This is a guest post by Daniel Heffron of Environmental Justice Foundation
To celebrate World Oceans Day, Sunday 8th June 2014, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is teaming up with leading restaurants to raise awareness and essential funds to protect vulnerable marine species and habitats, combat illegal ‘pirate’ fishing and promote sustainable fisheries globally.
Over the past two years, 43 restaurants with 32 Michelin stars between them, have raised £20,000 for EJF’s Oceans Campaign, and this year’s Save the Sea Restaurant Campaign is already supported by 45 restaurants, including culinary greats Martin Wishart, Shaun Rankin and Andy Waters, as well as all nine branches of London’s Feng Sushi, and Burnt Ends Restaurant in Singapore.
For the month of June, participating restaurants are promoting sustainable seafood and raising awareness of the need to protect marine biodiversity, as well as demonstrating how sustainable sourcing and consumer choices can help protect oceans and keep seafood on our menus in the long-term.
Restaurants are adding an opt-out £1 donation onto every bill or offering a sustainable seafood dish with a £1 donation included in the menu price. 100% of funds raised will directly support EJF’s Oceans Campaign in West Africa, which empowers coastal communities to combat illegal fishing and to protect their fish stocks and marine environments. By protecting the diverse and rich waters of West Africa, EJF aims to ensure the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities who depend greatly on the fish as a source of protein.
EJF’s work has resulted in prosecutions, fines and the eradication of illegal fishing vessels from areas reserved for artisanal fishers in Sierra Leone. This initiative for World Oceans Day aims to highlight how UK restaurants and can make a huge difference closer to home by sourcing and choosing sustainable caught fish caught using environmentally friendly methods.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) or ‘pirate’ fishing has been identified as one of the most serious threats to the world’s fisheries. Globally, pirate fishing is estimated to be worth US $10-23 billion annually, representing up to an estimated 30% of the world’s total catch. By ignoring national and international laws and regulations, pirate fishing fleets are destroying marine habitats, decimating wildlife and undermining vulnerable coastal communities that depend upon natural marine resources for their food security and livelihoods.
EJF’s Oceans Campaign aims to eradicate ‘pirate’ fishing. EJF is working to create full transparency and traceability within seafood supply chains and markets and to actively promote improvements to policy-making, corporate governance and management of fisheries along with consumer activism and market-driven solutions.
We’re delighted to have such great support from so many restaurants, and what a perfect time to celebrate sustainable fish than for World Oceans Day!
You can see a list of all the participating restaurants you can visit to celebrate World Oceans Day 2014: http://www.ejfoundation.org/savethesea
—Daniel Heffron of Environmental Justice Foundation