Prince Charles warns of threat of overfishing
May 12 2011 Lewis Smith
A Selfridges window display for Project Ocean
Prince Charles has warned that overfishing is continuing “to test our precious world to destruction” as he highlighted the struggle to protect the seas from being irretrievably damaged.
He said that in a world where the demands for food from an expanding population are rising it is increasingly important to ensure fish stocks are managed sustainably but warned: “It is clear we have a lot of work to do.”
The Prince of Wales made his plea for sustainable fishing as the world famous department store Selfridges launched a campaign to promote marine sustainability.
At the unveiling of Project Ocean, which is intended to alert customers and tourists in the Oxford Street area of London to the problems of overfishing, he said the oceans are an important food source that needs to be cared for.
"This is more important than ever today, as our population continues to grow and our demand for jobs and development remains apparently insatiable,” he said.
"In other words, sustaining the oceans, and the vast natural capital they sustain, would enable us to meet more needs, not less. As time goes by, however, and we continue to test our precious world to destruction, it is more and more obvious that we need an urgent change in perspective."
Part of Project Ocean’s aims is to change the way customers think about seafood and the marine environment so that they buy only those species which have been taken from healthy stocks.
Selfridges has agreed to remove 70 species of fish from its counters and restaurants as part of its commitment to improving marine sustainability. It has also given a number of organisations, including Fish2fork which has helped advise Selfridges, the opportunity to promote marine sustainability at the store.
Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose Fish Fight campaign against discards has had more than 670,000 members of the public sign up to it, was among the guests at the launch of Project Ocean. He welcomed the Prince’s interest and praised his “deep understanding of marine conservation issues”.
Alannah Weston, Creative Director at Selfridges and co-creator of Project Ocean hoped the store’s commitment to marine sustainability would “raise the stakes” globally.
She said: “We hope our customers will be inspired by the project and make sustainability a part of their everyday lives. Our hope is that 100 years from now, people will be still be able to enjoy the wonders of the ocean and that Selfridges will still be able to sell fish in our stores.”
Jonathan Baillie, of the Zoological Society of London which worked in partnership with Selfridges to organise the initiative, said: “Project Ocean is the start of an ongoing campaign which takes a completely novel approach to convene opinion formers from all walks of life to focus on two simple messages: 1, we need to stop eating endangered fish; 2, we need to create protected reserves in the ocean. Selfridges is helping you speak to people in their own language and convey these messages in a compelling way.”
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