The Raincoast Speaker Series is a long-running social and educational phenomenon! This winter season, we invite you to join experts from around the world for in-depth discussions about locally, regionally, and globally relevant issues. All from the comfort of your home!
Making up nearly a quarter of all marine species, molluscs are diverse, dynamic and delightful. This year’s winter speaker series will take you on a deep dive into their remarkable world. From their economic value as food and jewelry as far back as we can look, to their use in large-scale efforts to renew and recreate healthy ecosystems now and into the future, mollusks play an important role in countless aspects of our day to day lives. Join us to learn more in a remarkable series of talks featuring leading researchers from around the world!
Experts from around the world….. in your own living room.
Jan 26: Nicole Smith, Sea Gardens of the BC Coast
Feb 9: Ian Riddick, Cooking with Shellfish
Feb 23: Mei Lin Neo, Giant Clams
March 9: JP Hastey, Shellfish Aquaculture
March 23: Melanie Bishop, Oyster Reef
This Series will be via Zoom. RSVP via links below.
Tuesday, January 26th, 6:30 pm
Zoom, please RSVP here
Have you ever tried gardening…in the ocean? At the very lowest tides of the year, you may be treated to a glimpse of a ‘clam garden’. First Nations have been building and caring for these rock-walled terraces for at least 3,500 years. Learn how the Clam Garden Network has been combining many ways of knowing (traditional and scientific) to advance our understanding of local traditional mariculture.
About Nicole Smith: Nicole is a professional archaeologist based in Victoria, B.C. She has been involved in archaeological research on the B.C. coast since 2000, collaborating most closely with First Nations communities, the Hakai Institute, Parks Canada, and colleagues at various universities. Her research interests include traditional resource management practices such as clam gardens and fish traps, the effects of climate change on cultural heritage, bringing archaeology into elementary and highschool classrooms, and seeking out evidence for people living on the coast over 10,000 years ago. She has appeared in productions for the BBC, CBC, and Quirks and Quarks about her team’s work on clam gardens.
Tuesday, February 9th, 6:30 pm
Zoom, please RSVP here
There are few more universal and enduring culinary traditions than our obsession with shellfish. Clams, mussels and oysters have been on the menu since our earliest days as humans. Easily accessible, highly nutritious, abundant and renewable…what’s not to like? While the costs associated with bringing live shellfish to market quickly and safely typically elevate these humble ingredients into a ‘gourmet’ price bracket, some lucky folks need little more than a pair of gumboots, a fishing license and some basic background knowledge to turn a low-tide stroll in the afternoon into a sumptuous feast for dinner. This talk will give even the total neophyte the information to safely, sustainably, respectfully and responsibly harvest, prepare and enjoy some of the finest seafood our coast has to offer.
Join Chef Ian Riddick for a virtual trip behind the counter at Heartwood Kitchen as he shares his tips on cleaning, steaming, shucking and cooking shellfish, and even a recipe or two!
Chef Ian Riddick fell in love with the West Coast of Vancouver Island the first time he visited, paradise for a self-proclaimed “wild food enthusiast”. After spending time in some of Canada’s top kitchens he completed his apprenticeship at the world-renowned King Edward Hotel in Toronto and then moved west to work in resort hotels in Whistler, Sun Peaks and the Rocky Mountains. His next move was to Ucluelet and a solid 6-year tenure at Long Beach Lodge in Tofino as their executive chef. In 2018 he purchased the historic Matterson house and created Heartwood kitchen his culinary workshop. The restaurant is in operation open year-round and adds garden dinning and catering in the summer. In early 2021 Ian and the team at Heartwood will be relaunching Shipwreck pizza and reintroducing dine in service to the Ucluelet lodge building on Main street.
Below are Chef Ian Riddick’s Recipes made for this event:
Tuesday, February 23rd, 6:30 pm
Zoom, please RSVP here
Giant clams are the world’s largest marine bivalves that inhabit the shallow tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific. There are globally 12 recognised species in two genera: Hippopus and Tridacna. These megafauna are considerably threatened in most part of their geographic range, where some species have become locally extirpated. So, how does one go about studying and conserving organisms that can be found in various parts of the globe? In this talk I will share the importance of building a network with scientific peers to expand research collaborations in experimental ecology, population genetics, and marine policy, as well as the use of social media tools and citizen science to compile and examine large amounts of data. Finally, I will highlight how all of these different pieces of work can feed into the larger picture of prioritising the conservation of endangered marine species.
Dr. Mei Lin NEO is a trained marine ecologist, whose research focused on the use of experimental approaches to studying the interactions of marine organisms with the marine environment. Mei Lin has been enamoured with the giant clams as her model species for the past decade, and remains steadfast in her mission to champion for their conservation in Singapore and the region.
Mei Lin is also an avid science communicator of marine conservation issues in Singapore. She believes that science needs to be accessible to the public for it to generate societal awareness and impacts. Mei Lin’s work has also appeared in the highly popular TED Talks – “The fascinating secret lives of the giant clams” has received over 1.2 million views!
Tuesday, March 9th, 6:30 pm
Zoom, please RSVP here
Curious about Shellfish Aquaculture?
Wonder how oysters are commercially produced?
Want to learn more?
Join us for an open discussion of the opportunities, challenges and potentials within the shellfish aquaculture industry on the west coast including a behind the scene tour of a commercial shellfish hatchery. You will see first hand how Nova Harvest Ltd. produces seed for the BC shellfish industry.
The shellfish aquaculture industry is where J.P. and the Nova Harvest team want to make a lasting positive impact, helping to push the sector to its true potential, and make this sustainable food a regular on more dinner tables.
J.P. is easy-going and approachable with broad experience and perspective, and is happy to chat about anything shellfish. In 2011 J.P. Hastey founded Nova Harvest, a company that applies innovative, science-based solutions to support the development of a sustainable shellfish industry. Nova Harvest’s hatchery, located in Bamfield BC, is a top supplier of high-quality oyster, geoduck and manila clam seed. With a BA in Biology, a Master’s degree in Animal Science, and named one of Hatchery International’s Top 10 under 40, Hastey says he has been able to apply every aspect of his education to develop and sustain his hatchery enterprise. Spending the first 10 years focusing on improving hatchery production, JP is now focused on and working towards developing west coast shellfish farming operations and completing the production cycle from egg, to ocean, to plate.
Angela Fortune is the Hatchery Manager at Nova Harvest and she is passionate about growing and eating shellfish, not just because they are a delicious ocean treat, but because they are the most sustainable protein on the planet and farming them has a positive impact on the environment. Prior to joining the Nova Harvest team in Bamfield, Angela completed her Masters of Science at DFO and UVIC where she studied integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. Conducting experiments at Effingham Oysters in Barkley sound is where she first discovered just how incredible shellfish farms are for ocean biodiversity and she has been hooked since.
Tuesday, March 23rd, 6:30 pm
Zoom, please RSVP here
Oysters once formed extensive reefs in temperate and sub-tropical estuaries and coastal environments globally, but less than 15% of reefs remain. As awareness of the plight of oyster reefs has grown, so too has interest in restoring their populations. In this talk I will overview some of the key environmental benefits of restoring oyster reefs, including their important roles in supporting fisheries productivity, maintaining clean water and protecting shorelines and associated biodiversity from the effects of climate change. I will also overview some of the innovative methods increasingly being used to restore oyster habitats in highly degraded urban settings.
Associate Prof Melanie Bishop is an estuarine and coastal ecologist with over 15 years of experience researching temperate near-shore systems. She leads a team at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, that is addressing how coastal ecosystems operate and respond to changes in climate, human stressors, and shifts in management regimes. Her present research has a particular focus on the development and evaluation of engineering interventions that create habitat and conserve native biodiversity in degraded seascapes. Her research leadership and impact has been recognized with a 2010 New South Wales Scientist of the Year Award, the 2012 Brian Robinson Fellowship from the Banksia Environmental Foundation, and the 2017 Jim Piper Award for Research Leadership from Macquarie University.