Ocean Wise month kicks off in Vancouver


Come November, Canada celebrates Ocean Wise month. So wise up! Every seafood choice we make has a direct impact on the world’s oceans. Now is the time to reacquaint yourself with the fish mongers and restaurants that use sustainable seafood.

Founded by the Vancouver Aquarium in 2005, Ocean Wise promotes sustainable fishery practices while linking like-minded suppliers and restaurateurs with consumers. The goal is to combat rampant overfishing. When you go to buy fish or dine out, you can make sure your choice is sustainable by looking for the Ocean Wise symbol on the menu. In 2012, you also have the option to check using the snappy new Ocean Wise iPhone app.

Yesterday, the Vancouver Aquarium herded media people together for seafood sustainability learning and fun. The event included seafood prep demos by top Vancouver chefs followed by tastings. Steve Pocock of the Sawmill Bay oyster farm and chef Darren Brown of ORU at the Fairmont Pacific Rim taught us how to shuck oysters. As someone who’s rushed my husband to the ER on New Year’s Eve due to bungled oyster shucking, I can only wish I’d attended earlier… Robert Clark, executive chef of the award-winning C Restaurant, talked about the difference between sustainable spot prawns and tiger prawns. In short, spot prawns taste like candy and tiger prawns are comparable to rubber bands. Dylan McCulloch and Ryan Johnson, founders of The Daily Catch fish monger on Commercial demoed how to fillet coho salmon. Until I have a lean mean fish knife, I’ll leave that to the pros. Then we feasted. (Candied cold-smoked salmon with fried capers and lemon mascarpone, plus salmon tartare with cucumber, puffed rice and yuzu, paired with Mission Hill Pinot Noir pictured above.)

Ocean Wise Seafood in Kitsilano

Kitsilano has several sustainable seafood restaurants, including 7 Seas Fish Market, Aphrodite’s, Bishop’s, Oakwood, The Boathouse, Local Public Eatery, etc. Use the app to find more. Or check the Ocean Wise partner list here.

If you’re shopping for fish for dinner, Ocean Wise options (local and sustainable seafood items) include:

  • B.C. & Alaska Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, Sockeye Salmon (seine net, gill or troll caught)
  • B.C. spot prawns (trap caught)
  • Clams, mussels, oysters and scallops (beach or suspension farmed)
  • Albacore tuna, B.C. (poll or troll caught)
  • Pacific cod (bottom longline or trap caught)
  • Pacific halibut (bottom longline or handline caught)

Last modified: November 9, 2012

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