Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Photo by Marine Stewardship Council
Charlie the Australian Sea-lion and MSC Wild One Laura Wells invite you to learn more about sustainable seafood

Sustainable Seafood Week is 12-16 March, and is a timely reminder of why sustainable fishing is vital to the ongoing health of our marine ecosystems. Marine wildlife including seabirds, seals and cetaceans such as whales and dolphins depend on fish for their survival. In Australia, we may think of seafood as a luxury, however in many developing economies seafood is a necessity. Half of all seafood worldwide comes from developing economies, and one billion people depend on seafood as their primary source of protein.

However for many decades, fish stocks have been removed from the ocean in such massive quantities that it is impossible for them to replenish themselves. To put this in numbers, more than one-third of global fisheries have been fished beyond their sustainable limit, with ocean marine populations nearly halved between 1970 and 2012. Key factors contributing to these problems are destructive, illegal and overfishing practices, and one example of this is Orange roughy, also known as Deep sea perch. This fish lives more than 100 years, making it one of the longest lives of any known fish, and reproduces at around 20-40 years of age. However, the growth of commercial fishing for this species in the 1980s and 1990s reduced populations to a point where the species could not reproduce quickly enough to replace fish removed from the ecosystem by fishing.

Yet this doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy seafood. Sustainably-caught seafood keeps our oceans thriving, and you can be sure you’re enjoying this when you buy Marine Stewardship Council-certified products. The blue tick on packaging denotes best-practice in sustainability, and you can be sure that the seafood you are eating has been caught in ways that minimise environmental impact with effective and transparent management.

Guests at our Seal Show this week can learn even more about MSC-certified seafood between Monday 12 to Sunday 18 March, and our catering partner Epicure will also be giving away a free portion of MSC-certified fish and chips at every show to one lucky guest. Guests can also enjoy MSC-certified seafood at the Fish Stop 11am - 3pm every day. A sustainable future for wildlife and people never tasted so good!

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