The Vancouver Aquarium is readying for a pivotal shift with the launch of a new worldwide conservation organization.
It’s a transformation, Ocean Wise CEO and president Dr. John Nightingale said, that’s been 61 years in the making.
“This is a pivotal shift that we’ve been working on for several years, reorganizing ourselves from being an aquarium with conservation, research and education programs to a globally-focused ocean conservation organization that also manages accredited aquariums,” Nightingale said.
“In many ways, we’ve been working towards this transformation for decades, connecting more and more people to care about our oceans and providing direct-action solutions to help slow the changes taking place on our blue planet.”
Ocean Wise Chair Randy Pratt said they’re making the shift from being an aquarium dedicated to conservation, research and education to a global conservation organization.
The Vancouver Aquarium will continue as it is but the organization that encompasses it will be known as Ocean Wise. It’s a brand already familiar to many Canadians as a sustainable seafood program created by the Vancouver Aquarium as a direct-action program to tackle overfishing.
“Let’s name the organization for what we want people to be,” Nightingale said. “We want everyone on earth to be aware of how important the world’s oceans are.”
In addition to the importance of world’s oceans, their goal is also to show how threatened they are and what everyone can do about reaching as many of the world’s 7.5 billion inhabitants.
To help in achieving their goal, Ocean Wise has created a new digital engagement platform Ocean.org. The online tool uses storytelling and interactive programs to engage and enlighten the viewer with topics like the problem with micro-plastics found in exfoliating products to the solution — making your own eco-friendly version.
“It’s going to take a deep, transformational change – a sea change – in humanity’s consciousness to care about and protect our oceans, and we’re in a unique position to help effect that change,” Nightingale said.
“To do even more in the name of ocean conservation, we need to build upon our breadth of experience and grow the choir of ocean champions.”
~ with files from Linda Aylesworth