No Red Herrings as Sea Lions Switch to MSC Certified Diet

By Marine Stewardship Council, PRNE
Sunday, November 14, 2010

[NB: High resolution photos available]

EDINBURGH, Scotland, November 15, 2010 - Sea lions at the Edinburgh Zoo are now enjoying a full diet of MSC
certified sustainable herring. The move comes after the Royal Zoological
Society of Scotland (RZSS) made it their goal to source all of its marine
animal food from sustainable sources.

Darren McGarry, Animal Collection Manager for the zoo, said "We're really
pleased that the Patagonian sea lions have taken to their new feed. Zoo
animals can be very picky about what they eat but they've taken to the MSC
certified feeds straight away".

…and the penguins

The zoo also houses one of the world's most successful penguin-breeding
programmes with over 200 penguins on site, and RZSS is currently in the
process of incorporating MSC fish into their diet too.

"Gentoo penguins are particularly picky about their food and we need to
ensure that the MSC certified South Africa hake will suit them - both in
terms of taste and nutritionally" adds Darren. "It's important as well, that
the South Africa hake fishery has radically reduced its seabird bycatch as
part of its MSC certification - a cut that means thousands of seabirds will
saved. We're really pleased to support that work and will be working towards
adding a recommendation for MSC certified feed with any penguin we export to
another zoo."

Supporting Scottish fishing communities

Claire Pescod, from the MSC says "This is fantastic news. The RZSS has
already helped the MSC by providing the technical expertise and laboratory
work needed for our DNA tracing programme and this is further evidence of the
Zoo's commitment to sustainability. I'm delighted that sea lions are being
fed Scottish MSC certified herring. This move supports the Scottish fishing
communities that rely on the certified herring fishery and have proved their
sustainability through the MSC process."

About sea lions

    - Edinburgh Zoo has one female Patagonian sea and one male.
    - The male sea lion is called Sofus. He was born in June 2005 at Aalborg
    Zoo in Denmark and moved to Edinburgh in June 2008.
    - The female sea lion, Miranda, was born in June 1995 in Kristiansand Zoo
    in Norway and was moved to Edinburgh in December2008
    - The males are much larger than the females weighing 300-350 Kg (660 -
    770 lbs) to the females' 144 Kg (317 lbs.) The male sea lions' very large
    heads and a thick manes give them the lion-like appearance that gave rise
    to their name
    - Sea lions typically live for 20-30 years.

Herring recipe

Marinated herring with potato salad

     - Recipe from Rick Stein
     - serves 4 as a starter


    15g salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
    1/2 teaspoon crushed white peppercorns
    225g herring fillets
    sunflower oil to cover
    450g new potatoes, scraped
    3 tablespoons chopped chives

To make

1. Mix together the salt, sugar and crushed white pepper to make a dry
cure. Layer the herring fillets in a dish, sprinkling generously with the
mix. Cover and leave in the fridge for 24 hours, turning once after 12 hours

2. Next day, cut the fillets slightly on the diagonal into long thin
strips. Pack them into a large, airtight glass container and put in enough
sunflower oil to cover. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

3. To serve, cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until tender and

4. Put the warm potatoes into a bowl with the herring strips, chives and
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil. Toss together and serve immediately.

For more recipes, visit

High resolution photos available

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

    - Edinburgh Zoo is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of
    Scotland, a registered charity, charity no SC004064. For further
    information on all our conservation projects and events, please visit our
    website -
    - 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity.
    - The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is a registered
    charity, charity no SC004064. RZSS was founded by visionary lawyer Thomas
    Gillespie. The Society was set up in 1909 'to promote, facilitate and
    encourage the study of zoology and kindred subjects and to foster and
    develop amongst the people an interest in and knowledge of animal life'.
    - RZSS is the UK Secretariat for the International Union for
    Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    - Edinburgh Zoo is a member of the British and Irish Association of
    Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). BIAZA represents its member collections and
    promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums. For further information
    please telephone +44(0)20-7449-6351.

Marine Stewardship Council

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit
organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The
MSC runs the only certification and ecolabelling programme for wild-capture
fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social
and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural
Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO 'Guidelines for
the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries'
require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes

    - Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific
    - Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and
    objection procedures;
    - Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and
    management practices.

The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague,
Edinburgh, Berlin, Cape Town and Paris.

In total, over 230 fisheries are engaged in the MSC programme with 98
certified and over 130 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are
in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in
full assessment record annual catches of close to seven million metric tonnes
of seafood, representing over 12 per cent of global capture production for
direct human consumption. The fisheries already certified catch close to five
million metric tonnes of seafood annually - over seven per cent of the total
wild capture for direct human consumption. Worldwide, nearly 7,000 seafood
products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries,
bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit

For further information, please contact James Simpson, Marine Stewardship Council on +44(0)207-811-3315 or email james.simpson at

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