rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Mike McDermid, Ocean Wise co-ordinator, speaks at the Vancouver Aquarium yesterday about sustainable seafood choices to mark the program’s third anniversary.

A seafood buffet might seem like an odd thing for the Vancouver Aquarium to offer its guests at the anniversary celebration of one of its programs.

But yesterday’s event, marking the third year of the aquarium’s Ocean Wise seafood conservation program, was all about putting fish on your plate — sustainably.

Ocean Wise has teamed up with restaurants and markets around Canada to help consumers make environmentally friendly seafood choices.

Mike McDermid, program co-ordinator, said transitioning to sustainable eating practices is easy, economical and delicious.

“People like to be part of the solution, they don’t like to be part of the problem,” said McDermid. “The fishing industry is very much dictated by public demand, so what consumers are buying is what fishermen will go catch.”

He said nearly 70 per cent of all seafood bought in North America is purchased through restaurants.

“We really do need to start thinking about where our food is coming from and what impact that’s having on the environment,” he said. “If we change our levels of exploitation we can change (the future).”

Eating wisely

  • McDermid said examples of poor seafood options are Chilean sea bass, tiger prawns and bluefin tuna.

  • Instead, consumers should be looking for local options like Dungeness crab, sablefish, spot prawns and farmed clams.

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