Ocean Wise has officially recommended Ontario-farmed rainbow trout as a sustainable seafood choice.
The popular Vancouver-based conservation program endorses all rainbow and steelhead trout grown in floating net-pens and flow-through systems in Ontario based on their low environmental impact.
Before making this recommendation specific to Ontario producers, Ocean Wise reviewed data pertaining to water quality, habitat impacts, antimicrobial usage, interactions with wild fish, feed ingredients, and escape risk. The review included consultations with third-party scientists with expertise in ecology, fisheries science and aquaculture.
“Ocean Wise’s recommendation is just additional proof that Ontario-raised rainbow trout is one of the most eco-friendly proteins available today,” said Susan Cole, owner of Cole-Munro Trout Farms and president of the Ontario Aquaculture Association. “We are delighted that our sector is being recognized by this renowned non-profit focused on environmental conservation.”
With its roots at the Vancouver Aquarium, Ocean Wise has grown to become a global conservation organization focused on protecting the world’s oceans. Through research and education, they tackle overfishing, climate change, pollution, urban development, and other challenges facing aquatic environments.
“The Ocean Wise seafood program is pleased to be able to recommend Ontario-farmed rainbow trout. This will give consumers the confidence they need to make the best choices for lake, river and ocean health,” said Sophika Kostyniuk, manager of the Ocean Wise Seafood Program. “When someone sees the Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item in a freezer, on a shelf, or in the fresh display case, they know that it has been raised responsibly and met a high standard that is founded in science.”
Ontarians have been farming rainbow trout in land-based facilities since the 1950s and in floating net-pens since 1982. Last year, farmers grew more than 100 million meals of sustainable rainbow trout in Ontario waters, which is nearly double from five years ago.
“Even though we’re growing more rainbow trout than ever before, we still aren’t keeping up with market demand within Ontario — let alone exploring our massive export potential,” said RJ Taylor, managing director for the Ontario Aquaculture Association.
“This Ocean Wise Recommendation goes a long way in demonstrating our sector’s sustainability, which reassures the people and government of Ontario that we’ll be careful stewards of the environment as we continue to grow.”