Labelling Requirements for Fish and Fish Products
Additional Terms

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Descriptive terms are required on some prepacked fish products:

  • In the case of canned fish, descriptive terms must be printed in the letters not less than one-half of the letters used for the common name [25(3), FIR].
  • In the case of fish, other than canned fish, descriptive terms are required if their absence would make the label false, misleading or deceptive [27, FIR].

For instance, uniform rectangular portions of breaded minced fish require "made from minced fish"/ "fait de poisson haché" in close proximity to the common name, and in letters not less than one-half of the letters used for the common name [51(4), FIR].

Canned Tuna

The labels of all cans of tuna must indicate the colour of the fish flesh [49, FIR]:

  • "white meat tuna" or "white tuna" (only tuna of the species Thunnus alalunga or Thunnus germo),
  • "light meat tuna" or "light tuna";
  • "dark meat tuna" or "dark tuna".


Each container of whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) must be marked in English or French with the name of the lake of origin of the whitefish, including the name of the province, and the words "dressed whitefish" or "round whitefish" or "whitefish fillets", as the case may be.

Use of Filtered Smoke

For fish processed using filtered smoke, absence of a descriptor indicating the presence of filtered smoke in close proximity to the common name may be considered misleading. Acceptable statements include:

  • "(Colour – optional) preserved with filtered wood smoke" or "(Colour – optional) preserved with purified smoke" or other similar statements identifying clearly that the colour of the fish is not natural but was altered; or,
  • "Processed with filtered wood smoke as a preservative (for color retention - optional)"; or,
  • "Produced using filtered wood smoke"
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