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July 1, 2016

Five Sustainable Seafoods You Need to Try

BY: Oceana

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Grilled swordfish
Flickr user: stu_spivack

Want to feed your family something that is delicious, nutritious and sustainable? Wild seafood is a renewable resource that requires minimal freshwater to produce, emits little carbon dioxide, uses no arable land, and produces a lean protein at a cost-per-pound that is lower than other animal proteins.

Canada has the world’s longest coastline and is one of the world’s major fishing nations, but our fish stocks are in bad shape — only a quarter are considered healthy, and the abundance of our marine stocks has declined by 55 per cent since 1970.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your seafood is sustainable. To find seafood that is healthy for the oceans, check with your local grocer and favourite restaurants to see if they buy from sustainable fisheries, or look for the SeaChoice or OceanWise logo. Also look for wild caught fish certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and farmed fish approved by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

A recent survey found that only 53 per cent of Canadians eat seafood regularly. If you enjoy eating seafood, try one of these five sustainable seafood products. 

1. Dungeness crab. Look for Dungeness crab trap caught in Canada, California, Oregon or Washington. Known for its sweet and tender flesh, try this sustainable seafood in pasta recipes or on its own with butter.

2. Sablefish. This white-fleshed fish is considered a delicacy in many countries and is soft-textured and mildly flavoured. A great source of omega 3 fatty acids, sablefish is perfect for grilling, smoking, frying, or serving as sushi.

3. Swordfish. This large fish is often sold as steaks and its relatively firm meat makes it ideal for cooking in ways more fragile fish can’t withstand, like over the grill on skewers. Make sure your swordfish is caught by harpoon or handline and is from Canada or the United States.

4. Hand-dug clams. This tiny seafood is a big source of iron, protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Clams are delicious eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked, fried or in a hearty bowl of clam chowder.

5. Spot prawns. These fascinating prawns are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they start their lives out as male before becoming female. Trap-caught prawns from the Canadian Pacific are considered sustainable, cook quickly and easily and are great in soups, pastas, stir-fries or on their own with butter. 

Canadians deserve to know that all seafood sold in Canada is safe, honestly labelled and legally caught. Join us and add your voice, calling on the Canadian government to implement boat-to-plate traceability so that Canadians can be confident about all seafood.