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Afishionado Fishmongers is devoted to providing sustainable seafood to consumers all across Atlantic Canada. They have decided to follow sustainable fish sourcing practices, using Ocean Wise as an auditor to ensure that all the fish sold is done with Sustainability as its main goal.
Afishionado is a wholesale and retail fresh/frozen seafood provider. Lead by Hana Nelson, she works alongside her team of marine biologists, aqua culturists, innovation and sales team, and their vetted fish suppliers, to supply transparent and sustainably sourced seafood -mostly local- to restaurants in Atlantic Canada and can be bought within their storefront online or instore by the individual consumer. They do this through vetting local companies and with help from OceanWise, which provides a recommendation audited guide to a fisheries abundance and catch methods, as well as aqua culturists and local based fishers. Afishionado also prides themselves on the educational aspect of environmental issues, low impact fishing, sustainability, as well as social issues like 2SLGBTQ+ issues, and indigenous rights issues.
In 2007 the Owner of Afishionado, Hana Nelson, came to Nova Scotia. Upon arrival, she realized there wasn’t any seafood within the local farmers markets, which represents the pinnacle for buying local. Living on the ocean, one would hope and expect for the use of the resources available practiced through sustainable methods, although that wasn’t the case. Hana saw this a major problem and created Afishionado. The main goal of Afishionado is not sales of fish but the education and movement of sustainable fishing. “ Sure, you can get a piece of Halibut for really cheap if they are selling you Haddock. But that brings the question what are you eating?”~ Harrison Callaghan.
A big problem in the world right now -that many people are not even aware of- is the intensity of fish fraud. Bigger corporations are selling cheaper fish off as fish that look similar/ are similar in taste which causes a problem of not knowing what you are eating or where it is coming from. Companies like Afishionado provide a sense of comfort to consumers being able to learn about what they are eating and where they are getting their fish from. Afishionado is one of, if not the foremost dedicated company with respect to fully transparent, sustainability sourced seafood in the Atlantic regions, this helps with maintaining manageable quotas for overall fish health, and the overall health of consumers. Afishionado as a company is not money motivated, but as a result being such an honest company, they have received loyal business from many restaurants and individual consumers, and in turn people are supporting local as well! They even have developed a monthly seafood box for the individual consumer to purchase!
As a societal and environmental impact, Afishionado’s main goal as a company is to educate the public and improve sustainable practices in the fishing/ capturing of seafood. As Marine/ environment lovers they contribute to healthy finishing quotas, ethical capture, and urge everyone question where they are getting their seafood. “ whether this leads you to Afishonado or not, question where your fish is coming from, make sure you know what you are eating ”~ Harrison Callaghan.
Because of the Pandemic wholesales took a hit with restaurants closed, but the retail side boomed especially with the push to shop local, and the shift of environmental impact/education during the pandemic. “With the new Netflix show Seaspiracy and documentaries like that coming out, people are finally realizing that something needs to be done. They are questioning where all their food is coming from” ~ Harrison Callaghan. Their short term plan is similar to their long term plan, Afishionado will continue their mission of sustainability and traceable seafood, and continue to keep their vetted suppliers, as well as continue to research other fisheries (ocean and land) as time continues, while continuing to think of new innovative ideas like the monthly seafood box.
While in the interview, Harrison mentioned that truly the only thought in mind when working for Afishionado is Sustainability. Making sure to preserve that identity is the biggest challenge that Afishionado faces. Every decision is made with sustainability in mind. As Afishianado continues to grow into the rest of Canada, it has been made very clear that it will Primarily look to make sure that there are positive impacts around their decision. The business benefit is looked at second to none other than sustainability.
With regards to the social sustainability aspect of Afishionado, most arguably one of the crucial parts is the local aspect. Afishionados ability to supply the Atlantic regions, with the fresh seafood that comes from that region, fully embodies what it means to strive for that community-minded sustainable sourcing of food that is so desperately lacking. Sustainability is a measure of longevity, and that correlates to not just the environmental aspects, but to the societal impacts as well.
It is not hard to grasp the positive environmental impacts practiced by Afishionado; as there is an abundance. Utilizing their business strategy, they’re able to effectively distribute local, fresh, sustainability sourced seafood. Through reducing the strain on the environment, not only is Afishionado setting a prime example of practices that produce a strong benefit to the community and the environment, but they’re setting an example that if practiced by the majority, could prove remarkably beneficial.
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Harrison Callaghan, Sales and Marketing Manager
Afishionado Fishmongers is a transparent and sustainability based company with the goal of providing fresh low-impact fishing traditions to the plates of consumers and businesses in Atlantic Canada. They follow Ocean Wise, a sort of fishery auditor to select sustainable, local and ethical seafood.