~Steve Johansen, Organic Ocean
Growing up on Hornby Island didn’t leave Steve with much else to do other than to spend time with his Dad on the fishboat which suited him to a tee. As a teenager, Steve was a popular crewman with his pick of deckhand jobs which enabled him to quickly pull together enough money to buy his own fishing vessel.
They saw the threat that large scale, industrial seafood production presented to the sustainability of the resource and the wellbeing of the coastal communities which relied upon the fisheries.
After decades in the industry, Steve, together with his good friend Dane Chauvel, started Organic Ocean in 2008.
About the business: Organic Ocean was created by Steve Johansen and Dane Chauvel with two overriding objectives in mind. First, they wanted to create a supply chain for themselves and their fishing colleagues that would get the finest quality, sustainably harvested seafood to consumers with minimal handling and in the shortest time from bait to plate possible.
And secondly, they wanted to do what they could to draw attention to the plight of the seafood industry in Canada – indeed the world – because of uncontrolled industrial-level harvesting practices which were not paying anywhere near the full cost of their operation.
Much of their seafood is harvested or produced in British Columbia, although they do source some products that are not available locally. The seafood comes from wild capture fisheries, Indigenous harvesters, and responsible aquaculture meeting or exceeding the highest sustainable and socially responsible production standards.
Favourite fishing moment: In late July, 1994, we were trolling for sockeye salmon off of Tsawwassen, fishing along the Canadian/American border, it was a beautiful day. We caught 1100 fish that day, it’s the most fish we’ve ever caught in one day, and it was incredible.