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Anne Gabriel

Anne Gabriel

MSC Program Director, Oceania & Singapore

Harley and Johns beam into classrooms to advance ocean literacy

September 13, 2021

Harley and Johns Seafood Mural

Harley and Johns Seafood in Fairy Meadow, NSW

Students from Japan, China and Thailand were taken on a ‘selfie tour’ of Harley & Johns Seafood and given a virtual glimpse of the wide range of MSC certified seafood including tuna and prawns. Plus, my all-time favourite gourmet halloumi sourced directly from paddock to plate! 

The virtual sharing was part of the University of Wollongong UOW College Australia’s Project Unite, providing students with the opportunity to Connect, Collaborate and Contribute to real-world solutions.  The focus of the virtual classroom was on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which the MSC is very closely aligned to, especially SDG 14 Life Below Water.

I presented to the students about the MSC and our work around the world. I placed a special focus on the positive developments and growth in the Asia Pacific region. Some examples included Japan’s thriving sustainable seafood mission with the very first bluefin tuna fishery in the world certified as sustainable; and how large brands and retailers have come on board to source MSC certified seafood to keep our ocean resilient and diverse into the longer term.   

The students were also lent some insights on how seafood consumers in the Asia Pacific are eager and determined to make the right choices in a backdrop of climate change and urgent calls to change consumer spending habits towards conscious, ethical and sustainable choices.

Grant shared his story about doing the right thing as a business without having to wait for consumers to ask for it nor other companies to do it. That kind of clarity and commitment, to tread the unchartered path, without external influence nor commercial credit, I find rare to come by. Go, Grant!

“It was a perfect mixture of information - with the pictures, videos and the wonderful tour of Harley and John's - all done at a level the students could follow and understand. The work you are both doing is interesting and very inspiring. The feedback this afternoon from our classes has been overwhelmingly positive.” - Caroline Ayers, UOW College Australia

“As a nation surrounded by the ocean like Australia, we as Japanese also enjoy varieties of seafood. So, it was interesting to see the line-up at the Harley and John's Seafood. The topic was really an eye-opener for me. No doubt students felt the same and they will start looking for MSC ecolabels!”the Office of International Affairs, Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan

The MSC is working with partners such as Harley & Johns Seafood as well as Taronga Zoo, Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Ocean Youth to advance ocean literacy in Australia.

Ocean literacy is defined as “an understanding of the ocean's influence on you and your influence on the ocean” and is a key objective of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The aim is to create a new generation of ocean leaders by 2030.

In a world where our ocean is in crisis and where ocean misinformation is prevalent, the MSC offers free to use, fact-checked, science-based, ocean-themed and curriculum-aligned learning resources to advance ocean literacy and inspire the next generation to become conscious leaders and consumers.

The MSC’s education program in Australia, Saltwater Schools introduce concepts such as what makes a healthy marine ecosystem, what bycatch means, fishing and coastal communities and the effects of and solutions to overfishing.

The ocean-themed learning resources including lesson plans, videos, quizzes and classroom activities.

The resources were designed by teachers for teachers and are aimed at Science and Geography students 11-16.

Got a question about the ocean and fishing? Ask one of our experts and we'll provide the answer.

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