(Vancouver, BC)  May 20, 2010 – Hapa Izakaya, Vancouver’s most popular Japanese izakaya restaurant group, has just become the first izakaya to join the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ seafood conservation program and one of only a handful of Japanese restaurant partners in the program to-date.

“Since 2003 Hapa Izakaya has built a solid reputation around its unique Japanese tapas. We’ve been committed to including sustainably caught seafood at all three of our locations for some time now,” says Justin Ault, co-owner of Hapa Izakaya.  “It’s great to officially be a part of the Ocean Wise program.”

Thanks to the efforts of organizations like the Vancouver Aquarium that dedicate their mission to saving the world’s oceans and marine life, the importance of consuming seafood in a sustainable manner is growing in popularity and recognition. When guests open Hapa’s new menu they will see the Ocean Wise™ symbol next to those seafood items that were sourced in a way that ensures the long-term viability of that species.

Ault adds that, “We are excited to do our part in providing environmentally friendly seafood options for our guests.  Our seafood dishes are some of the most popular choices on our menus and daily fresh sheets.  It just makes good business and environmental sense to serve sustainable seafood.”

To further show its support of saving the worlds’ oceans, Hapa will be participating in the Aquarium’s signature fundraising gala on June 11 known as Night at the Aquarium. Hapa is one of a dozen participating restaurants that will be serving their delicious fare for more than 700 guests. One hundred percent of all event proceeds go to the Aquarium’s education and conservation activities.

About Hapa Izakaya

When Lea and Justin Ault introduced Hapa in 2003 they exploded the izakaya concept in Vancouver.  Hapa Izakaya’s combination of a sexy room, well-priced portions of Japanese tapas, cocktails and premium sake took the city by storm; Hapa set the bar high for the host of contenders that followed.  Today, Hapa continues to be a standout for its presentation of Japanese food in a city where Asian dining endures stiff competition. It remains the place to go when you’re in the mood for a unique blend of food, fun and culture. All three locations — Robson, Kitsilano and now Yaletown  — are open from 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Reservations by phone are recommended. Visit www.hapaizakaya.com for information.

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About the Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is a global leader in connecting people to our natural world, and a self-supporting, non-profit association dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, conservation practices, education, research, and direct action. Learn more at www.vanaqua.org

About Ocean Wise™

Ocean Wise is Canada’s leading sustainable seafood program. The Ocean Wise logo on a restaurant menu, deli-counter or seafood product is the trusted symbol of ocean-friendly seafood choices for discerning consumers. Launched in Vancouver, BC in January 2005 by the Vancouver Aquarium, the Ocean Wise program has grown from a small, local initiative to a national program now working with nearly 300 partners at over 2700 locations. Learn more at www.oceanwise.ca


Media Contact:

Tanis Tsisserev

T2 Communications Inc for Hapa Izakaya

604.841.8095 / tanis@t2communications.ca