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Labelling requirements for fish and fish products
Grade name, class name and size designation

Please note that all references to the "Compendium" in this section refer to the Canadian Grade Compendium.

The grade names (definition) and grade requirements for fish (definition) are set out in Volume 8 of the Compendium, while those for imported fish are set out in Volume 9. Unlike other commodities, import grade names for fish are identical to Canadian grade names.

All fish, except frozen gutted Pacific salmon, for which grades are prescribed by the SFCR and that are interprovincially traded, imported or exported must be graded, must meet grade requirements set out in the Compendium and must also be labelled with the applicable grade name [306(1), 306(2)(a), SFCR].

Grading is optional for frozen gutted Pacific salmon. However, when graded and labelled with the applicable grade name, the grade requirements must be adhered to [307(a), SFCR].

The grade name on prepackaged fish, including consumer prepackaged fish, is only required in one official language [205(1), 206(3), SFCR].

For consumer prepackaged fish, the grade name must be shown on the principal display panel (definition) in characters of [312, 319, Schedule 6, SFCR]:

Type height for grade name on consumer prepackaged fish (when net quantity > 900 g)
Item Area of Principal Display Surface Minimum Character Height
1 ≤ 32 cm2 (5 inches2) 1.6 mm (1/16 inch)
2 > 32 cm2 (5 inches2) but ≤ 258 cm2 (40 inches2) 3.2 mm (1/8 inch)
3 > 258 cm2 (40 inches2) but ≤ 645 cm2 (100 inches2) 6.4 mm (1/4 inch)
4 > 645 cm2 (100 inches2) but ≤ 2 580 cm2 (400 inches2) 9.5 mm (3/8 inch)
5 > 2 580 cm2 (400 inches2) 12.7 mm (1/2 inch)

For prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged fish, the grade name must be clearly and prominently shown and readily discernible and legible under customary conditions of purchase and use. When the net quantity of the product is 900 g or less, the grade name must meet a minimum character height of 3.2 mm, similarly to consumer prepackaged fish [208, 319, SFCR].

When a labelled consumer prepackaged fish is placed inside a second container and results in consumer prepackaged fish, the product is not required to bear the grade name on the second container [318, SFCR].

Some prepackaged fish interprovincially traded, imported or exported must show a class name or size designation on the label in close proximity to the grade name, when required by the Volume 8 of the Compendium. Class name and size designation must be presented in a minimum type height of at least 3.2 mm [317, SFCR].

Volume 8 of the Compendium indicates that prepackaged fish outlined in the table below must provide the following information:

Fish product Required information
Pickled split herring Grade name, class name and size designation
Pickled fish other than pickled split herring Grade name and size designation
Bloaters Grade name
Bloater fillets Grade name
Frozen Atlantic smelts Grade name
Atlantic oysters in the shell Grade name
Dried squid Grade name
Pacific salmon Grade name
Whitefish Grade name
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