WASHINGTON, June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a non-profit whose sole mission is to make sure wild seafood is around forever, celebrated UN World Oceans Day (June 8) by kicking off its 'Little Blue Label, Big Blue Future' campaign. Through aspirational messages and a compelling video, the MSC campaign runs the duration of June US National Oceans Month and demonstrates how daily decisions as simple as meal planning impact the ocean and its inhabitants.
High levels of concern for our ocean are driving a new wave of consumer activism, new research for the MSC reveals, as consumers increasingly, 'vote with their forks,' to safeguard our ocean. Conducted by independent research and strategy consultancy, GlobeScan, the MSC recently conducted the largest survey of its kind involving more than 20,000 people across 23 countries. The survey revealed 65% of Americans believe supermarkets should remove all unsustainable fish and seafood products from their shelves.
"More than ever, we see an increased passion from consumers and companies alike to take steps that protect the ocean, including choosing sustainable seafood," said Brian Perkins, regional director for the Americas at the MSC. "The MSC has been on a mission to end overfishing for more than 20 years. In honor of World Oceans Day and National Oceans Month this year, we're asking Americans to keep our ocean healthy for future generations by shopping sustainably when buying seafood and other products. The little choices we make have a big ripple effect."
The ocean contains up to 80% of life on Earth.1 However, a third of fisheries around the world have been fished beyond sustainable limits, and a further 60% are fished to their maximum capacity.2 Because seafood provides an important source of protein to more than 3 billion people on our planet, it's crucial to adopt habits that ensure the ocean and seafood will be around for generations to come.
"Though some of us might live far from saltwater, our lives on land are intrinsically tied to our ocean through the choices we make, particularly when we're choosing to eat seafood," said Jaclyn Wegner, director of conservation action at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. "At Shedd Aquarium, we're studying vulnerable fisheries in the Caribbean to help inform better management practices. Locally, we empower consumers and restaurants to make choices that keep the future of our big blue planet in mind and preserve the habitats of our beloved penguins, whales and sharks in the wild."
In the same GlobeScan study, 55% of U.S. seafood consumers agreed that in order to protect the ocean, we have to consume fish and seafood only from sustainable sources.
"One of the bright spots of this current global crisis is that the interest and willingness from consumers to try fish from a can is an at an all-time high, and many canned products are MSC certified sustainable options, too," says Bart van Olphen, chef, author, sustainable fish advocate and founder of the Fish Tales brand. "There are so many delicious meals and snacks to be made with the varieties of canned fish, and people all over the world are experimenting not only with canned tuna, but also sardines, mackerel and salmon. My advice as people continue to expand their tinned fish repertoire is to look for the MSC blue fish label across every fish variety."
To learn more about how we all can help protect our one shared ocean, and for additional recipes featuring delicious, sustainable seafood, visit the MSC US website and follow @MSCBlueFish on social media.
ABOUT THE MARINE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization. Our vision is for the world's oceans to be teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations. The MSC blue fish label and certification program recognizes and rewards sustainable fishing practices and is helping create a more sustainable seafood market. More than 370 fisheries in over 36 countries are certified to the MSC's Standard. These fisheries have a combined annual seafood production of over eleven million metric tons, representing almost 15% of global marine catch. More than 38,000 seafood products worldwide carry the MSC label. For more information visit msc.org/en-us/ and follow @MSCBlueFish on social media.
ABOUT THE GLOBESCAN SURVEY
The survey uses the latest methodologies, sampling and question wording, developed by independent insights and strategy consultancy, GlobeScan. The survey was conducted between January and March 2020 using large and reliable national consumer research online panels to recruit respondents, with a minimum of 600 seafood consumers surveyed per country.
ABOUT SHEDD AQUARIUM
The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago sparks compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world. Home to 32,000 aquatic animals representing 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the globe, Shedd is a recognized leader in animal care, conservation education and research. An accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), Shedd is also an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, and is supported by the people of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the Chicago Park District. www.sheddaquarium.org.
ABOUT BART VAN OLPHEN AND FISH TALES
Founded by chef, author and sustainable fishing advocate Bart van Olphen, the Fish Tales brand is dedicated to protecting the world's oceans for the future by offering consumers sustainable seafood with a story. Working with communities around the globe that live and fish in harmony with nature, Fish Tales is able to offer sustainable fish that not only protects the oceans but ensures that small fishing communities will survive and thrive too. Every product is completely transparent from catch to kitchen, so customers will find delicious new ways to feed themselves and their families while learning the stories of the people who have been protecting our oceans for generations. In May 2020, Van Olphen released his third cookbook, "The Tinned Fish Cookbook," which is available on Amazon and featuring 45 easy recipes for canned fish like sardines and mackerel.
1 An estimated 50-80% of all animal life on earth is found under the ocean surface. More detail can be found in PNAS 115 (25) 6506
2 According to the United nation Food and Agriculture Organisation, fish provide about 3.2 billion people with almost 20 percent of their average per capita intake of animal protein - (UNFAO 2018) SOFIA Report, p70
SOURCE Marine Stewardship Council