What does sustainably sourced seafood
Fish that are caught or farmed with consideration for the long-term viability of
individual marine species and for the oceans’ ecological balance as a whole
What is the difference between Farm-Raised
and Wild-Caught Fish and why do we sell both?
Farm-raised seafood or “aquaculture” refers to the process of growing seafood in
an enclosed area, either in the ocean or on-land in manmade ponds. Wild-caught seafood
is fish taken directly from its habitat such as a lake, river or ocean. At Loblaw
Companies our retail stores carry both farm-raised and wild-caught seafood to ensure
consumers have a variety of sources to choose from.
What is MSC?
The MSC or Marine Stewardship Council is a “fishery certification program and seafood
eco-label that recognizes and rewards sustainable [wild] fishing.” Loblaw Companies
retail stores carry a significant number of MSC certified products in various departments
and is working with our vendors and MSC to grow that number to offer our customers
as many certified sustainable seafood options as possible
What is WWF?
Loblaw Companies has partnered with WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund Canada) to provide
us with counsel as we move toward meeting our 2013 commitment of 100 per cent sustainable
seafood goal. The mission of this global conservation organization is “to stop the
degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans
live in harmony with nature.” The WWF Network has experience working with retailers
around the world. WWF is facilitating the ‘Aquaculture Dialogues’, a series of roundtables
with aquaculture producers, retailers, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), scientists
and other stakeholders worldwide convened to develop environmental and social standards
for responsible finfish and shellfish aquaculture. The ‘Aquaculture Stewardship
Council’ (ASC), which will become operational in 2011, will be responsible for implementing
the standards developed via the Aquaculture Dialogues.
If I want to buy sustainable seafood,
what options do I have?
Loblaw offers a variety of seafood that is certified as sustainable by MSC. Look
for the blue MSC eco-label. We have been working hard to increase our offerings
so that by year-end 2013 all the seafood products we sell will represent the best
environmental choice in seafood.
Why have you stop selling certain
As stated in our ‘Sustainable Seafood Commitment, Loblaw Companies is committed to procuring all seafood sold in our stores from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. In February 2010 we chose to temporarily stop selling four species groups because some conservation organizations believe they are currently at risk due to overfishing – Chilean sea bass, orange roughy, sharks and skates. (We have never sold Bluefin Tuna nor New Zealand Hoki). When Loblaw Companies is able to purchase any of these species from sustainable sources we will start selling them again. Meanwhile, we encourage consumers to take this opportunity to try other types of wild-caught seafood, especially those products originating from MSC-certified fisheries.
Does this mean that fish will be more expensive at Loblaw stores now?
As we work to find sustainable sources for the seafood we sell, in some cases prices will increase, but not for all seafood. For example, wild seafood costs are already on the rise as the sources are being depleted. Better harvest planning, responsible fishing and independent auditing may add some expense. In the long run, however, supporting sustainable seafood is in the best interest of multiple generations of consumers, fishing communities and the marine environment. Careful fish and shellfish conservation will preserve our opportunity for consuming seafood in the future.
As the largest retailer in Canada, how will this change impact Canadian fishermen?
Loblaw has been informing our vendors about our sustainable seafood policy. We are asking them to assist us in identifying the fisheries from which the products they are supplying us with originate. Fishermen in Canada and elsewhere who have not adopted responsible fishing practices will be asked to make the improvements necessary to achieve certification. In the long term we anticipate that the Loblaw Sustainable Seafood Initiative will foster a healthier and more enduring fishing industry in Canada and beyond.