A memorable meal on the School of Fish Foundation’s Floating Dining Room puts a lens on dire state of our oceans while offering a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience


Seafood will become extinct within your lifetime.


How does that statement make you feel?


That idea made my stomach turn several years ago when marine biologists predicted that continual overfishing will result in the “collapse of all world fisheries” by the year 2048.

As an avid seafood lover, I once thought that I was doing the planet a favour by cutting down on my meat consumption—considering its heavy carbon footprint—and opting for marine-based protein. But it wasn’t until recent years that I’ve come to realize the truly distressed state of our oceans and how our food choices impact the delicate balance of life below the water’s surface.


Sustainable seafood, Bayne Sound scallops

Freshly shucked Bayne Sound scallop with warm dashi broth. A good sustainable seafood choice, according to Ocean Wise-partner Seafood Watch.

With the outreach efforts of sustainable seafood organizations such as Ocean Wise, Canadian consumers are now better equipped to make sound dining decisions on the spot. The increasingly prominent Ocean Wise symbol is the Northern Star that point diners to sustainably harvested seafood on restaurant menus.

However, getting the message across on the consumer’s level alone is not enough, according to Shannon Ronalds, the co-founder of the School of Fish Foundation and the deviser of the world’s first floating dining room.


Shannon Ronalds

Shannon Ronalds, co-founder of the School of Fish Foundation.

School of Fish Foundation’s mission

School of Fish Foundation is a non-profit organization that was co-founded by Ronalds and Chef Robert Clark of the ocean-friendly C Restaurant. Its mission is to reach chefs-in-training by implementing sustainable seafood education in culinary schools around the world. The logic is that chefs serve an exponentially greater number of meals and can make a deeper impact on this issue than informed consumers that only shop occasionally for seafood can. In addition, chefs also have a wider audience to reach out to regarding this immediate issue.


Sustainable seafood, BC coho salmon
School of Fish Foundation’s Floating Dining Room serves up Northern BC Coho, Israeli couscous, Oyama chorizo, smashed pea and pea purée.

The foundation provides quality curriculum and practical hands-on training to prepare budding chefs that are about to step foot into the restaurant industry. The new chefs will be confidently equipped with skills and knowledge that are applicable across the global culinary stage. Another incentive for participating is that the graduates will have hiring-priority in the foundation’s many prestigious partner restaurants.