About the Project Ocean partnership

Project Ocean is a long-term partnership between ZSL and Selfridges, to stop overfishing and pollution and protect our oceans through the creation of marine reserves

How it all began

Back in 2011, ZSL teamed up with 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 ocean 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), now Great British Oceans.  Since then, Selfridges has funded a full time coordinator for the Coalition which brings together leading conservation organisations; ZSL, Greenpeace UK, the Marine Conservation Society, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Blue Marine Foundation.

In its first year Project Ocean reached over 20 million people and raised enough funding to create the 50 hectare community-managed Selfridges Marine Reserve in the Philippines, which Selfridges continues to support.

A long-term partnership

The MRC continues to work to establish new marine reserves in the UK Overseas Territories, and in February 2015 launched the successful Great British Oceans campaign.

As a retail activist Selfridges leads Project Ocean by example, ensuring its food halls 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 is extending its focus to address the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans, while continuing its work on overfishing and marine reserves.

Project Ocean’s two key messages

  • Vote with your fork – make sustainable seafood choices

  • Support the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs)