Buying sustainable seafood helps to replenish the oceans

(NC) — In 2012, The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization reported that more than 70 per cent of the world's fish stocks are fully fished, overfished, or exploited. Our oceans, therefore, are facing an unprecedented crisis and this has caused many Canadian grocers to think differently about the sources of the seafood they sell, including the development of sustainable seafood policies.

Sustainable wild-caught and responsibly farmed fish means that the seafood 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.

Sustainability is not just the number of available fish, it's also about changing the way we farm and catch this food. Certain fishing and farming methods have a negative impact on our oceans by damaging the marine environment. It is important that better methods are put into place and sustainable seafood practices are embraced.

Knowing the origin of the seafood you're eating is important for responsible consumers. The same type of fish can come from different bodies of water, each with its own fishery management system and with different impacts on the environment.

“Education is key – read the package, read the labels and ask questions,” says Melanie Agopian, the senior director of sustainability at Loblaw Companies Limited. “Look for products carrying the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel as it indicates the seafood is sustainably sourced.”

MSC is an international non-profit organization that developed the world's leading environmental standard for independent, third-party scientific certification of sustainable and well-managed wild-capture fisheries. And, many grocery stores, says Agopian, make it easy for you to choose MSC certified products. The more informed you are, the better equipped you'll be to make good decisions.

“In 2009, Loblaw announced the commitment to source 100 per cent of all seafood sold in its stores from sustainable sources – and we have been working hard to meet that pledge. The commitment affects more than 50 per cent of the major in-store departments and all of the canned, frozen, fresh, wild and farmed seafood products, in all categories, across all brands.”

Agopian points out that Loblaw offers more MSC products than any other grocery retailer in Canada. During the month of September, the retailer is spotlighting its Oceans for Tomorrow campaign. Visit your local store, or affiliates Atlantic Superstore Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Zehrs, and Provigo to get some attractive prices on MSC certified sustainable wild-caught seafood products.

You can learn more about sustainable seafood, on any of these websites:,, or


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