Sustainable herring for sea lions

From now on, the sea lions in Blijdorp zoo (Rotterdam) eat sustainable , MSC-certified herring. This is yet another step in the zoo's sustainability plan. Earlier actions included a change to sustainably produced soy in animal feed.
Blijdorp, Artis and Burgers’ Zoo are involved in a project by the nature organisation IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands (IUCN NL), to shift to sustainable food for both zoo residents and visitors. Implementation started in 2010 with sustainably produced soy in animal feed. Now the sea lions receive only herring that has Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Each sea lion eats 1 to 3 kilos of herring a day, depending on the season. On October 17, Mark Damen, director of Blijdorp, received the official MSC certificate from Rosalie Bruin of the certification organisation SGS Nederland BV.

The education of park visitors regarding sustainably caught fish is an important aspect of the project. Through animal keeper talks, information panels, folders and the use of various media, Oceanium visitors can learn more. IUCN NL and MSC hope that zoo visitors and suppliers follow the sea lions’ good example and eat MSC-certified fish.

MSC-certified fishery takes into account the fragile balance of nature. One example is the use of nets that do not harm the ocean floor. Fish with the MSC label can be traced to the boat on which it was caught.