Don’t Call Me A Snapper!

Sonia - March 28, 2019

europe european union labels oceana canada seafood mislabelling transparency

Did you know that Canada allows more than 200 species of fish to be labelled “snapper”? 100 as rockfish? 125 as crab? 40 as shrimp? 14 as tuna? (source: Oceana Canada’s 2018 report on seafood mislabelling). This might not mean much to you at first… until you realize that each of these 200 species of so-called “snapper” has a different market price, conservation status, and nutritional value.

A critical piece of our mission at Skipper Otto is transparency, and our labels showcase this value. We researched global best practices and standards to help us design our labels. We found that the European Union was a leader in the seafood industry for its stringent labelling requirements.

In the European Union, all unprocessed seafood products (sold in stores and online) must be labelled with the scientific name of the fish as well as information on where and how it was caught. This is a far cry from what happens in Canada where Oceana Canada reports a shocking 44% of seafood is mislabelled in stores—including 100% of snapper!

At Skipper Otto, we find these statistics unacceptable which is why we include so much information on our labels. Every piece of Skipper Otto sustainable Canadian seafood is labelled with:

  • The common name of the species
  • The Latin scientific name of the species
  • Who caught the piece of seafood
  • Where, when, and how they caught it

One of our goals was to design the best possible labels for consumers and we started by taking a look at the best labels we had to reference, which came from the European Union. We provide both the common and the Latin scientific name of each product, so you know exactly what species of fish you’re eating. Scientific names are a critical part of major regulatory systems, including those in the European Union, because they are universally recognized—regardless of language.

Then we went all the way with transparency and traceability. Our labels introduce you to the fisherman who caught your seafood. Each label includes a picture and a bio of your fisherman, so you can even look into the eyes of the person who caught your meal as you’re making it! As a result, our fishermen take pride in their work knowing that at the end of the day, they receive recognition for their catch.

Which label is better?


We love our labels, and we’re proving that food labelling can be done better. If all seafood in Canada had labels like ours, it would go a long way toward stopping seafood fraud and helping consumers make good choices about what to put on their family’s plates.

If I think about buying coffee, meat, vegetables, fruit… What do I want to know? I want to know that what I’m buying is environmentally friendly. I want to know that it was sourced in an ethical manner. I want to know that it’s free of toxins. And most of all, I want to know that the product I’m purchasing is what it says it is on the label! Skipper Otto’s labels answer all these questions. So, at the end of the day, you can feel good about what you serve your family for dinner.

Sonia - March 28, 2019

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Don’t Call Me A Snapper!

Sonia - March 28, 2019

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