Demand a stop to forced labour in Canada's seafood supply chains

  • by: Oceana Canada
  • recipient: President of the CFIA and the Ministers of Health, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and Agri-Food, Trade and Labour

Right now, our seafood may be hiding a myriad of dark secrets; in complex global seafood supply chains, overfished, mislabelled and endangered fish are all fair game. Forced labourers can work under brutal conditions that violate international human rights standards and illegal practices are left to run rampant.

Join Oceana Canada today and call on the government to #StopSeafoodExploitation.

Seafood is one of the most highly traded food commodities in the world, with notoriously long and opaque supply chains. The prevalence of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices worldwide constitute one of the most serious threats to sustainable fishing and ocean conservation.

There is a solution that helps stop the abuse and rewards good fishing practices and honest fishers: traceable, transparent seafood supply chains. In 2019, the Canadian government pledged to implement boat-to-plate traceability, and in 2021 they further pledged to introduce laws to keep products of forced labour out of Canadian supply chains, yet no concrete action has been taken on either pledge since. That's why we need your help!

Will you sign the petition calling on the Canadian government to implement fully traceable seafood supply chains?

Add your voice today.

To the President of the CFIA and the Ministers of Health, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and Agri-Food, Trade and Labour,

I support the federal government's commitment to implement strong boat-to-plate traceability for seafood and to stop the flow of products from forced labour into Canada. I am concerned about the impact that illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing has on both human rights and marine conservation. I am worried about how opaque seafood supply chains directly contribute to overfishing, threatening the sustainability of marine ecosystems and fish populations; undermines coastal communities' livelihoods and food security; destabilizes the security of maritime states; creates unfair competition for fishers operating legally; and can be associated with human rights violations, drugs, and weapons trafficking and labour rights abuses in the seafood sector.

Many other parts of the world have progressively addressed these grave human rights, economic and environmental issues—some well over a decade ago. The Canadian government committed to taking a first step in improving transparency in seafood supply chains by developing a seafood traceability framework in 2019 and, more recently, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans released a report recommending the implementation of mandatory, electronic, full supply chain traceability in line with that of the European Union. I urge you to act now on your commitment and create a robust and mandatory boat-to-plate traceability system for all seafood caught, farmed or sold in Canada.

We know that seafood is one of the most highly traded food commodities in the world, with notoriously long and complex supply chains. Seafood is routinely harvested and processed by workers in conditions that violate international human rights standards. I am concerned by these human rights violations in our seafood supply chains and stand with the nearly 90 percent of Canadians that want to see laws put in place to prevent products of forced labour being sold in Canada.

I am calling on you to act on the federal government's 2019 mandate letter to establish a boat-to-plate traceability system. I am also calling on you to act on your 2021 commitment to enact legislation preventing products of forced labour from entering Canadian supply chains. By fulfilling this commitment, Canada can help prevent fraud and mislabelling, and block seafood products caught illegally or with inhumane working conditions from entering Canadian supply chains.

Sincerely,
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