Project Ocean

Whale shark

Project Ocean is an innovative partnership between ZSL and Selfridges, tackling overfishing and the need to better protect our oceans


How it all began

Back in 2011, ZSL teamed up luxury department store, Selfridges and created ‘Project Ocean’ as a way in which we could make a positive difference by changing consumer buying habits and engaging people in the plight of our oceans. The information around marine conservation hasn't always been clear or accessible, so with the help of Selfridges, we set to work on communicating why and how we should protect our oceans’ ecosystems in a constructive and compelling way. 

As part of Project Ocean, we created a global movement for marine protection through establishing the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC).  Since then, Selfridges has funded a full time co-ordinator for the Coalition which brings together leading conservation organisations; ZSL, Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Society, Pew Charitable Trusts and Blue Marine Foundation.

With the MRC, we published the first ever global marine protected area league table of nations, reached over 20 million people through Selfridges Project Ocean advertising and events, and raised enough funding to create the 50 hectare Selfridges Marine Reserve in the Philippines, which Selfridges continue to support each year.

A long-term partnership

The MRC continues to work to establish new marine reserves in the UK and abroad, to influence national and international policy and to raise funds and increase awareness and understanding of the of key issues affecting our oceans.

And Selfridges continues to lead the retail activism movement by example and has committed to ensure its Foodhall and restaurants do not serve endangered fish and that its Beauty Halls are 100% free from shark oil and shark by-products.

Looking forward, Project Ocean will be extending its focus to address the issue of the pollution of our oceans, while continuing its work on overfishing and marine protected areas.  

Selfridges Project Ocean

Project Ocean’s two key messages

  • Vote with your fork – make sustainable seafood choices

  • Support the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs)