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No Red Herrings As Scot Zoo Sea Lions Switch To Certified Sustainable Diet News Service
November 15, 2010 19:00 EST

RZSS sea lion, Miranda, eats MSC certified Scottish herring. Credit MSC

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- 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."