This is Vancouver’s Most Awesome Ocean Conservation Program in 2014

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mostawesome2014 “Human beings are fishing the last 10 percent of shark, swordfish, and tuna on the planet. More and more species and populations are becoming vulnerable, threatened, endangered, and critically endangered through unsustainable fishing practices. Overfishing is the most immediate threat our oceans face today.

But there is also reason to hope: the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program is a difference-maker, putting the power of change into the hands of seafood consumers and industry stakeholders. With the support of visionary chefs, responsible suppliers and retailers, and, above all, informed consumers, Ocean Wise is helping to tip the balance away from extinction. The Ocean Wise symbol on a seafood item lets everyone know that the item has been sustainably harvested. When we make – or demand – that choice, we challenge our favourite restaurants and grocery stores to make a difference.

Last November, Ocean Wise met a major milestone, welcoming Canada’s first Chinese Ocean Wise restaurant, the popular Original Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant. “The Szechuan Chongqing team is especially proud to become an Ocean Wise partner,” says chef and second-generation owner, Robert Wong. “It means a lot to us to become Canada’s first Chinese restaurant and make Ocean Wise choices available to our loyal customers.’

We are slowly beginning to turn the tide in favour of sustainability. Through Marine Protected Areas, cutting-edge fisheries management and support from all stakeholders, some of the challenge fisheries are pulling back from the brink. Lasting change is in the hands of consumers. If we vocally and visibly support sustainable fisheries we enable governments and industries to take the long view, enacting critical policies and taking necessary action. The Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program is playing a leadership role in this shift towards sustainability, helping to keep ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come.”

– V.I.A. reader Charlene Chiang, nominator

Photos: Christine McAvoy
Ocean Wise! Photo: Christine McAvoy
Ocean Wise's Chowder Chowdown event brings together people to celebrate great food, sustainably harvested. Photo: Christine McAvoy
Ocean Wise’s Chowder Chowdown event brings together people to celebrate great food, sustainably harvested. Photo: Christine McAvoy

And seeing as November just happens to be Ocean Wise month, here’s a lil video…

We’re excited that TELUS is helping us bring you the Most Awesome Awards. A longtime friend of V.I.A., TELUS is passionate about giving back to the community by recognizing, celebrating and supporting great community partners, friends and neighbours making a difference in the lives of others. Watch in the coming weeks as we roll out all of the Most Awesome Awards presented by TELUS.

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Bob is our founder and Editor-in-Chief. A family man and outdoors enthusiast in his 3rd decade of publishing, he steers the V.I.A. ship, hosts our 'BC Was Awesome' history TV show and co-hosts our weekly podcast. bobk@vancouverisawesome.com