Stop Seafood Fraud
The seafood Canadians eat should be safe, legally caught and honestly labelled.
By doing a better job of tracing seafood from boat to plate and providing consumers with accurate information, the Canadian government can help ensure the choices we make are healthier for ourselves and our oceans.
Canadians enjoy seafood and care about where their food comes from. Unfortunately, we are routinely given little to no information about the seafood we eat and the details that are provided can be misleading or even fraudulent. This hurts our health, our wallets and our oceans.
Take a stand against seafood fraud. Sign the petition.
Oceana Canada’s latest report, Mystery Fish: Seafood Fraud in Canada and How to Stop It, and results from seafood testing in our nation’s capital reveal alarming levels of fraud. Almost half of Ottawa seafood samples tested—45 out of 98—were mislabelled.
An increasing amount of seafood is shipped from overseas—estimates suggest that up to 80 per cent of what is consumed in Canada may be imported. This seafood follows a complex path from a fishing vessel to our plate, with a risk of fraud and mislabelling at each step along the way.
Seafood fraud includes any dishonest activity that misrepresents the product being purchased, including the practice of substituting one type of fish for another. Species substitution includes selling cheaper, less desirable species as more expensive ones, mislabelling farmed products as wild-caught or selling black market fish as legally caught.
This “bait and switch” impacts public health and safety, cheats consumers, hurts honest, law-abiding fishers and seafood businesses and undermines the environmental and economic sustainability of Canada’s fisheries. It can even mask global human rights abuses by creating a market for illegally caught fish.
There is a solution: full boat-to-plate traceability, which means tracking fish through every step from the water to the consumer. Chefs, restaurant owners, seafood industry leaders and thousands of Canadians are joining Oceana Canada and calling on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to make combatting seafood fraud a priority by tracing seafood from boat to plate.
Add your name to the petition. It’s time to stop seafood fraud so we can enjoy our seafood, knowing it is safe, honestly labelled and legally caught.
As part of our efforts to combat seafood fraud in Canada, Oceana Canada will be conducting independent seafood testing in restaurants and grocery stores across Canada.
Read the full report
See results from Ottawa testing
Hear from top chefs and industry leaders
Show your support
Seafood should to be honestly labelled and fully traceable from boat to plate
What We Do
We are an independent charity committed to rebuilding Canada’s oceans by winning policy victories that increase biodiversity and abundance through science-based fisheries management. We do this by running campaigns – leveraging law, science, grassroots mobilization and communications – designed to achieve specific policy outcomes that will make a difference for the health of our oceans. Oceana Canada is focused on stopping overfishing, rebuilding fish populations, reducing bycatch, protecting habitat and ending seafood fraud.
Oceana around the World
We are proud to be affiliated with the international family of Oceana organizations. Oceana, Inc., founded in 2001, is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. The Oceana family includes organizations in Brazil, Belize, Chile, the European Union, Peru, the Philippines and the United States. Globally, Oceana has won more than 100 victories and protected more than 2.5 million square kilometres of habitat.