Our oceans

Demand for seafood is increasing as the world’s population grows and people look for healthier meal options. Our everyday seafood choices, from shopping at the supermarket to eating out – are important not just for today but for tomorrow. 

Humans continue to take more fish from ocean supplies that can’t be replaced naturally and as a result many fish stocks are now in decline. Consequently, it’s now more important than ever to secure a sustainable supply of seafood not just for today but well into the future.

What is sustainable seafood?

Sustainable seafood can be wild-caught or farmed / aquaculture. 

For wild-caught fish, sustainable seafood is sourced from abundant fish stocks, using methods that do not damage ocean habitats or catch large volumes of non-target species (by-catch) and have responsive management systems in place.

Sustainable farmed seafood is grown in aquaculture systems that do not destroy habitat or depend on overfished wild-caught fisheries as feed.

There are lots of certifications out there, but what do they mean? Here’s a guide to the two of the most commonly used.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

MSC is the world’s leading independent certification and eco-labelling scheme for wild-caught seafood. To achieve MSC certification, fisheries must demonstrate - through a rigorous, independent assessment process – that the stocks being targeted are healthy, the fishing practices have minimal impact on the marine eco-system and overall the fishery is well managed.

What is Pole and line?

Tuna is the world’s most popular fish. Some methods used to catch the fish can have a significant impact on the health of our oceans. Currently, most tuna is caught using large-scale industrial fishing methods which include fish aggregating devices or FADs. These methods can increase the amount of by-catch or non target tuna species caught, therefore, impacting marine life such as sharks and turtles.

Pole and line fishing is where fish are caught one at a time by hand using a hook and line attached to a long pole. It therefore lessens the likelihood of by-catch.

What you can do

  • For an ocean friendly future choose seafood products displaying the MSC eco-label.
  • Be a Keeper - avoid plastic – always pack your own bag.
  • 'Do the right thing' with waste – put your rubbish in the bin and if possible keep our beaches clean by picking up rubbish even it is not yours.
  • Be a Keeper - avoid plastic – always pack your own drink bottle to refill. Plastic waste has a devastating impact on marine life with wildlife getting entangled or ingesting discarded items.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint to help oceans – take public transport, turn off the lights when not needed, and turn off appliances at the wall.
  • Grow or buy organic. These products are farmed with methods which do not use chemicals or fertilizers that can be dangerous for our oceans.
  • Think, then ask before you buy – is this made from wildlife? Don't purchase items that exploit marine life, such as coral and shell jewellery.
  • Speak out and get involved – donate your time to support organisations and local associations that are fighting to protect marine life and our oceans – get your friends and family involved in a beach cleanup.
  • Recycle, or dispose of it correctly – remember that what you put down the drain ends up in our ocean.
  • Tell your friends and family what you've learned about oceans and how to make a difference.