VANCOUVER/HALIFAX — For more than 10 years, SeaChoice has helped retailers and consumers make seafood choices that support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Now it's embarking on a new direction: To reform unsustainable seafood production and become Canada's leading sustainable seafood watchdog.
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SeaChoice is transitioning from ranking seafood products and operating its in-store retail market presence. New goals include improving seafood-labelling regulations, eco-certification standards, fisheries and aquaculture management, and making information more transparent throughout the supply chain.
"We're proud that our retail partners have made great strides in their commitment to sustainable seafood," Kurtis Hayne of SeaChoice said. "Now we'll be working towards solutions for persistent challenges that keep sustainable fisheries and aquaculture from further improvement in Canada. Our transition will benefit seafood retailers as well."
Ensuring accountability in the seafood supply chain is a critical aspect of SeaChoice's new direction. The program is calling for new Canadian regulations to improve seafood labelling to better align with international best practices and major export markets. It will also work to improve management at individual fishery and farm levels. Based on the success of its retail partners, SeaChoice will provide tools and resources to all retailers on how to better embed and improve sustainable seafood policies and procurement practices within their companies and transparently report their progress.
"We've seen more awareness of sustainable seafood in Canada over the last decade, but we realized that continuing along the path of encouraging point-of-sale promotion only is not going to achieve the improvements to fishing and aquaculture practices still badly needed," Bill Wareham of the David Suzuki Foundation said. "We're excited to dig deeper to realise further improvements and transparency of sustainable seafood in Canada over the next decade."
"It's clear Canada needs an organization focused on ensuring greater transparency of seafood sourcing and holding the seafood supply chain accountable," Susanna Fuller of the Ecology Action Centre said.
SeaChoice will continue to engage the Canadian public through programs like citizen scientist seafood DNA testing, updates on fisheries and aquaculture improvements that help reduce the volume of unsustainable seafood in the marketplace, and communicating annual retailer seafood procurement audit results.
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National Coordinator — SeaChoice
c/o David Suzuki Foundation
219-2211 West 4th Ave.
Vancouver, BC, V6K 4S2
Phone: (604) 916 9398
SeaChoice was started in 2006 and is currently a partnership of the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ecology Action Centre and the Living Oceans Society. SeaChoice continues to work as a member organization of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and work with consumers, retailers, suppliers, government and producers to accomplish its objectives.
SeaChoice website: www.seachoice.org.
Taking Stock: Sustainable seafood in Canadian markets: http://www.seachoice.org/taking-stock/
Download report: http://www.seachoice.org/taking-stock/seachoice-taking-stock-report-june-7/
Download key findings: http://www.seachoice.org/taking-stock/seachoice-taking-stock-2-pager/
Canadians eating in the dark: A report card of international seafood labelling requirements: http://labelmyseafood.ca/
Download report: http://www.seachoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Seafood-Labelling-Report-Online.pdf
Download summary (English): http://labelmyseafood.ca/assets/seafood-labelling—-2-pager—-online.pdf
Download summary (French): http://labelmyseafood.ca/assets/seafood-labelling—-2-pager—-french—-online.pdf
Putting Canada's seafood labels to the test: http://www.lifescanner.net/SeaChoice
SeaChoice is working with LifeScanner to empower consumers to genetically test the validity of the label and report labelling practices, at major seafood retailers across Canada so that we can better understand the magnitude of poor or incorrect labelling.