Get More Sustainable for World Oceans Day

(SQUAMISH) and səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) First Nations AND Halifax/Kjipuktuk, unceded Mi’kmaq territory — This World Oceans Day, SeaChoice calls on Canadian grocers to accelerate their sustainable seafood and social responsibility efforts, following the release of the watchdog’s latest Seafood Progress report. 

Seafood Progress is an online reporting platform for consumers that scores major grocery stores and seafood brands on their sustainable seafood efforts. This year’s report found that although some progress has been made, many grocers have yet to rise to the challenge on a number of fronts. Notably:

  • More than half of grocers’ sustainable seafood commitments — aside from Loblaw’s, METRO’s and FCL’s — fail to cover all seafood in store. 
  • Two grocers, Sobeys and Walmart, failed to report on the total percentage of seafood they sold in the past year that met their sustainability commitments. 
  • Most grocers’ seafood labelling fails to provide the necessary information for consumers to make an informed decision. The exceptions are Buy-Low Foods and METRO.

“Grocery stores are where most Canadians buy their seafood. Therefore, grocers have a significant responsibility to their customers to ensure all the seafood they sell — not just some — is sourced in an environmentally and socially responsible way,” said SeaChoice Supply Chain Analyst Dana Cleaveley.

“We know that consumers want greater transparency from businesses about the seafood they buy. For example, our polls over the years have confirmed that Canadians want more information on seafood labels — such as whether it’s farmed or wild, and where it actually came from. So, it’s time for grocers to step up to the plate,” Cleaveley said.

On a celebratory note, consumers can now find out a whole lot more about what Costco is up to. The retail giant engaged with SeaChoice for the first time since the inception of Seafood Progress in 2018, and as a result, its overall score increased by nearly 50 per cent. Costco also reported on the overall percentage of seafood sold that was in line with its commitment for the first time through Seafood Progress this year. 

“This World Oceans Day, we encourage Canadians to go to and tell their grocer to do better. It’s a simple action that can make a big difference to our blue planet, with just a few clicks,” Cleaveley said. 

About SeaChoice:

SeaChoice is a science-based, solutions-focused influencer, advocate and watchdog leading the next evolution of seafood sustainability in Canada. Launched in 2006, SeaChoice was created to increase consumer awareness around seafood sustainability in Canada with the primary goal of shifting seafood procurement and consumption to more sustainable options. 

SeaChoice is a member organization of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and is a collaboration of three internationally recognized organizations: the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society.  

About Seafood Progress:

Seafood Progress is a platform that SeaChoice has used to report on major Canadian grocers’ performance against their commitments to sustainable and socially responsible seafood since 2018. This year, SeaChoice expanded its platform to house some of the most prevalent seafood brands sold in the Canadian market. 

Background: 2022 Report on Grocers