Taronga Zoo and Woolworths have joined together to launch an ambitious program for marine conservation in Australia.
Aimed at raising awareness in Australian consumers and empowering them to make informed choices of Sustainable Seafood, the campaign will combine Taronga’s experience in conservation education with Woolworths’ connections to 890 communities throughout Australia.
As part of the program, Woolworths announced its ambition to have all the wild-caught fish it sells certified by the Marine Stewardship Council by 2015.
Additionally, Woolworths announced that 100% of Select canned tuna, which is 1.2million kg of tuna, will be ‘pole and line’ caught by the end of this year, substantially reducing the amount of by-catch including dolphins, sharks and juvenile tuna needlessly caught in nets.
Managing Director of Woolworths supermarkets, Tjeerd Jegen said: “Seafood is an integral part of Woolies’ fresh food offer and we need to make sure we play our part in keeping our oceans healthy, maintaining sustainable fish stocks and working with the fishing industry to improve their practices to ensure a viable future.”
Director of Taronga Zoo Cameron Kerr said: “The oceans need our help, and Taronga has long been an advocate for marine conservation. Our Sustainable Seafood campaign has been successful in educating our visitors to make informed choices. By joining with Woolworths, we can empower not just the Zoo visitors, but the 21 million shoppers that walk through Woolworths’ doors each week. I‘m proud of the aims of this important partnership and believe it will make a huge difference to protect marine wildlife.”
The partnership involves a multi-million dollar investment over three years, with Woolworths becoming the principal supporter of Taronga’s Great Southern Oceans precinct, which provides a unique experience of Australia’s marine wildlife and highlights its conservation needs. Funds will also directly support a range of the Zoo’s marine protection programs, working to help species from the Antarctic to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The partnership will operate throughout Woolworths stores around the country to make it easy for Australians to make seafood choices that protect marine life for the future.
- 83% of Australians believe it is important that tuna is caught in a sustainable manner. 60% agreed they would avoid purchasing tuna if they knew it was caught in an unsustainable manner
- The research also highlighted the need for raising consumer awareness on marine conservation and sustainable fish choices.
Woolworths sustainable fishing strategy
- Launched March 2011, 70% of our wild-caught fish sold in our fish counter has been assessed by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership which has strongly guided our sourcing decisions.
- Introduction of 17 Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified products in the canned and frozen range under our Select brand, as well as many other brands that are also MSC certified.
- Commitment to have all Woolworths farmed fish certified sustainable by 2015 - 70% of salmon will be certified sustainable by March 2013.
- Provided the Northern Prawn Fisheries with $25,000 to help a key supplier achieve MSC certification.
- $80,000 invested in research with Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery to improve the sustainability of the catch methods for the popular gummy shark (flake) product to the Australian consumer.
- Committed to, and have been working towards, phasing out fish aggregating devices, which arbitrarily catch many different species aside from the target species, from own-brand canned tuna by 2015 meaning 4.4M kg of tuna will be sustainably fished.
Taronga Zoo's Great Southern Ocean Precinct
- An important and thrilling introduction to Australia's marine wildlife.
- The mega-exhibit features Australian Sea- lions, Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals, Californian Sea- lions, Leopard seals, Little Penguins and pelicans live in unique displays, emulating their natural habitats.
- Children and adults alike can enjoy the magnificent natural behaviours and skills of Taronga's seals in the new Seal Discovery Theatre, seating over 950 people in a shaded amphitheatre. The seals and sea- lions are ambassadors for their wild cousins, helping Zoo visitors understand the fragile balance between humans and marine animals.
- Great Southern Ocean plays a vital part in marine conservation through public education about these precious creatures and their natural habitats, research, breeding and field conservation.
- Visitors can enjoy interactive experiences with experienced marine biologists and learn about the most up-to-date marine conservation and climate change developments from the Australian Marine Mammal Research Centre’s work.
- Taronga Zoo operates a range of marine protection programs, working to help species from the Antarctic to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
For further information please contact: Woolworths Press office - 02 8885 1033, Taronga Zoo Media Relations - 02 9978 4606
 Lonergan Research, commissioned by John West, in August 2012,