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Choosing the Right Species

Fish

To help our consumers make informed choices, Metro provides information regarding each seafood products’ species, fishing region, and fishing method.


Fresh products

Fish product labels

White fish is a healthy choice and perfect if you want to reduce your intake of calories and lipids. To make your fish extra tender, cook it en papillote, in a broth, or with crushed tomatoes.

The scientific name

Common names normally used, such as "tuna" can encompass a number of different species, some of which are being overfished (e.g. Bluefin tuna, Thon rouge, Thunnus thynnus) while others are not (e.g. Albacore tuna, Thon germon, Thunnus alalunga). Similar to buying plants or seeds for the garden, the scientific name is a means of confirming that we're talking about the right species.

Fishing area

For some species, stocks may be healthy in a given fishing area but overfished in others. This is the case, for example, with Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), which is currently overfished in Canada, but not in Iceland.

Fishing Method

For a given species in a given region, some fishing techniques may be less ecologically harmful than others (e.g. selective nets that reduce bycatch, or avoid disrupting seabed habitat). These techniques must be promoted.

Species

Certain species of fish and seafood are worth discovering, not only for their taste and their nutritional value, but also because they come from good fishing or farming practices.


Here are some species that meet our sustainability criteria:

Lobster (Homarus americanus)

Fishing area: Northwest Atlantic, Quebec and the Maritime provinces

Fishing method: Traps

More info:

  • Conservation measures increase sustainability.
  • Fishing gear designed to limit he amount of bycatches.
  • Source of revenue for coastal communities in Quebec and Maritime provinces.

Additional information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Lobster


Lobster Recipes to Try


Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis)

Fishing area: Northwest Atlantic, Quebec and Prince Edward Island

Type of fishing: Farmed

Description

  • The blue mussel feeds itself by filtering the nutrients that surround it. It does not require any additional food.
  • It is an aquaculture product and is available all year round.
  • Source of revenue for coastal communities in Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

Additional information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Blue mussel



Northern shrimp (or deep water shrimp, cold water shrimp Pandalus borealis)

Fishing area: Gulf of St-Lawrence, Quebec and the Maritime provinces

Type of fishing: Wild, trawl

Description

  • The resource is managed in a sustainable way thanks to several conservation measures.
  • Fishing gear designed to limit the amount of bycatches.
  • Source of revenue for coastal communities in Quebec and Maritime provinces.

Additional information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Shrimp



Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)

Fishing area: Gulf of St-Lawrence, Quebec

Type of fishing: Trap

Description

  • The resource is managed sustainably.
  • Source of revenue for coastal communities in Quebec.
  • Fishing gear designed to limit the amount of bycatches.

Additional information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Snow crab



Striped bass (X Morone chrysops)

Fishing area: North America, United States

Type of fishing: Farmed

Description

  • Few resources required for its farming.
  • The aquaculture that it comes from provides for fresh and quality products year round.
  • Proximity.


Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus)

Fishing area: North America, Quebec

Type of fishing: Farmed

Description

  • Few resources required for its farming.
  • The aquaculture that it comes from provides for fresh and quality products year round.
  • Source of revenue for Quebec communities.

Additional information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Blue mussel



Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Fishing area: North America, Quebec and Ontario

Type of fishing: Farmed

Description

  • Few resources required for its farming.
  • The aquaculture that it comes from provides for fresh and quality products year round.
  • Source of revenue for Quebec and Ontario communities.

Additional information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Rainbow trout


Rainbow Trout Recipes to Try


American oyster (Crassostrea virginica)

Fishing area: Northwest Atlantic, Maritime provinces and the United States

Type of fishing: Wild and aquaculture, tongs

Description

  • Source of revenue for communities in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
  • Many species, including oysters, feed themselves by filtering water for food particles. They do not require any additional feed in an aquaculture setting making them a sustainable choice!
  • The aquaculture that it comes from provides for fresh and quality products year round.
  • The fishery is highly regulated and has limited environmental impact.

Additional information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, American oyster


Oyster Recipes to Try


Temporarily withdrawn

Metro has decided to stop selling certain species from certain fishing regions for sustainability concerns. We regularly review each of these species and if our sustainability concerns are addressed we may reintroduce the species.

The following species are not being sold by Metro…

Fish Temporarily withdrawn

Atlantic redfish (Sebastes mentella and Sebastes fasciatus only)

Fishing area: Atlantic Ocean

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • The stocks are overfished and fishing mortality is currently too high to promote stock recovery.
  • This species can be taken as bycatch through other fisheries. This affects the species’ ability to recover from overfishing.
  • Overfish in the year rapid and major decline of abundance as a result of overfishing.
  • Both species have long life spans, limiting their ability to recover from overfishing events
  • Both species are considered threatened by COSEWIC

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

Fishing area: All

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Rapid and major decline of abundance as a result of overfishing.
  • The low fecundity, late maturity, fishing and natural mortality threaten the stability and replenishment of the populations.
  • Illegal, undeclared and unregulated fishing (IUU) represents a threat to the conservation of this species.

Grouper (Epinephelinae)

Fishing area: All

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Rapid and major decline of abundance as a result of overfishing.
  • A great deal of uncertainty with respect to these species.
  • High risk of species substitution. The longevity and late maturity of the species decrease its resiliency when faced with commercial fishing pressure.
  • Illegal, undeclared and unregulated fishing (IUU) represents a threat to the conservation of these species.
  • Some species are now under important rebuilding plans.

Hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae)

Fishing area: All

Type of fishing: All

Issues

  • Concerns of overfishing juvenile fish and destructive fishing methods.
  • Stocks may be in decline.
    This species will be re-evaluated shortly when more data is available.

Northern red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus)

Fishing area: West Central Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Species is under management plans to recover from overfishing events. Overfishing still occurring in some populations.
  • Species is a commercial and recreational species important to local economies.
  • There is a real risk of illegal, undocumented and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Northwest atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

Fishing area: Northwest Atlantic Ocean

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Rapid and major decline of abundance as a result of overfishing. The fishery crashed in the early 1990s largely due to overfishing
  • Fishing and natural mortality threaten the stability and replenishment of the populations.
  • In Canada, several populations have a conservation status deemed to be critical.

N.B. Cod coming from the Northeast Atlantic Ocean was not withdrawn because its stocks are deemed to be in good condition.

Orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus)

Fishing area: All

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Species that has been subjected to a major period of overfishing in the past.
  • The low fecundity and very late maturity of the species decrease its resiliency when faced with commercial fishing pressure.
  • Despite management measures taken, there are still doubts as to the long term sustainability of this species.

Parrotfish (Scaridae spp.)

Fishing area: All

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Parrotfish play an important role in their coral reef ecosystems.
  • Parrotfish are often an important source of food for local communities.
  • There is a great deal of uncertainty regarding population health and acceptable fishing limits.
  • There is a risk of illegal, undeclared and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Red mullet (Mullus barbatus)

Fishing area: East Atlantic

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Species is overfished and continues to suffer from overfishing in many areas.
  • Fishing mortality continues to be one of the most important factors affecting population recovery.
  • More data with respect to population health is needed.

Shark

All species

Fishing area: All

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Many species are considered threatened and endangered. Some cases are so severe that the species risks extinction.
  • Long life spans and relatively low productivity affect the species’ ability to sustain high fishing pressure and their recovery from overfishing events.
  • Are often bycatch in other fisheries.
  • Population health data are often missing, making evaluations regarding appropriate fishing pressure difficult.

Skate

All species

Fishing area: All

Issues

  • Many species are considered threatened and endangered. Some cases are so severe that the species risks extinction.
  • Long life spans and relatively low productivity affect the species’ ability to sustain high fishing pressure and their recovery from overfishing events.
  • Are often bycatch in other fisheries.
  • Population health data are often missing, making evaluations regarding appropriate fishing pressure difficult.

Southern red snapper (Lutjanus purpureus)

Fishing area: West Central Atlantic Ocean

Type of fishing: All

Issues:

  • Thought to be fully exploited but data is lacking.
  • Considerable risk of illegal, undeclared and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

White hake (Urophycis tenuis)

Fishing area: Northwest Atlantic Ocean

Type of fishing: All

Issues

  • Overfished in the 1980s
  • High natural mortality is affecting species recovery.
  • Canadian populations are considered threatened and endangered by the federal government.

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