Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Sea to Fork brings sea change for local fishermen

January 23, 2014

Living Oceans is launching the Sea to Fork program this coming spring to connect Vancouverites with local fishermen and their catch. By buying directly from small-scale fishermen, shoppers will receive the freshest seafood while helping to keep B.C.’s small-scale fishers in business for generations to come.

Jenna Stoner, Sustainable Seafood Campaign Manager

“Sea to Fork will be more than just an excellent source of fresh, high quality seafood; it will foster a sense of community, support food security and protect our oceans,” said Jenna Stoner, Living Oceans Sustainable Seafood Campaign Manager. “It’s just as much about the experience as it is about buying fresh fish.”

Commercial fishing is a tough way to earn a living, but until the 1980s the ocean provided a good livelihood for many of British Columbia’s coastal families. Today however, our ocean heritage and the livelihood of small-scale fishermen are on the endangered list, driven there by the growth of industrial fishing fleets and the companies that control the industry and supply chain. Profits that once flowed into coastal communities now go to corporations and their shareholders. It’s understandable that the next generation isn’t taking up the family business when it’s impossible to make a decent living. The companies often dictate the price that small-scale fishers will get for their catch. That makes it even harder for the small operators who now have to compete with cheap, unsustainable international imports that make up over 80 percent of the seafood available in B.C.

Eating local can include sustainable seafood
Sea to Fork aims to turn that around by giving the people of Vancouver access to the amazing seafood supply at their doorstep. The ocean will benefit too. Industrial fishing isn’t only hard on local fishermen—it’s hard on ocean ecosystems. Small-scale fisheries are usually more environmentally friendly than industrial fleets that focus on high volume landings and result in more bycatch.

With Sea to Fork you can find out first hand where and how your meal was caught.