False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf plans first Harbour Appreciation Day

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Donnie Sananin is inviting everyone to come on down to Vancouver's  False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf on May 24. That’s when the wharf—located northwest of Granville Island, between the Burrard and Granville bridges—will hold its first Harbour Appreciation Day.

The president of the biggest harbour in False Creek told the Georgia Straight that the event aims to boost awareness of the commercial dock and help local fishers who are not getting “due value” for their wild-caught fish. According to Sananin, these fishers are dealing with competition from fish farms and supermarkets.

Sananin encourages people to buy their seafood—specifically, four species of salmon, albacore tuna, and spot prawns—directly from the fishers who use the wharf.

“You can get one on one with the fisherman that caught the fish, and he can show you on a map exactly where it was caught and how it was caught,” Sananin said over the phone.

Harbour Appreciation Day, which kicks off at noon, will include speeches by B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair, Vision Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang, and UFAWU-Unifor safety director Heather Mearns. The band Lost Neutrinos will play from 1 to 4 p.m. Barbecued salmon and albacore tuna burgers will be sold.

The event will also feature the third annual blessing of the fleet by Rev. John Eason, the seaports chaplain at Holy Rosary Cathedral. The fishing vessels will then sail over to the waters off the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, which the Conservative government controversially closed in 2013.

“This is a centuries-old tradition that we’ve just restarted,” Sananin said. “We’re doing it traditional style, because the Catholics are the ones that started this.”

Located at 1505 West 1st Avenue, the wharf is home to around 250 fish boats and pleasure boats. It is also the site of the Go Fish fish and chips shack, and hosted the eighth annual Spot Prawn Festival on May 10.

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