We may be a landlocked province, but we know Albertans love their seafood.

But overfishing is a terrible threat to the world’s oceans. Approximately 90 per cent of all large predator fish have disappeared. Entire ecosystems are being lost, and researchers have predicted a global fisheries collapse by 2048.

What to do? The solution could be as simple as choosing responsibly sourced, sustainable seafood. And with so many choices available, there’s never been a better time to find sustainable seafood – there are more than 160 restaurants serving up Ocean Wise seafood in Alberta alone! 

Whether you’re shopping for groceries to enjoy a home-cooked mea, or choosing to dine out, here’s a primer to help you navigate some of the major seafood eco-labels and certifications.

Ocean Wise
Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program that assesses aquaculture and wild caught seafood. An eco-logo and best choice recommendation, Ocean Wise works with hundreds of restaurants, markets and suppliers across Canada to source sustainable seafood.

SeaChoice
SeaChoice focuses on ocean health and long-term sustainability. This recommendation program for wildcaught and farmed seafood is based on a traffic light system, with green meaning seafood is abundant, and farmed in an environmentally sustainable way, yellow an alternative when green isn’t available, and red is a big no-no. 

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
All seafood stamped with the MSC ecolabel can be traced to a sustainable fishery through the Marine Stewardship Council, a global international certification and ecolabeling program for wild-caught seafood.

MSC has some great seafood recipes, including Canadian smoked seafood chowder, Hawaiian ahi poke, and crab and tomato tinguine.

Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)
Best Aquaculture Practices is an independent international certification system covering everything from environmental and social responsibility to animal welfare and food safety. A voluntary certification program, BAP standards are used to assess farms, hatcheries, feed mills, seafood processing plants and other facilities. 

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)
Aquaculture Stewardship Council is an independent not-for-profit organization whose global certification and labeling program promotes best environmental and social choices for buying responsibly farmed seafood. Founded by WWF and the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative, ASC-certified products can be found at Real Canadian Superstores across Alberta.

Here are the 14 most sustainable things to eat this summer: 

  • B.C. albacore tuna 
  • B.C. sablefish (black cod) 
  • Closed system farmed Arctic char
  • Closed system farmed rainbow trout
  • Farmed oysters, clams and scallops
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Pacific cod
  • Pacific halibut
  • Wild B.C. spot prawns
  • Walleye
  • Wild salmon

 

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