What is RAPSTA?
The first of its kind, our new Rapid Assessment Standard (RAPSTA) is making our rating and recommendation process more accessible and efficient for current and future partners. Developed specifically to be faster and more cost effective, while upholding the same scientific rigour we’re known for, RAPSTA works alongside our existing Ocean Wise Rating system to help assess the sustainability of even more fisheries.
RAPSTA was developed by Dr. Laurenne Schiller, a Liber Ero postdoctoral researcher at Carleton University, in collaboration with Ocean Wise Seafood’s Science Lead, Samantha Renshaw. It pairs publicly available data from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program and Oceana Canada’s Annual Fishery Audit to identify the sustainability of Canadian fisheries and track their progress over time.
Why did we develop RAPSTA?
Since 2005, we’ve been working with restaurants, retailers, and supplies to help consumers make ocean-friendly choices when it comes to their seafood. But challenges, stemming from limited data and capacity, meant numerous Canadian fisheries were unassessed, leaving gaps in our ability to provide the public with information about the sustainability of Canadian seafood products. Now with the speed and convenience of RAPSTA, we can begin to reduce barriers of entry for currently underrepresented sources of seafood and provide yearly assessments – a timescale that can better respond to changes on the water.
The objective of RAPSTA is to give Canadians a more complete understanding of domestic seafood sustainability. We are a fishing nation, and supporting sustainable fisheries means not only protecting and restoring ecosystems but also working to support producers on the water to ensure we have healthy and delicious food on our plates.
Samantha Renshaw - Science Lead
What does RAPSTA mean for the future of sustainable Seafood?
With RAPSTA comes the possibility for the inclusion and assessment of previously excluded small-scale fisheries.
Small-scale fisheries are frequently excluded from sustainability programs, but have the capacity to supply high quality, domestic, sustainable products, while often being local family-run or Indigenous businesses that provide food security and economic/cultural value.
It’s important that consumers have access to as much information as possible in order to make informed and sustainable choices regarding where their seafood comes from. We are committed to engaging with producers from coast to coast to develop best practises that help restore our ocean ecosystems.
fishers who typically operate without boats, or on boats less than 15 meters in length, with relatively low annual catch volumes.
What Does RAPSTA Mean for Our Seafood Partners?
RASPTA seafood items are subject to the same regulations as all other Ocean Wise Recommended Seafood. However, RAPSTA recommended seafood must be reassessed at the start of each calendar year, which may limit the length a product can display the Ocean Wise Recommended logo.
For more information about our Rapid Assessment Standard, please view our full RAPSTA Report
To learn more about which seafood species are RAPSTA Recommended, visit our Seafood Search.