Ask Questions About the Sustainability of Seafood

Our oceans are facing an unprecedented crisis.

In 2013, The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reported that more than one third of the world’s fish stocks are overfished. This has caused some Canadian grocers to think differently about the sources of the seafood they sell, prompting the development of sustainable seafood policies to help protect our oceans.MSC label

Sustainably wild-caught and responsibly farmed seafood means seafood that is caught or farmed can be raised through aquaculture or maintained at healthy population levels in the wild without harming the ecosystems from which they came.

The average Canadian eats fish once a week. However, research shows the vast majority of us don’t understand the sustainable seafood choices available. For a quick education, read the package, look at the labels, and ask questions.

ASC logoLook for products carrying the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) ecolabel, which indicate that the seafood is certified as sustainably wild-caught or responsibly farmed. MSC is an international non-profit organization that developed the leading environmental standard for independent scientific certification of sustainable and well-managed wild-capture fisheries. ASC is the world’s leading certification and labeling program for responsibly farmed seafood. The more informed we are, the better equipped we will be to make good decisions.


“In 2009, our stores made the commitment to source seafood from 100 per cent sustainable sources and we have been working hard to meet this commitment,” says Melanie Agopian, the senior director of sustainability at Loblaw Companies Limited. “Five years later, nearly 90 per cent of the sales in our core seafood categories range from fully certified, to making meaningful progress, to sustainability. But there is still more work to be done.”

The Loblaw banner stores offer the widest range of MSC and ASC certified sustainably wild-caught and responsibly farmed seafood products in Canada, Agopian points out. During the month of September, you may notice the sustainable seafood campaign, which includes attractive pricing and delicious recipe ideas.

Bowie Seamount, Pacific Ocean, Canada
Bowie Seamount, Pacific Ocean, Canada (photo by Neil McDaniel for WWF Canada)

Information is available at the following online locations: