Gone Fishing

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Here on the West Coast, nothing says summer more than fresh, local salmon on the BBQ with some corn and new potatoes! But unfortunately, our oceans are facing a number of threats including overfishing, so how can we, as fish lovers, guarantee the seafood we are consuming is sustainable? The secret, is knowing where our food comes from, so with that being said, I would like to introduce you to my fish supplier and brother-in-law, Mike. Mike is the fisherman in the family and is obviously patient enough to answer all my weird fish questions about where his fish come from. Enjoy our interview!

1. Way back when, I remember seeing your grade 12 yearbook picture with the caption "Gone Fishing" beneath it and thought that was so funny. Fast forward 15 years and your still fishing! What makes you so passionate about fishing? Tell us your story: when did you start? What's your favourite memory about fishing? 

I have always had a passion for fishing. Whether it be fly fishing for trout on a remote lake or cut plugging for salmon off the West Coast. Fishing has always been a challenging hobby for me, but it gets me out of the city and into the great outdoors and it often involves hiking, camping, and boating, which I also enjoy.  Once, on a trip to the Bahamas, I had the opportunity to try bonefishing. Bone fish are very elusive and the added challenge of fishing in a different environment made for a very memorable day, absolutely!

2. Here in B.C. we talk a lot about sustainability, local food and knowing where our food comes from. I love eating your fish because you tell me exactly where it came from! Where do you fish? Why there? And what do you catch?

 Mike in his happy place!

Mike in his happy place!

Fishing off the coast of B.C. is truly a privilege.  Port Renfrew, Haida Gwaii and Hakai Pass offer unbelievable fishing opportunities for salmon, halibut, and ling cod (to name just a few). It’s interesting talking with people from these communities whose ancestors have been fishing in these waters for thousands of years.  They know so much!  If we fish like they do, the fishing will always be good!

3. Programs like Ocean Wise exist to assure consumers that the fish they are eating are ocean-friendly but there are rules and regulations on fisherman regarding how many fish they are allowed to catch etc. What are these regulations? 

There are different catch quotas depending on the area in the Province you are fishing in.  Before you go fishing, you have to check the current regulations for sizes and limits for that area.  

https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/index-eng.html

4. You eat a lot of fish! What's your favourite fish to eat and why? What's your secret recipe? 

I really like ling cod and salmon. Ling cod is a bit more forgiving (than halibut) when cooking and has a nice texture.  Homemade teriyaki salmon is a favourite that I like make with soy sauce, sugar and garlic. 

5. Anything else you would like to share with us regarding fishing?

Tight lines!

It's your turn again! Take the time to get to know your own fishmonger or support fish with the Ocean Wise label.

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Jessica Pirnak