got to play dress up and paint the town fuschia last night. jesse got me a couple of passes to the sold out opening night and after party gala for projecting change, a film festival focusing on themes of sustainability and the environment.
and i invited my favourite guy in the whole world; someone who makes me smile madly and who makes sure to have on hand my favourite trueblue blueberry juice. so him in a suit, tie and overcoat and me in my LBD and black belted trench, we arrived at the 5th avenue cinemas.
the opening night movie, the end of the line is a documentary about the consequences and the devastating effects of over-fishing. a global catastrophe so huge that if humankind does not pull back, there is the possibility of no more seafood at all by the middle of this century. the world has already depleted around 80% of fish stock.
some scary and eye-opening facts:
01. the newfoundland cod population once the most abundant in the world has been practically decimated. the cod has yet to rebound since the early 90s.
02. hi tech fishing vessels' trawling the ocean floor and devastating the seabed and coral reefs while they sweep. the size of these nets can fit something like 8 jumbo jets. you can just imagine how much fish they do capture in one catch.
03. with the overfishing of larger predator fish, this results in the overpopulation of jellyfish and algae, thus making our waters non-swimmable and undrinkable. with waters brown and murky, this would undoubtedly add to global warming. also experiencing a boom due to the lack of predators are lobsters and shrimp.
04. industrialized nations with their hi-tech boats and huge catches have left in its wake poor local fishermen without jobs or money to feed their families.
05. worldwide politicians setting quotas 3 times more than what scientists recommend to prevent stock collapse.
06. breaking fishing quotas, bluefish tuna are being hoarded and frozen by japan's toyo reizo, the fishing arm of mitsubishi so that when bluefish tuna do become extinct, they've already cornered the market on it. and can jack up the price to whatever they want. the company's weak defense? they were thinking ahead to preserve the supply for their own people.
but all is not lost (yet), this environmental disaster can still be averted. alaska is setting an excellent example by patrolling and seriously going after illegal fishing vessels crossing into their waters. caribbean islands have set up and enforced strict no fishing zones to help sea life rejuvenate.
feeling like "i'm just one person, what can i do?", i found out that i can eat smaller fish or fish that have been certified as sustainable. the organizers even passed out a form letter that you can sign and forward to the president of canadian food inspection agency, calling for the implementation of sustainable seafood labeling on products. (if anyone would like a copy to mail for yourself, let me know)
as much as i love seafood & sushi, i don't want to imagine a world without fish.
the creme de la creme tonight were panelists david suzuki, suzuki foundation's sustainable fisheries analyst scott wallace and 4th generation commercial fisherman wes erikson addressing the attendees after the movie, followed by a q&a.
i was a bit in awe because suzuki is such an icon to vancouverites. such an advocate for the conservation of the environment, one would have to live under a rock the past couple of decades if they haven't heard of him. i can't believe at 73 years of age, suzuki is still such an inspiration and a force to be reckoned with. he doesn't mince words either, calling mitsubishi's bluefin tuna practices "disgusting". i can only hope to be so lively at that age.
after the special guest speakers, everyone at the screening walked down the couple of blocks to the gala at trunk gallery at auto/one to continue with the festivities. qoola had been invited to the gala to give out samples of their delicious fro-yo which is getting quite the notice about town.
lots of dressed up hip young things, cheese and fruit platters and libations from the bar, it was quite the see and be seen schmooze fest. course, with any gala, there's always the goody bags, which included a bath bomb (the purrfect gift for someone who prefers showers to baths), a directory listing sustainable, ocean friendly seafood restaurants, coupons, pens and fridge magnets.
you can call me miss fancy pants.
there's nothing better than leaving a gala at it's most heaving to go grab some food and nerd out a little watching a bit of the bbc series, planet earth, narrated by david attenborough on a large screen, in the comforts of home.
although i couldn't bring myself to watch the animals killing animals scenes, this documentary is simply breathtaking. the cinematography is unbelievably mind-blowing. the earth in all its majestic glory, the awesomeness of nature and the fragility of life. a powerful piece of cinema.