Vancouver, B.C. — A national sustainable seafood day would let all Canadians celebrate the success of Canadian businesses, seafood consumers and organizations in creating a thriving market for sustainable seafood solutions, SeaChoice and Ocean Wise™ said today. SeaChoice and Ocean Wise call on Canadians to join in the sustainable seafood movement to help protect our oceans and the aquatic life within them.
"Canada has three oceans which have given us safe, wild seafood sources for millennia. It is high time we celebrate that fact and raise awareness about the importance of fishing this food source sustainably to ensure social, economic and environmental viability for future generations," says Susanna Fuller, SeaChoice representative from the Ecology Action Centre.
A dedicated sustainable seafood day would bring the issues of overfishing and poor fishing/harvesting methods to the forefront of Canadian minds to help protect our seafood stocks for generations to come.
"Overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices are impacting us all — across Canada and around the world — particularly for those who rely upon seafood for their livelihood," says Mike McDermid, Vancouver Aquarium's partner relations manager for Ocean Wise™. "Designating March 18 as National Sustainable Seafood Day is a critical step we can take towards engaging the public in turning the tide on this issue. Our hope is to bring this concern to the forefront so that we're all considering sustainable choices to help preserve seafood stocks that are quickly depleting."
A national sustainable seafood day would be supported by many Canadians from coast to coast. Executive Chef Ned Bell from the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver strongly supports this day. "I am a father and a chef, as well as a proud and passionate supporter of sustainability. I want to use my platform to educate and continue raising awareness for our lakes, oceans and rivers. 'Globally inspired, locally created' together, we can make a difference," said Chef Bell.
Supporting sustainable seafood has become an economic imperative for Canada's coastal communities.
"Canada has a wonderful seafood heritage, and seafood remains a vital part of the economy in coastal communities. A national sustainable seafood day is a reminder that we must sustain this bountiful resource through good management and conservation," said Bill Wareham, SeaChoice representative from the David Suzuki Foundation.
SeaChoice and Ocean Wise educate Canadians on threats to our oceans and solutions for sustainable fisheries and seafood choices. Since 2006, SeaChoice has helped seafood consumers make informed choices that benefit healthy oceans and supported seafood retailers and suppliers through innovative partnerships. Initiated in 2005, Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program works directly with restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers to ensure they can base their decisions on the most current scientific information to provide smart, sustainable choices for consumers.
The organizations have been at the forefront of educating Canadians about ocean-friendly seafood options and making sure that sustainable seafood is an option in the marketplace. Canadian consumers are making choices to support healthy oceans by choosing sustainable products.
SeaChoice — www.SeaChoice.org
Formed in 2006, SeaChoice is a national program that provides science-based sustainability assessments of seafood and helps Canadian businesses and consumers make sustainable seafood choices. SeaChoice is a joint initiative of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club of BC. Working in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's acclaimed Seafood Watch program, SeaChoice undertakes science-based assessments, provides informative resources for consumers, and supports businesses through collaborative partnerships.
Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise™
The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium's assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. With over 3,100 Ocean Wise partner locations across Canada, Ocean Wise makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come. Learn more at www.oceanwise.ca.
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Lana Gunnlaugson, SeaChoice National Manager
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Linda Nishida, Communications Advisor
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