How to Find Canadian Seafood

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Salmon R2

Eating more seafood just makes sense — it’s good for your health, your lifestyle, and your budget. And when you Choose Canadian Seafood, you’re also helping your country and tens of thousands of seafood-related jobs and supporting some of the most sustainable seafood production on the planet. Now that’s a smart choice.

But, because Canadian Seafood is in such high demand around the world for its unmatched quality and sustainability, it’s not always easy to find here at home. Consider it a huge compliment to our fish and seafood sector!

To help you out, here are some tips to ensure you bring home delicious, healthy, sustainable Canadian Seafood on your next grocery shopping excursion.

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Check the Labels

Reading food labels is important when you want to make good choices for yourself, your family, and the environment. But, there are so many certifications and terms that it can get a little confusing. So let’s try and un-muddy the waters around seafood labelling in Canada.

Country of Origin:

You’ll see this term on imported, prepackaged fish. The “country of origin” is where the last major changes happened in the processing and packaging stages. That could mean portioning a whole fish into servings or packing it in a can, bag, box, or another container. It doesn’t tell you where the product came from originally, however; the seafood inside could be Canadian but may not be.

Made in Canada:

This one is kind of the opposite of “Country of Origin” — it means the
last substantial transformation of the product happened in Canada, but some ingredients, possibly the fish or shellfish itself, are from other countries. Buying “Made in Canada” seafood products still supports many Canadian businesses connected to the fisheries industry.

Product of Canada:

There’s no mistaking this label! When you see it, that’s your guarantee that all or almost all the major ingredients, packaging & processing, and the labour used to make the seafood product are Canadian. Buy Product of Canada-labelled seafood with pride and confidence!

Stickers In Sobeys & Safeway:

Beginning in October 2022, over 300 Sobeys & Safeway locations nationwide will begin featuring the Choose Canadian Seafood logo on Canadian-produced seafood products such as Artic Char, Salmon, Cod, Trout and more! Keep an eye out for similar in-store promotions and further announcements on our social channels as we expand our campaign into other grocery stores across Canada.

Sobeys Safeway Choose Canadian Seafood Sticker Packaging
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Tacos Plate

Know Your Canadian Fish & Seafood Species

Sometimes it seems there are more names for seafood species than there are fish in the sea!

For example, did you know that black cod isn’t really cod at all? It’s actually sablefish, and some of the best in the world is harvested sustainably off the British Columbia coast. And rock cod — well, that’s actually rockfish, another wonderful Canadian fish.

While it sounds confusing, once you get to know Canadian Seafood on a first-name basis, it’s easy to make the right choice.

Some (but not all!) of the most reliable species of seafood in Canada are:

  • Pickerel (Walleye)
  • Albacore Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Scallop
  • Halibut
  • Trout
  • Oysters
  • Snow Crab
  • Cold Water Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Cod
  • Dungeness Crab
  • Pacific Hake
  • Redfish
  • Rockfish
  • Sablefish (or Black Cod)

The good news is that a 2022 study by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found that 91% of seafood sold in Canada IS labelled and marketed correctly!

If you’re ever in doubt, be sure to ask your seafood counter specialist or restaurant server where their seafood comes from. That’s the best way to be sure you’re getting genuine Canadian Seafood.