Raincoast Trading is committed to fishing with integrity and preserving the well-being of our world marine ecosystems. Owned by a fourth generation fishing family, we wholeheartedly support efforts to minimize overfishing, bycatch, habitat damage and problems associated with farmed salmon. Here are some key seafood issues our industry is addressing.
raincoast trading's traceability
As part of our ongoing commitment to quality and sustainability, we have designed a system to track the fish from can to boat. Production codes on the bottom of Raincoast cans are designed to give an expiry date, and we also use them to trace the origin of the fish. With this code we can identify the vessel, captain, name, vessel flag, harvest method, area of capture and trip dates.
This information is critical in substantiating a sustainability claim. We can (and do) give this information to Ocean Conservation groups as part of an auditing system they do.This provides them the tools they need to declare Raincoast Trading a great sustainable seafood choice!
Global consumption of seafood has doubled since the 1970's. Today roughly 130 million tons of seafood is harvested every year. Longlining and other unsustainable fishing methods remove fish and other marine life from the ocean faster than the rate at which they reproduce. It is estimated that 90% of all large, predatory fish are already gone from our oceans since industrialized fishing began. We are now fishing the last 10% of species such as tunas, swordfish, and sharks. [Source: Ocean Wise™]
An estimated 25% of what is caught in commercial fisheries is unintended catch and discarded. Bycatch can include unmarketable species, undersized species, and endangered species. Unfortunately the majority of the animals tossed back overboard do not survive. It is important to understand how your seafood has been harvested. Some fishing gear types, like pelagic or surface longlining and bottom trawling can increase the likelihood and amount of bycatch. [Source: Ocean Wise™]
Certain fishing and farming practices can have negative impacts on critical marine or aquatic habitats. With the loss of crucial habitats such as spawning, nursery, breeding or sheltering areas, many species find it challenging to survive, let alone thrive. Communities such as coral reefs, kelp forests, mangroves and wetlands provide critical habitats for a wide array of organisms and damage to these key areas can have dramatic consequences. [Source: Ocean Wise™]
Farmed salmon is reared in floating net cages, often densely confined areas, which makes it easy for diseases and parasites such as sea lice to spread rapidly among farmed fish populations. To combat disease, antibiotics are often added to the feed, which is believed may contribute to the increase in antibiotic-resistant diseases. Salmon farmers also use chemical dye supplements to enhance the colour of farmed fish flesh so that it resembles the healthy pink colour of wild salmon. What's more, research shows that these farms can cause irreversible environmental degradation. Farmed salmon escape from netcages and threaten wild stocks. These escapees may interbreed and endanger the genetic integrity of the native fish in that area. Farmed salmon also has less nutritional benefits that wild salmon.
All fishing techniques have to address a certain level of bycatch, however the type of harvesting technique determines the typical amount of bycatch associated. Certain fishing techniques are commonly associated with high bycatch such as trawling, dredging and pelagic longlining. Examples of seafood that typically involve high bycatch issues include shrimp, orange roughy, groundfish, scallops and other wild caught shellfish, large pelagic species such as mahi mahi, tuna and swordfish. However many of these species can be harvested with limited bycatch if the fishing method is sustainable. Sustainable fishing techniques associated with low bycatch include trolling, hook and line, pot and traps.
Certain fishing techniques can be associated with habitat damage and negative environmental impacts. Fishing methods that have detrimental effects on marine ecosystems include bottom trawling and dredging. In some cases, trawlers may sweep the same piece of seafloor many times a year, leaving no time for re-growth or recovery. Species that are typically caught by bottom trawl include: orange roughy, cod, shrimp, and ground fish such as flounder and sole. Dredges rake the ocean's bottom habitat creating a disturbance in the seabed in order to sift out the targeted species, typically shellfish. Alternative sustainable fishing methods that limit habitat damage include trolling, hook and line and bottom longlining. [Source: Ocean Wise™]