By Kurtis Hayne, SeaChoice Seafood Market Analyst
On July 1st Chef Ned Bell started his journey across Canada – a 74-day cycling tour in support of healthy lakes, rivers and oceans. Fast-forward to September 12th and Ned arrived back in Vancouver having cycled over 8700km at a pace of over 150km per day! The journey concluded at the Vancouver Four Seasons Hotel for a 20th and final event of the trip.
Having followed Ned’s journey, I was excited for him to have completed such an amazing feat. I was also very excited to see how well the journey had been received across the entire country. Having grown up in Alberta, I realize the particular importance of Ned’s tour in places where the idea of “sustainable seafood” may not be as familiar as here on the West Coast. Indeed, Ned mentioned that during his trip the question he was asked over and over was “What is Sustainable Seafood?”
Arriving at the event it was immediately apparent how strong the sustainability movement truly is here in Vancouver. There were many local chefs who are championing the sustainability movement through their outreach and sustainable menus – Ned joined chefs such as Robert Clark of The Fish Counter, Frank Pabst of Blue Water Café and Raw Bar, Quang Dang of West, Tim Bedford from the Vancouver Aquarium and Chef Chris Whittaker of Forage, among others, to create delicious sustainable seafood dishes such as Kuterra Salmon Blossoms and a Northern Divine sturgeon Tostada. In addition to Lana and myself from SeaChoice there was a large contingent of Ocean Wise staff supporting the event and a who’s who of Vancouver personalities attending including the “Lobster Guy” Fabian Bates, Fred Lee, Dawn Chubai and Mayor Gregor Robertson.
For me the most striking, and inspiring thing I experienced during the night was the camaraderie of everyone involved. There was a mutual respect and admiration for our local watersheds and a shared need to help protect them. It was indeed this camaraderie that made such an ambitious pursuit as the Chefs for Oceans tour able to be so successful. Such teamwork will continue to be needed to accomplish Ned’s goals of creating accessible sustainable seafood for all Canadians within the next ten years and the creation of a National Sustainable Seafood Day here in Canada.