Pajo’s Fish and Chips goes Ocean Wise

Pajo’s, a longtime fish ‘n’ chips vendor in Steveston, now offers a menu entirely sourced from sustainable fisheries.  -
Pajo’s, a longtime fish ‘n’ chips vendor in Steveston, now offers a menu entirely sourced from sustainable fisheries.
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A Steveston seafood staple has joined a growing roster of restaurants participating in Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program.

Pajo’s Fish and Chips is now a fully certified partner with the program, having committed to serving seafood entirely sourced from sustainable fish stocks.

“We want to sell fish and chips for eons to come,” said Andrew Stokes, director of operations for Pajo’s. “Also, we float on the water. If we’re not trying to do everything as sustainable as possible, then I don’t think we’re living up to where we operate and what we sell.”

The fish ‘n’ chips chain has four locations, including Garry Point Park and Fisherman’s Wharf in Steveston. It’s now the only 100 per cent Ocean Wise fish ‘n’ chips shop in the Lower Mainland, said Stokes.

Some Ocean Wise restaurants offer just some sustainable options on their menus. But Stokes said he wanted to ensure the entire menu of Pajo’s was Ocean Wise, adding sustainability is an important issue to the team at Pajo’s, which is owned by the Branch family.

“These days I believe customers expect their businesses—the places they choose to spend their money—to do the right thing,” he said. “If we don’t all start getting on this stuff, there won’t be anything for anyone to sell.”

Two other Steveston restaurants are also Ocean Wise partners: Steveston Seafood House on Moncton Street and Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant on Bayview Street.

Ocean Wise aims to help businesses and diners make environmentally-friendly choices when buying seafood. Program co-ordinators work with businesses to help buy sustainable seafood. Those businesses then may display the Ocean Wise logo on their menus or in their stores to allow customers to make sustainable choices.

With problems such as overfishing and habitat damage caused by commercial fishing swirling in the world’s oceans, Ocean Wise began in 2005 at C Restaurant in Vancouver.

According to Ocean Wise, approximately 130 million tons of seafood is harvested each year, and species can’t reproduce fast enough to keep up with fishing. Another major problem of bycatch is caused when marine life is caught unintentionally and then discarded by fishermen because it can’t be marketed. Habitat damage caused by some fishing and farming practices, is also an ongoing threat.

Ocean Wise promotes seafood choices that are abundant and resistant to pressure from the fishing industry, along with well-managed and responsibly-harvested species.

Nearly a dozen other restaurants elsewhere in Richmond have Ocean Wise options, according to the organization’s website: The American Grille, Carmichael’s Restaurant, Cactus Club, Earls, Chop Steakhouse and Bar, Moxie’s Grill and Bar, Apron Restaurant, the Boathouse Restaurant, Pier 73 and Globe@YVR.

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