Photo: Giving thanks for our oceans

Help improve seafood labelling practices with your local retailer. Credit: Lana Gunnlaugson

By Lana Gunnlaugson, Marine & Freshwater Program Coordinator

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the food we share with our family and friends is one of the things that make the holidays feel festive. When considering the food that we choose, questions around where our food comes from and what impact it has on our planet often come to mind. Was this turkey a happy free-range bird? Do shrimp cocktail rings come from an unsustainable fish farm on the other side of the world? These are all important questions to consider and this holiday season we challenge you to make a commitment to only serving sustainable seafood in support of keeping our oceans healthy and productive.

Not all of our food is properly labelled, but as a consumer we all can help improve labelling practices by asking our retailers to supply us with more information. When it comes to seafood, consumers need to have labels that indicate where our fish came from, how it was harvested and if there are any eco-certifications associated with this product. With this information, Canadians can make informed decisions using the SeaChoice sustainable seafood guide. If your retailer isn't providing this information, it's time to speak up or vote with your wallet and shop somewhere that does give you this information.

Sustainable seafood options do exist and already many retailers are working to identify these options with the help from programs like SeaChoice, Ocean Wise and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Challenge your retailer to source sustainable seafood options and demand that they stop providing red-listed seafood. This will help send a clear message to poorly run fisheries and aquaculture operations that they need to clean up their practices.

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving including our oceans, which give us all life. Celebrate and protect our oceans by only supporting sustainable seafood options.

October 7, 2010

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