The Canadian seafood industry is collaborating with the government of Canada to ensure that the industry remains competitive in the global marketplace and to prevent seafood fraud in order to protect consumers and fisheries. This includes taking steps to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), along with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has launched a consultation on a discussion paper that will shape the development of proposals to enhance boat-to-plate traceability of fish and seafood in Canada. The purpose of the consultation is to support the December 2019 mandate commitment to develop a boat-to-plate traceability program that will help Canadian fishers better market their products.
After engaging with stakeholders in the fish and seafood sector, the discussion paper was developed. The various stakeholders included the industry, indigenous organizations, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and other levels of government. The Canadian government is now seeking feedback on the discussion paper from a range of stakeholders, including consumers. This will give the government an opportunity to review the traceability systems currently in place and to understand how they may be further developed to better respond to stakeholder's needs, including those of the consumer and industry.
Canadians and interested stakeholders are invited to share their views on three key themes explored in the discussion paper:
- Consumer protection and food safety (as it relates to fish and seafood)
- Sustainability and fisheries management related to traceability and combatting global illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing
- Market access, trade, and marketing of Canadian fish and seafood
The 120-day comment period is open until December 11, 2021.
The boat-to-plate traceability is operating in tandem with the Canadian government's 2019 investment of $24.4 million over 5 years, under the Food Policy for Canada, to uplift the federal capacity to tackle food fraud in order to protect consumers from deception and companies from unfair competition. With this funding, the CFIA will conduct inspections, collect samples, test foods for authenticity, and gather intelligence to better target its oversight activities.