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Sustainability is often a journey for businesses hoping to do right by their customers and the environment. We’re thrilled that Joey’s Seafood has taken its next step and is now one of the newest Ocean Wise partners. With 59 locations across the country, they’re the largest seafood chain in Canada and a great addition to our ever-growing options for ocean-friendly eating.

To celebrate Ocean Wise Month we asked Andy Taylor, president of Joey’s Seafood Restaurant, to share the company’s journey to sustainability.  

Fish and chips are a Joey's favourite.

Fish and chips are a Joey’s favourite.

I first became interested in seafood sustainability in a business sense in 2003 as the result of a study on wild and farmed salmon PCB contamination. For a brief time, salmon was in the news around the world and a lot of mud was being slung about one of Canada’s favorite fish. In fact, Joey’s was targeted by a worldwide environmental organization protest in Campbell River, B.C. There were wildly varying interpretations of the study at both ends of the spectrum that had more to do with the stakeholder’s bias than the science behind the study.

I ordered the study and began learning about the science of fishing and aquaculture from the source. It didn’t take long to realize how complicated the world of seafood is and how difficult it would be to take a meaningful stance as a company. We’re not the kind of company to make hollow announcements about how sustainable we are just for some marketing purpose.

Fast forward to February 2015, when I attended the Seafood Sustainability conference in New Orleans. Rubbing shoulders with the scientific and social leadership of the sustainability movement was extremely enlightening and the sense of optimism that progress was being made was a little surprising. Even more surprising was the unanimity of agreement in the necessity for the development of sustainable aquaculture. How else to feed the world’s population growth?

Joey's fish tacos — now Ocean Wise.

Joey’s fish tacos — now Ocean Wise.

At these meetings I was able to get to understand the various sustainability programs available to restaurants. After getting to know more about Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program in the months following I was able to understand how they were a great fit for us and I hope we are a good fit for them too!

We had made a lot of progress before joining Ocean Wise and were able to start off with 70 per cent of our seafood already recommended by Ocean Wise. By working with both Ocean Wise and our suppliers we expect to reach 100 per cent in the coming years.

Best of all, we’ll still have seafood to sell a generation from now!

Andy Taylor

With locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, Joey’s brings their friendly, just-around-the-corner atmosphere to thousands of Canadians. Ocean Wise dishes on their menu include Joey’s famous fish & chips, the seafood crunch sushi roll, snow crab, clam chowder, mussels and basa. To find the Joey’s Seafood Restaurant nearest to you, download the Ocean Wise mobile app.

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