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Vancouver Aquarium explores struggling Atlantic fisheries and ocean-wise seafood choices with an evening of NFB film and discussion, November 21


Vancouver Aquarium

November 17, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

On November 21 at 7 p.m., the Vancouver Aquarium is offering an evening of National Film Board of Canada films, with two new NFB documentaries that explore Canada’s struggling Atlantic cod and bluefin tuna fisheries.

Winner of the award for Best Atlantic Filmmaker at the Lunenburg Doc Fest for director John Hopkins, Bluefin immerses audiences in a tale of epic stakes set in North Lake, PEI, the “tuna capital of the world,” where the giant mature bluefin is the key to replenishing the decimated stocks of the largest tuna species in the world. Bluefin will screen along with another NFB doc about the fate of a key Atlantic fishery, HAND.LINE.COD., a short documentary set in Fogo Island, by Newfoundland and Labrador director Justin Simms.

In attendance to discuss the films after the screening will be writer/director John Hopkins; Ned Bell, Ocean Wise executive chef at Vancouver Aquarium; fisherman and sustainable fisheries advocate Shaun Strobel; and fisheries scientist Laurenne Schiller, a graduate of the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre and a research analyst with the aquarium’s Ocean Wise team, promoting ocean-friendly seafood. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $15.

Bluefin (56 min.)

Bluefin is a tale of epic stakes set in North Lake, Prince Edward Island, known as the “tuna capital of the world.” Local fishermen swear the spectacular Atlantic bluefin tuna are so plentiful here they literally eat out of people’s hands. But many scientists contend the species is on the brink of collapse. Can both claims be true?

Director John Hopkins documents this baffling mystery in a film filled with stunning cinematography. Astonished fishermen and scientists offer conflicting explanations for the bluefin’s puzzling behaviour and contend that the local abundance of this species could be short-lived, as scientific assessments indicate tuna stocks are down by 90 percent.

Hopkins brings the issues to light and into sharp focus. How much of the oceans’ wildlife should we fish, and how much must we conserve? At the heart of the documentary lies a passionate concern about the giant mature bluefin, the key to replenishing the decimated stocks of the largest tuna species in the world.

HAND.LINE.COD. (13 min.)

Set in the coldest waters surrounding Newfoundland’s rugged Fogo Island, Justin Simms’ short film HAND.LINE.COD. follows a group of “people of the fish”—traditional fishers who catch cod live by hand, by hook and line, one at a time. Their secret mission? To drive up the price of fish. After a 20-year moratorium on North Atlantic cod, the stocks are returning. These fishers are leading a revolution in sustainability, taking their premium product directly to the commercial market for the first time.
Simms takes viewers deep inside the world of the brave fishers returning to past methods that hold tremendous potential for the future. Travel with them from the early morning hours, spend time on the ocean, and witness the intricacies of a 500-year-old tradition that’s making a comeback.


Associated Links

Vancouver Aquarium
Ocean Wise

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.