Looking to buy seafood
Observe, Record and Report (ORR)
If you see any illegal fisheries activity or illegal fish sales online,
report it as soon as possible at: Observe, Record and Report (ORR)
1-800-465-4336, or your local DFO office.
If you buy seafood from an unlawful source, not only do you run the risk of illness, fines and jail time – you harm the management of fisheries resources for the future.
It is a prime time to enjoy locally caught seafood, but please be aware that it is illegal to purchase seafood that was not harvested in a lawful fishery. If you wish to purchase seafood from anyone, it is your responsibility to ensure that it was lawfully caught under a licence authorizing sale.
Section 35(2) of the Fisheries (General) Regulations: no person shall buy, sell, trade, barter or offer to buy, sell, trade or barter any fish unless it was caught and retained under the authority of a licence for which the Minister has authorized sale.
- Selling or buying seafood illegally may result in significant fines under the Fisheries Act, and/or fines under Provincial legislation. If you are caught purchasing, selling, trading or bartering seafood caught in a fishery where sales are not authorized, you could face fines as high as $100,000, and/or up to two years in jail.
- Depending on handling, processing, transport and storage - buyers of illegal seafood run the risk of ingesting fish that is contaminated or causes food poisoning.
- Illegal fish sales undermine the ability to manage fishery resources in a fair and equitable manner, now and into the future.
- Buying fish over the Internet may be unlawful and a threat to your health.
- Buy seafood from licensed reputable sources.
- If in doubt, ask what fishery the seafood has come from and request to see the commercial licence or Aboriginal Fishery Landing Slip.
- Protect your health - only fish and shellfish caught and sold legally have had health and safety inspections.
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