Fish market

Eight ocean conservation organizations have joined forces to launch a social media campaign titled “Be Happy,” in order to promote the importance of choosing sustainable seafood.

Citing that fish caught or farmed in ways that “protect the ocean” as something to “Be Happy” about, the campaign is supported by the Blue Ocean Institute, David Suzuki Foundation, FishWise, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, New England Aquarium, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise, SeaChoice and Shedd Aquarium.

Aiming to inspire consumers to opt for eco-friendly seafood either at the supermarket or when dining out, the Facebook campaign asks people to make a pledge on the site, upload pictures and share stories about their sustainable seafood choices. The ongoing “Fish Face of the Week” program honors the best photos of people making fish faces uploaded to the Facebook page. The site also offers recipe ideas and answers to frequent questions on sustainable fishing methods, and fish trivia.

In a statement from the Be Happy campaign, Kassia Perpich, Sustainable Seafood Manager at the Shedd Aquarium said, “We found that our partners all over North America had the same message – your seafood choices matter and can make a positive difference in the world’s oceans. Be Happy was an ideal opportunity to unite with fellow conservation leaders and share information with each other and families in a fun way.”

Fraudulent sustainable seafood claims have surfaced in recent months, leading ocean conservation groups and consumer advocacy organizations to pressure regulatory agencies and the fishing industry to adopt stricter standards on the term “sustainable” as well as adopt more earnest, environmentally-friendly fishing and farming methods.

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Image: Bien Stephenson