In recognition of Earth Day, Holland America Line and Seabourn today are announcing the renewal of their partnership with Marine Conservation Institute. The partnership with the Washington State–based organisation began in 2010 with the “Our Marvelous Oceans” program, and will continue with the signing of a new three-year agreement that runs through 2016.
The goal of “Our Marvelous Oceans” is to foster greater understanding of the marine environment through guest and staff education and commitment to sustainably sourced seafood on shipboard menus. The partnership also includes a new “Saving the Ocean’s Gems” program to be rolled out in fall 2013 that promotes Marine Protected Areas — parts of the ocean set aside to protect endangered species, special habitats and/or cultural heritage sites — especially along the ships’ itineraries.
“Over the past three years we have learned a tremendous amount from the Marine Conservation Institute about protecting our oceans, and it’s only fitting that we renew our partnership on Earth Day,” said Stein Kruse , president and CEO of Holland America Line, and chairman, Seabourn. “It is important that we continue to provide information to our guests and crewmembers about what we can all do to protect and improve the health of our oceans, and we’re fortunate to have the international experts at the Marine Conservation Institute working with us as part of our many environmental endeavors.”
“We are delighted to continue the committed partnership that we have forged in the past three years with Holland America Line and Seabourn,” said Dr. Lance Morgan , President of Marine Conservation Institute, located in Seattle, Wash. “We share a strong interest in healthy oceans, and this partnership has provided an innovative opportunity to advance the conservation message and has had real-world impact toward furthering our mission through projects such as sustainable seafood purchasing.”
Morgan added, “We look forward with enthusiasm to developing the programming around ‘Saving the Ocean’s Gems’ in the next year.”
Both Holland America Line and Seabourn strive to ensure that seafood menu selections served aboard both lines are responsibly sourced, promoting the continued viability of fish species essential to a biologically diverse marine environment. The Marine Conservation Institute determines the sustainability of a particular seafood item by referring to well-established seafood sustainability ratings. They then apply their professional expertise and judgment to confirm the sustainability of the selection.
The educational element of the “Our Marvelous Oceans” program is rich in content. A video series broadcast on all Holland America Line ships and on the line’s websites introduces ocean issues and highlights important marine conservation topics that relate to the ships’ itineraries.
As part of the lines’ onboard enrichment programs, Marine Conservation Institute board members, executives and staff present lectures and conduct question-and-answer sessions on select itineraries, creating an opportunity for guests to interact with and learn from world-class scientists.
With the new “Saving the Ocean’s Gems” focus, Marine Protected Areas in and near the lines’ most traveled itineraries will be identified, and Holland America Line and Seabourn will work with Marine Conservation Institute to provide enrichment opportunities for guests to learn more about the areas.
Recognised throughout the cruise industry for their environmental efforts, Holland America Line and Seabourn’s Environmental Management Systems are certified to conform to the ISO 14001 standard by independent registrars - Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance and Det Norske Veritas, respectively. The Environmental Management System is the collection of all environmental policies, training and procedures for every shipboard significant environmental aspect. This certification recognises the robust environmental standards, commitment to continual improvement and policy to prevent pollution.