It might be hard being Vancouver Island’s most recognizable sturgeon. There at almost every game, VIU’s own Stuey the Sturgeon isn’t just your average living-fossil sea creature—he holds high standards for himself and his craft. I managed to track him down as he was visiting his friends in the Aquaculture buildings on upper campus to find out what it really means to be the VIU Mariners’ mascot.

Catherine: Stuey, what made you want to become a mascot? 

Stuey: I wanted to become a mascot because the ocean was just too small for a big fish like me.

C: Did you need to study for this? Does being a mascot require a degree?


Stuey the Sturgeon gallivants with a young fan, with VIU’s own Farida El Sheshingy watching in the background. Photo courtesy Craig Glennie

S: I went to medical school to become a sturgeon surgeon, but, unfortunately, I found my true passion in the arts. This led me to a degree in dance, which helped me excel as a mascot. After changing my career path from medicine to the arts, my family has embraced my passion for being a mascot.

C: What has been your favourite mascoting experience so far?

S: My favourite experience as a mascot is a toss up, as I have been fortunate to be invited to some very special events, such as the Rock City Fun Fair, The Ladysmith Light Up Parade, and, recently, the Nanaimo Children’s Fun Fair—all of these have given me the opportunity for great experiences.

C: What’s it like being a fish out of water?

S: I am not going to lie——it is a little hard to breathe at times, but hey, it’s part of the gig.

C: How do your friends in the Fisheries building feel about missing out on all your games? Do they support you from the deep end?

S: My friends miss me and ask me about the games, but are very supportive of my desire to be the best mascot ever.

C: If you could play a sport, which sport would it be? 

S: It’s no secret to some that I fancy myself as a bit of a Cristiano Ronaldo. So I would have to say soccer.

C: What’s it like being the most recognizable sturgeon on Vancouver Island?

S: The cameras and tabloids can be a bit much sometimes, but I really enjoy hanging out with all the VIU fans that come to all the sporting events.

C: What do you like about cheering for the Mariners?

S: I like cheering for the Mariners because they are my family. All the students on campus are fantastic and I enjoy being around them.

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