Celebrate Ocean Wise Month: Choose sustainable seafood

Our oceans, lakes and rivers are being depleted of fish and seafood. That’s why it’s so important to join the sustainable seafood movement.

Ocean Wise Month, happening all November, is here to help.

The biggest issue our oceans face today: overfishing. According to Ocean Wise Vancouver Aquarium conservtion program, research shows that 90 per cent of the world’s assessed fish stocks are currently overexploited or at capacity.

One of the best ways to help reduce the impacts of overfishing - eat sustainably, by looking for the Ocean Wise symbol on seafood choices.

Ann-Marie Copping, Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise program manager says, "Every decision to eat sustainable seafood contributes to the collective movement of reducing overfishing. It’s a collaborative effort that includes programs like Ocean Wise, our partners, the fishing and aquaculture industries and consumers. Our partners are helping to lead the charge and this month is about celebrating the ongoing change we’re all effecting.

Canada’s most recognizable sustainable seafood program may have begun as an initiative involving 16 chefs back in 2005, but has now expanded to include more than 650 partners with locations from Victoria to St. John’s.

But how to know what to choose? To help guide you when you’re shopping at the market or dining out, Ocean Wise has put together a list.

Top 10 ocean-friendly fish & seafood choices:

- Albacore tuna — BC & North Atlantic pole or troll caught
- Dungeness crab — BC trap caught
- Pacific halibut —BC bottom longline or handline caught
- Pacific sardine —BC purse seine caught
- Salmon (chum, pink, sockeye) —BC seine, gillnet or troll caught
- Shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters, scallops) —Nationwide farmed
- Shrimp (spot prawns, sidestripe, humpback, pink)— B.C. trap caught
- Walleye/Pickerel —Lakes Erie, Huron & Ontario bottom gillnet or trap net caught
- Sturgeon – Nationwide closed-system farmed
- Yellow perch —Lake Erie, Huron, Ontario & Superior bottom gillnet or trap net caught

And check out all the restaurants, many located right in the downtown core, serving sustainable seafood.

Toronto restaurants serving Ocean Wise certified seafood:

The Badali
Bar Verde
Cactus Club
Café Boulud at Four Seasons Toronto
The Carlu Centre
Duke of Devon
Duke of Richmond
Duke of Somerset
Duke of Westminster
Earls - King St
East Thirty-Six -100% Ocean Wise
George Restaurant
Hawthorne Food and Drink - 100% Ocean Wise
Joey Eaton Centre
Luma Restaurant
Locale Mercatto 
Mercatto - College St
Mercatto - Toronto St
Milestones - Dundas Sq
Milestones - Festival Hall
O&B Canteen
Osgoode Hall Restaurant
Pearl Diver
Soho House Toronto
Trattoria Mercatto
Trios Bistro at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel
Tundra Restaurant at The Hilton Hotel Toronto
Woods Restaurant and Bar

And that's not all. A fun way to throw your support behind sustainable seafood –The Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown event is taking place at The Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District on on Tuesday, November 15 at 7pm.

This event features Toronto chefs competing for the title of 2016 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion. Sample a host of ocean-friendly seafood chowders, sip local beer, wine and cocktails, and then vote for your favourite bowl, all in support of sustainable seafood.

Chefs competing this year:

- Chef Kendall Collingridge, Hooked
- Chef de Cuisine Joshua Dyer, Distillery Events  
- Chef Shaun Edmonstone, Bruce Wine Bar
- Executive Chef Matt Hemmingsen, The Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge Winery
- Culinary Director Daniel Henderson, Chef’s Plate
- Chef Charlotte Langley, Scout Canning
- Chef Cassidy Lim, Colette Grand Cafe
- Executive Chef Marcus Monteiro, Brassaii 
- Executive Chef Doug Neigel, Locale Mercatto
- Chef Jason Reiner, Rosemont General Store
- Chef Rodrigo de Romana, Rodney’s Oyster House 
- Chef Jonathan Viau, Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill

To find out more information about how you can support sustainable seafood, visit OceanWise.ca