Building on the roots of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, the facility’s sustainable seafood program Ocean Wise re-launched as a global ocean conservation organization this week.
The transformation is a natural evolution and “pivotal shift that we’ve been working on for several years,” said John Nightingale, CEO and president of Ocean Wise.
That work, he elaborated, includes “reorganizing ourselves” from being an aquarium with conservation, research and education programs, to a “globally-focused” ocean conservation organization that manages accredited aquariums as well.
But there is still more work to do, he added.
“It’s going to take a deep, transformational change… in humanity’s consciousness to care about and protect our oceans, and we’re in a unique position to help effect that change,” said Nightingale. “To do even more in the name of ocean conservation, we need to build upon our breadth of experience and grow the choir of ocean champions.”
The Ocean Wise brand was created by Vancouver Aquarium as a direct-action program to tackle overfishing. It’s composed of four key areas:
- Aquarium Management — Connecting people directly to ocean stories about aquatic life in Vancouver, Valencia, and potentially other centres around the globe.
- Education — Driven by the preeminent teaching and learning foundations, delivered both in person and through digital channels.
- Engagement — Connecting with even more people to foster interest, awareness and a commitment to change, delivered in partnership with local organizations across Canada and around the globe.
- Research — Providing a foundation of unbiased scientific knowledge through original research by the Coastal Ocean Research Institute, as well as curating and aggregating peer-reviewed research conducted by the scientific community worldwide.
“Our aim is to cultivate our scientific understanding, apply our knowledge, and deliver education-rich experiences of awe and wonder to connect people with a common interest in advancing ocean wisdom,” said Nightingale.