Adult Programs

An Affinity for Regional Seafood - How Eating Local Supports People and the Environment

Photo Courtesy: Affinity Fish

Zoom program. RSVP Required.

Curator Conversations
An Affinity for Regional Seafood - How Eating Local Supports People and the Environment 
Thursday, June 8, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EDT

How can eating locally sourced fish contribute to the health of humans, local fish populations, and the Great Lakes ecosystem, and help mitigate the impact of climate change? How can one eat sustainably while on a budget? And how can one tell if the fish they buy is from Ontario?

Nathan Lujan hosts a digital conversation with Affinity Fish co-founders Jon Klip & Matt Taylorand Indigenous supplier Jordane Chegahno on their work to encourage people to eat premium freshwater fish from the Great Lakes. This conversation will explore the wealth of local freshwater resources in the Great Lakes region, highlight the importance of sustainable fish stocks, and discuss the value of eating local to environmental sustainability efforts.  


Jon Klip & Matt Taylor

Jon Klip & Matt Taylor, Co-Founders of Affinity Fish. Image Credit: Toronto Life

Jon Klip, Co-Founder of Affinity Fish. Jon has been working in the restaurant industry for the past ten years, spending two of those in Kyoto, Japan. Working closely with the fishmongers in Japan, he brings to the table a detailed understanding of the best fish handling techniques and practices. Since returning to his hometown, Toronto, he has been frustrated with the exceptionally low quality of local fish, and the reliance on international shipping from Asia and Europe to provide better seafood. Knowing that the quality of fish in Canadian Oceans, Rivers and Lakes is world class, Jon has taken it upon himself to garner change in the industry.

Matt Taylor, Co-Founder of Affinity Fish. Matt Taylor has worked in professional restaurants for over twelve years, gaining experience at some of the best restaurants in Canada; URSA Restaurant, Actinolite, Shoushin, The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette, and Sakai Bar. Through working at these restaurants, Matt became drawn to seafood, particularly when training at Shoushin. The three years he spent there helped him to develop a keen eye for quality in seafood, as well as an understanding of fish ageing practices. He aims to implement these learned skills on seafood from Canada. He has been shocked at the lack of access to, and the handling and care of Native fisheries. The desire to work with seafood from his home that is handled with reverence and attention to detail that it deserves, is what drove him to start Affinity Fish.

Jordane Chegahno

Jordane Chegahno, a member of the Robichaud Commercial Fishing team.

Jordane Chegahno is a member of the Robichaud Commercial Fishing team that works closely with Affinity Fish to supply sustainably sourced fish from the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Traditional territorial waters. 

Nathan Lujan
Dr. Nathan K. Lujan is the Associate Curator of Fishes at ROM and Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Nathan K. Lujan is the Associate Curator of Fishes at ROM and Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. Internationally recognized as an expert on ecology and evolution of the Amazon basin (the most biodiverse freshwater ecosystem on Earth), Nathan has led over 20 biodiversity inventories of remote river basins of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela, and has discovered and described over 30 new fish species.

Nathan's research is motivated by the urgent need to catalog, conserve, and comprehend freshwater biodiversity in the face of pervasive environmental impacts on lakes, rivers, and streams. In Canada, he has collaborated with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to map the genomic population structure of at-risk aquatic species, understand the effectiveness of Niagara Falls as a barrier to fish dispersal, and develop molecular tools for the early detection of invasive species.

Nathan has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, as well as New York Times editorials and popular articles. His research has been supported by the US National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Coypu Foundation. 

This Zoom program will feature a 20-minute conversation with the speakers, followed by a live audience Q&A.  Questions may be sent in advance to

Please indicate the "Curator Conversations June 8, 2023, Q&A" in the subject line.

All registrants will be emailed a link to access the program 24 to 48 hours in advance.

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Date & Time

Thursday, June 8, 2023 12:00pm EDT