorpionfishes. There are at least 34 species of rockfish in British Columbia seas alone.

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How you catch tuna matters

June 13, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: How you catch tuna matters

Canadians who love eating tuna may not be so thrilled when they learn how much of it is caught unsustainably. SeaChoice delved into tuna and other seafood in its Taking Stock report, the first comprehensive look at Canadian seafood imports and exports. The report finds that Canada exports more seafood than it imports, and more of the exports than imports are sustainable.

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On Earth Day, celebrate changes that make oceans healthier

April 20, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: On Earth Day, celebrate changes that make oceans healthier

Chef Ian Lai prepares an easy and delicious sablefish recipe (Credit: Barry J Brady Photography)

By Theresa Beer, Senior Communications Specialist

On April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. Choosing sustainable seafood is a great way to leave a smaller footprint on the planet. Here are some ways that supporting sustainable seafood improves ocean health and fishing and aquaculture practices.

Better fishing practices: The Pacific Groundfish Trawl Habitat Agreement has been recognized for its groundbreaking approach to reforming fishing practices to reduce bottom-trawling impacts on sensitive seafloor habitats. The trawl agreement, which the Foundation helped facilitate, is the first in the world to set up a quota system to limit habitat damage, especially to highly impacted deep water corals and sponges. There were just four fishing boundary infractions in the agreement's first year and the fleet's coral and sponge bycatch was only 10 per cent of the allowable limit. One of Canada's most criticized fisheries is now being recognized for its self-imposed regulations to reduce harmful impacts.

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