Stop Seafood Fraud
Canada has a seafood fraud problem
Seafood fraud has been found in 47% of samples tested across Canada
Seafood fraud hurts our health, our wallets and our oceans. In order to stop seafood fraud, the Canadian government must implement full boat-to-plate traceability. This is the only way to ensure all seafood sold in Canada is safe, honestly labelled and legally caught.
Oceana Canada’s national, multi-year investigation is the most comprehensive study of seafood fraud and mislabeling at grocery stores and restaurants ever conducted in Canada. This investigation has shown that almost half of 472 samples – 47 per cent – collected in six Canadian cities from 2017-2019 were mislabelled. This includes testing in Halifax (38% mislabelled,) Montreal (61% mislabelled) ), Ottawa (46% mislabelled), Toronto (59% mislabelled), Vancouver (26% mislabelled) and Victoria (67% mislabelled). Read the full report.
Seafood fraud hurts our health, our oceans, and our wallets. In the latest testing results from Montreal
- Sixteen per cent of the mislabelled samples could have potential health consequences for consumers.
- Fifty-three per cent of the mislabelled samples were endangered, threatened or vulnerable species.
- Forty-eight per cent of the mislabelled samples were labelled as a more expensive variety than the fish actually being sold.
We know how to stop seafood fraud: implementing boat-to-plate traceability. Experience in places like the European Union show traceability rules work to stop fraud and protect both consumers and our oceans. To protect our health, our oceans and our wallets, we are calling on the Canadian government to:
- Trace all seafood from boat to plate: The federal government must commit to putting a traceability system in place that requires the who, what, where, when and how of fishing, processing and distribution to follow all seafood products throughout the supply chain.
- Require catch documentation: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) must work together to require catch documentation for all domestic and imported seafood.
- Introduce traceability verification measures: CFIA must introduce DNA testing for species authentication into its inspection program.
- Improve consumer information: CFIA’s labelling standards must be brought in line with those used in the EU.
Sign our petition to tell CFIA we need full boat-to-plate traceability and join the conversation at #StopSeafoodFraud.
Read the latest report
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Hear from top chefs and industry leaders
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.