SeaChoice team member profiles
Across Canada many individuals, working within the various SeaChoice member organizations, directly contribute their time and talents to the development and success of the program. In addition, SeaChoice employs various individuals on a contract basis, and values the participation of dedicated volunteers.
Your full-time SeaChoice staff members are:
After graduating from Environmental Studies at the University of British Columbia, I was thrilled to work with Project Seahorse at the UBC Fisheries Centre and then later with the David Suzuki Foundation Marine and Freshwater Conservation team. In my current position with SeaChoice, I help to manage and oversee the SeaChoice coalition as well as work to help communicate our work to new audiences.
Having grown up in the Prairies, I could not help but be completely overwhelmed in awe of our oceans and this connection drove my interest to learn more about solutions for keeping our oceans healthy. As a seafood lover, I enjoy learning about local sustainable fisheries. A personal favourite of mine is the BC Spot Prawn not only because spot prawns are so tasty, but because I am always fascinated to observe how well managed this fishery is when I go on my annual fishing trip with local fishers.
I completed a Masters degree in Marine Biology at the University of Alberta and the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and since have worked at several NGOs in conservation and education roles. Spending time in the Philippines made me realize the way we depend and interact with our oceans drastically affects how we value and in turn protect them. Returning to Canada I have tried to create interaction and connection between Canadians and our local waters in hopes of fostering an attitude of conservation.
Since then I have worked as a fishmonger at a local fish counter which carries only responsibly-sourced, local seafood and have been impassioned by the growing seafood sustainability movement championed by members throughout the entire supply chain – fishermen, suppliers, retailers and consumers. I am now very excited to work at Seachoice as the Sustainable Seafood Analyst, because it allows me to work with all of these players to create more sustainable seafood options for Canadians.
My favourite of the SeaChoice “best choice” options is either BC Albacore tuna or local farmed mussels. Both of them are delicious and together give a great example of how drastically different local species can be sustainably harvested through proper management.
I’m originally from Ontario, but I’ve always been visiting my family cottage in Hillsburn—a small fishing village on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia—since I was born. Visiting this isolated off-the-grid saltshack by the sea in an intimate lobstering community has deeply connected me to the ocean and the people who rely on it. I’m now the primary caretaker of the property, and I proudly call Nova Scotia home.
I bring to SeaChoice a background in environmental ecology and local food systems, having lived and worked on over 10 small-scale organic farms and studying the social and economic impacts of small-scale agriculture through my Master of Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University’s School for Resource and Environmental Studies in Halifax. Through my work with the Ecology Action Centre’s Marine Program and Off the Hook Community Supported Fishery, I’m applying my passion for and experience in local and sustainable food systems, directly to fisheries. I’m finding a lot of similarities, and am excited to continue ensuring that the value of sustainably caught seafood is fully realized while contributing to thriving coastal communities.
Outside of work you’ll find me at the ice hockey rink, trail running, bouldering, building camp fires, or cooking and sharing good food. My favourite seafood is Atlantic mackerel—hands down. If I’m not catching it myself at the local wharf with friends, I’m out with a friend jigging for this delicious SeaChoice “Best Choice” fish. In season, you’ll often find me cooking up a batch on my smoker!
I have lived on the coast my entire life, either wading in tide pools along the South African coast or exploring the seashore in B.C. This passion for nature and fostering the responsible use of environmental resources has led me to a career focused on trying to ensure that future generations will have the same experiences I did. After completing my B.Sc. in Zoology I went on to obtain a M.Sc. in Fisheries Science at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. My continuing passion for the environment has led me to work with a diverse range of organizations, including academic, government and NGO’s, that all have the same goal in mind.
My role with Seachoice enables me to use the skills I have gained to focus my energy on effecting change where it can make a big difference. Working with a team that takes the science behind fisheries and presents it to the public, businesses, and other stakeholders in such and accessible manner enables people at all levels to make better choices.
Having a father who is a chef has definitely instilled a love of food in me. One of my absolute favourites are spot prawns that are caught in traps off the B.C. coast. Not only are delicious and easy to prepare, but they are also caught in a way that tries to minimize the impact to other species and the environment.
Kurtis Hayne (SeaChoice) – see above profile
Growing up in land-locked Toronto, ON, I suppose my love of the ocean, and desire for its conservation, can probably be traced back to my favourite movie as a child: Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”. The awe and mystery of the oceans has led me on many inspiring journeys, and continues to fuel my passion for ocean conservation and education.
With an undergraduate degree in Aquatic Resource Management and Political Science (St. FX), and a Master’s degree in Marine Management (Dalhousie), I have had the opportunity to focus on many aspects of marine conservation, such as community-based fisheries management and the socio-economic impacts of marine spatial planning. After 5 years of teaching at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University in Busan, South Korea, as well as hosting a weekly marine affairs radio show, I returned to my hometown of Toronto in 2014 to work for Ocean Wise as the Eastern Canada Account Representative.
I am excited to now join the SeaChoice team as the Eastern Canada representative. I am looking forward to continuing on my quest to effect change on the water through promoting sustainable fisheries and educating Canadians on the importance of choosing sustainable seafood to help preserve our delicate ocean ecosystems.
Though I’m allergic to shellfish, a few of my favourite, sustainable sea foods are Rainbow Trout, Sockeye Salmon, and seaweed.
My interest in fish began at a young age. I began fishing at our family cottage in Manitoba at the age of three. Since then I have developed a never ending curiosity about fish and acquired a bachelors degree in zoology from the University of Manitoba. I also acquired an MBA from the University of Manitoba have used my education and experience in the non profit sector to help realize conservation of fish so that the next generations can enjoy the fish well into the future. I have worked for many environmental organizations and currently work as the marine conservation specialist for the David Suzuki Foundation. A large part of my work is dedicated to SeaChoice and the promotion of sustainable seafood in the Canadian marketplace.
I enjoy many different sustainable seafood, but my all time favourite is BC spot prawns fresh out of the trap and sautéed in butter and garlic. Simple and delicious!
I am proud of the work that I do with our SeaChoice partners. By making people more aware of the long term value of ensuring that our fisheries and aquaculture practices are sustainable and by working with retailers to find sustainable sources of seafood I am confident that we are going to improve the health of our oceans. When people become aware of the sustainable options and take the initiative to avoid unsustainable ones, we’re sending a powerful message to producers to do the right thing. It’s exciting to see people getting on board this great initiative.
I was fascinated by the complexities and mysteries of biology in high school and haven’t looked back. After working in Canada’s arctic for a few years as a biologist I returned to grad school to study Pacific salmon. I wanted to better understand how this amazing animal connects diverse ecosystems, from the open Pacific Ocean to small streams and lakes deep in the interior of the continent. I was also intrigued by fisheries management – the last great human hunt and the idea of managing a diverse, variable wild resource to support communities seemed like a real challenge. And it is. Since joining the David Suzuki Foundation in 2005 I’ve been working to improve the conservation of Pacific salmon in Canada and support more sustainable fisheries that benefit our local communities.
It’s hard to pick just one favourite green-listed seafood, but my list of faves would definitely include oysters. A good fresh oyster is like getting a delicious blast of the Pacific Ocean. I don’t think any other seafood provides as much depth of flavour.
By supporting SeaChoice’s strategic planning and providing advice on recommendations for wild Pacific Salmon I know that I’m helping protect important fish species and the places where they live.
As long as I can remember I have always loved the animals and ecosystems associated with water. It was my experience as a fisheries observer on a small gillnet fleet in the Bay of Fundy in the early 1990s that confirmed my suspicions that there was something terribly wrong with how we went about harvesting from the oceans. This lead to a doctoral degree and to the type of work I presently do.
My favourite green-listed seafood is the Pacific sardine. The fishery has little bycatch, conservative catch quotas, and from a budgetary point of view, is inexpensive. Other characteristics included being healthy for you and a low carbon footprint.
My work at SeaChoice as the science coordinator ensures that the appropriate science is being used in our assessments of various fisheries. By informing consumers and retail partners of sustainable seafood preferences we hope to put an end to unsustainable fishing practices.
Growing up in Cape Breton and spending a lot of time on the water and in the ocean has made me appreciate the pure luxury of being able to eat food that is produced from the natural ecosystem. I have to say that a fresh oyster, plucked from the sediments of the Bras D’or Lakes, cannot be beat for taste and experience.
Engaging in SeaChoice has enabled me to make the important link between the economy and the environment when it comes to marine conservation. I am very concerned about the plight of coastal communities as fisheries are industrialized and fish populations decline. Much of the sustainable seafood movement is asking for sustainable options to meet consumer demand, yet unfortunately the benefits of this demand are rarely reaped by the fishermen who are fishing sustainably in the first place.
I’m committed to working to change this through policy change and a market shift to ocean-friendly seafood. My background of growing up in rural Nova Scotia, completing a PhD. in marine biology and having worked on national and international marine policy over the past several years enables me to see the benefits that are possible from an engaged consumer and retail base, particularly when it comes to making real change on the water.