Founded by the Vancouver Aquarium, Ocean Wise is a conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. You’ve most likely spotted the Ocean Wise logo in local restaurant menus and last month, Vancouver’s Szechuan Chongqing restaurant on West Broadway became Canada’s first Ocean Wise restaurant. Now to make your sustainable seafood choice choice even easier, Ocean Wise released an iPhone application in 2011.
The first thing I look for in a dining guide on my iPhone is a feature to see what’s around me right now (like I can do with Yelp). The app has “Restaurants and Markets Near Me” as its first menu option. You’ll need to allow the app to see your current location to provide accurate details otherwise results for all of Canada will appear.
The “Ocean Wise Directory” lists restaurants, retail locations, caterers, private clubs, schools and suppliers. The “Seafood Guide” lets you learn up on species, their region, and their harvest method. For example the wild Northern Anchovy is from the Northwest Pacific Ocean, its harvest method is Purse Seine, and is recommended by Ocean Wise. However the Basa (catfish) is not recommended. It is harvested in open net pens, farmed, and from Cambodia and Vietnam.
The Ocean Wise Gallery is an interesting touch, where you can upload your own photos, but I’m not sure of the relevance unless you can tag your photos for a specific restaurant and then your image will show up in that listing.
For a free app, it packs in a lot of information. I find the Seafood Guide and location-based restaurant options the most helpful. You can pick it up in the app store today, available for iPhone, iPod, iPad.