Ocean Wise Fish

A Vancouver Aquarium Conservation Program

Ocean Wise Symbol for Sustainable Menu Items

Ocean Wise Symbol for Sustainable Menu Items

Navigating Sustainable Seafood

Ocean Wise. Seafood Watch. Sea Choice. It’s a confusing world of consumer guides and restaurant programs out there! Here are the basic differences:

Ocean Wise – initiative out of the Vancouver Aquarium that promotes adoption of sustainable seafood in restaurants.

Seafood Watch – consumer guide out of the Monterey Bay Aquarium (American).

Sea Choice – Canadian consumer guide.

How does Ocean Wise define sustainable seafood?

“Sustainable seafood is, very simply, seafood caught in a way that ensures the health of the ocean for years to come. Ocean Wise choices are species that are:

  • abundant and resilient to fishing pressures
  • managed as part of a comprehensive plan based on current research
  • harvested in ways that limit accidentals bycatch of other, possibly endangered species
  • harvested in ways that limit damage to ocean habitats.

From the Ocean Wise Brochure

What is the Ocean Wise Program?

Ocean Wise is a free voluntary program for restaurants that want to serve sustainable seafood. The whole menu doesn’t have to make the switch, but at least one unsustainable item has to be removed or replaced (every six months), and sustainable options highlighted so customers can clearly identify ocean-friendly choices.

The Vancouver Aquarium lists participating restaurants in their Ocean Wise directory, provides training sessions for staff, media resources, and access to an extensive network of chefs committed to sustainable seafood.

Participating restaurants:

  • complete an assessment of their menu
  • remove at least one unsustainable option
  • use the Ocean Wise logo on sustainable menu options
  • commit to removing an additional unsustainable item every six months
  • participate in information sessions for front line and kitchen staff
  • commit to keeping staff informed of Ocean Wise info

Check out the Ocean Wise Restaurant Directory here.

Sushi Bento Express is going to offer sustainable sushi options, and they’ve agreed to labeling their menu – they’re only a few steps away from being Ocean Wise! I’m going to bring the information that I have on Ocean Wise to the folks at Sushi Bento Express – maybe they’ll take those last steps and be the first small sushi spot in Vancouver to be Ocean Wise.

Originally posted at 3rdWhale.com


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