Fresh sockeye salmon is cut and ready to be canned. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: Fish fraud and job losses

Mislabelling Canadian seafood due to a complex supply chain hurts jobs and customer trust

A recent study reminded us North Coasters not to take our access to fish for granted — but while we may be safe from fish mislabelling, our jobs aren’t from one of the biggest factors in how seafood products get mislabelled in the first place.

Without a doubt it has been a rough couple years with sockeye salmon stocks on the Skeena River, and tighter limitations on chinook and halibut in the marine areas, but if you ask anyone on the street where they get their seafood from the answer is usually — I get it from my village, I fish it myself, or I have a friend.

Last week, Oceana Canada, a lobbyist group that says it campaigns for increased fisheries management transparency and recovery of depleted fish populations, revealed that 44 per cent of fish products they had tested across the country were mislabelled.

Nearly 400 samples were collected from restaurants and food retailers in five cities — Prince Rupert wasn’t among them. However, this report serves as a lesson that can be extended to our city.

While Aero Trading proves to have a transparent labelling program that could serve as a model to other fish producers, there is a question on how other seafood production companies ensure traceability.

READ MORE: Is that really tuna? Study suggests 44% of Canadian seafood mislabelled

The Oceana Canada press release on the report reiterated the organization’s call for ‘boat-to-plate traceability’.

“A single fish can cross international borders and change hands multiple times before landing on your plate,” said Robert Hanner, associate professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph in the press release. “A fish caught in Canada may be shipped to China to be gutted, to the U.S. to be breaded, then ultimately appear on shelves back in Canada, but be listed as an American product. With this complex supply chain, misidentification can happen at any stage.”

As companies begin to can seafood products elsewhere — for example, Canfisco shutting down its canning operations in Prince Rupert in 2015 to send locally caught products to be processed in China, and elsewhere, only to be shipped back to Canadian consumers — how much more will this increasingly complex supply chain affect our jobs and the food we eat?

READ MORE: Sad day for Rupert as cannery closes



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Council briefs: Moby Dick owner publicly speaks to Prince Rupert council about her goats

Council heard arguments supporting municipal voting for permanent residents

Researchers to flush Skeena with bright dyes for spill-response study

Kitsumkalum leading effort as rail transport of hazardous materials on the rise

UPDATE: Fate of last house standing from Third Ave. fire in hands of insurance

The second home, located at 941 Third Ave., was demolished due to safety concerns

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

PHOTO GALLERY AND STORY: Spectrum City Dance “cell”ebrates another successful season

“Cindy’s Cell” a comment on technology in the digital age through dance

Prince Rupert sea cadets voyage into a new chapter at their Annual Ceremonial Review

Mayor Lee Brain acted as review officer at the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corp 7 Captain Cook ACR

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Most Read