Holland America Line and Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI) announced a new partnership to promote sustainable and compatible use of the oceans to protect the world’s marine ecosystems. Called “Our Marvelous Oceans,” the new program will start with a three-year commitment that includes adopting sustainable seafood purchasing onboard, new programming for guests and support for the MCBI education program under which annual grants are made by MCBI to graduate students and young scientists in historical marine ecology.
“Our Marvelous Oceans” will embrace three elements: guest and staff education; support for marine conservation biology research; and promotion of healthy marine economic practices by identifying more sustainable choices for the premium line’s seafood menu offerings.
“Holland America Line is deeply committed to protecting the marine environment and this partnership will help our company and our guests learn more about issues facing the world’s oceans,” said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer. “We are very fortunate to be partnering with MCBI — an organization that is an international expert in protecting our oceans. This partnership will enable us to benefit from their team of professionals while at the same time enabling them to provide important information to our guests and crewmembers on what is required to improve the health of our oceans. We are delighted to form this mutually beneficial partnership and provide needed funding for studies as well as apply sound practices by working with MCBI to, among other items, select more sustainable seafood choices for our menus.”
“We are quite proud to be working with Holland America Line because they’re the environmental leader in the cruise industry,” said Dr. Elliott Norse, president and founder of MCBI, located in Bellevue, Wash. “We share a strong interest in healthy oceans and this is an innovative opportunity to advance the conservation message and reach a new audience – Holland America Line guests.
“We know the oceans from different points of view,” added Dr. Norse. “That’s a major reason to do this. Together we will strengthen what we can learn and do for the living oceans that everyone loves and needs.”
The educational element begins with the launch of a video program series in summer 2010 to be aired on all ships. Individual programs will introduce ocean issues and highlight important marine conservation topics that relate to the ships’ itineraries. A final program will address marine spatial planning – an ecosystem-based approach to benefit ocean life and the ocean economy that MCBI, leading marine scientists, ocean policy experts, the United States and a growing number of governments around the globe are advocating.
The “Signature of Sustainability” seafood program also begins in summer 2010 by adopting sustainable seafood purchasing practices recommended by MCBI. Kruse added, “Holland America Line wants to make sure that the seafood we serve is consistent with our programs for protecting the oceans on which we operate.”
Holland America Line will also annually fund Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grants. The grants, determined by MCBI and given in the areas of marine environmental history and ecology, fund several projects each fall by providing critical support for graduate students and other researchers. MCBI scientists will also conduct lectures aboard select cruises throughout the year.