Skip to main content


Sealions and penguins at Edinburgh Zoo

Sealions at Edinburgh Zoo are now served certified sustainable fish after the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) made it their goal to buy all of its marine animal food from sustainable sources.

Sealions eating MSC fish at Edinburgh ZooDarren McGarry, Animal Collection Manager for the zoo, said “We’re really pleased that the Patagonian sealions 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.”

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

Gentoo penguin"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 be 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."

Claire Pescod from the Marine Stewardship Council, which runs the certification programme that checks on the fish sustainability,  says “This is fantastic news. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland 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 sealions 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.”

Find out more about Edinburgh Zoo and its sustainable seafood policy at:

Rosie Boycott, London Food Board

Taking a sustainable approach to fish is critical to the food security of our city. It is shocking to think that within our lifetimes, we could lose some of our favourite species from the seas forever.

more stories