A recent survey by Oceana Canada found that eight out of 10 of us agree that fishing is an important part of our Canadian identity. While you may think fishing is important, how much do you really know about Canadian fisheries? Read on to impress your friends and family by sharing these fun facts at your next cocktail party or gathering.
1. We are in the top 25 fish-producing countries in the world. Canada has the world’s longest coastline and is responsible for 2.76 million square kilometres of ocean. This real estate makes us one of the world’s major fishing nations, catching 1.1 million metric tonnes of fish each year and consistently ranking within the top 25 fish-producing countries in the world.
2. Our fisheries produce delicious and nutritious low-cost food. Wild seafood is a renewable resource that requires minimal freshwater to produce, emits little carbon dioxide, uses no arable land and produces a lean protein at a cost-per-pound that is lower than other animal proteins.
3. They’re part of our everyday life. Fishing weaves into Canadians’ lives in many ways — 53 per cent of us eat seafood regularly, 23 per cent of us fish for recreation and 8 per cent know someone who works in the commercial fishing sector. While men are more likely to fish recreationally, one in five Canadian women also enjoy the sport.
4. They’re in trouble. Canadian fish stocks are in bad shape — only 24 per cent are considered healthy, and the abundance of our marine stocks has declined by 55 per cent since 1970.
5. You can help. Eat sustainable seafood by buying products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or with the SeaChoice logo, or look for farmed fish approved by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Start a conversation with your loved ones in person or on social media, or join an organization that protects our fisheries, like Oceana Canada.