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Project Ocean

Selfridges Project Ocean

Selfridges Project Ocean is a long-term partnership between Selfridges and The Zoological Society of London to stop overfishing and pollution and protect our oceans through the creation of marine reserves.

As a retail activist, we teamed up with the experts and identified Selfridges Project Ocean as a way in which we could make a positive difference to consumer buying habits. The information around marine conservation hasn't always been clear or accessible, so our teams set to work on communicating why and how we should protect our ocean ecosystems in a constructive and entertaining way.

Fish in ocean

Why fish?

It's because if we carry on eating fish in the way we currently do, there will be no more fish in the sea. You can help make a difference by using the Selfridges fish guide when shopping for fish or eating at restaurants.

Local fisherman

So what?

From great white sharks to eels - fish are vital to our ecosystems and are the primary food source for millions of people across the globe, so we have a responsibility to keep their populations healthy for future generations.

Fishing outpost on sandbar

And why the ocean?

It's because the ocean is our planet's life support - it regulates our climate, contains 80% of life on earth and provides more oxygen than all of the world's rainforests combined. Today our ocean is in trouble, and it's up to all of us to act.

Save our fish tshirts Yo sushi Save our sharks

Dive into our history

Launched in May 2011, Selfridges Project Ocean has grown and evolved throughout the years.


In partnership with ZSL, we created a global movement for marine protection through establishing the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC). Since then we have funded a full time co-ordinator for the coalition which brought together leading conservation groups ZSL, Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Society, Pew Charitable Trusts, and Blue Marine Foundation. The MRC works to establish new Marine Reserves in the UK and abroad.,1&fmt=jpg

In the first year of the campaign we reached over 20 million people with our Selfridges Project Ocean advertising, which generated £120,000 of fundraising to create the 50 hectare Selfridges Marine Reserve in the Philippines which we continue to fund each year.

We also led by example by ensuring our Foodhall and restaurants don't serve endangered fish.


Now the word was out, we developed Selfridges Project Ocean in store and online. We even encouraged our restaurant partner YO! Sushi to convert its entire menu to sustainably sourced fish. We also published through the MRC, the first ever global marine protected area league table of nations.


In 2013 we bit back against stereotypes around sharks with the ‘Shave Our Sharks' exhibition, highlighting how important these toothy predators are to our oceans. 15% of the world's shark species are now threatened and humans are responsible for killing around 100 million sharks every year. Recognising that this cannot continue, we committed to making all products in our Beauty Hall free from shark oil and shark by-products.

Fish Guides

Not just a drop in the ocean

We're committed to making a big difference with Selfridges Project Ocean - both now and in years to come. Today we continue to work with ZSL and the MRC to raise funds and awareness of key issues affecting our oceans.

Sustainable Fish

From our handy online fish guide which helps customers to navigate away from endangered fish to our Foodhall which doesn't sell endangered fish - we're always looking for new ways to engage, inform and entertain with our key Selfridges Project Ocean messages.

Marine Reserves

In 2014/15 we will continue to build on the success of Selfridges Project Ocean and the ground-breaking marine conservation activities of the MRC. We'll continue to grow our partnership with ZSL and support the work of the MRC to create more Marine Reserves and reach the target of protecting 10% of the world's oceans by 2020.

Less than 3% of the oceans are currently protected, compared with 12% on land, yet the oceans make up 71% of the planet. We know Marine Reserves work, delivering measurable benefits to both marine wildlife and people. That's why later this year we'll be announcing the latest global progress in marine protection with a league table of nations and laying down the challenge to do more to protect our oceans.

project ocean

Ocean Pollution

Looking forward, we will be extending our focus to highlight the issue of pollution of our oceans. There are tons and tons of plastic in the oceans, 60-80% of all marine debris is plastic which breaks down into small pieces, but never goes away. Unknown numbers of animals die this way each year and the toxins make their way into our food stream.

That's why in 2014/15 we'll be focussing on the ways in which Selfridges and our partners can play our part in reducing, reusing and recycling plastic.

All our packaging is already designed to sustainable standards from our iconic yellow bag to our online packaging. But over the next twelve months we will be looking to find alternatives to plastic wherever we can and encouraging our customers to do the same. In 2006 we removed all but one of our plastic carrier bags and switched them to recyclable paper with accredited standards. The one plastic bag we have continued to use since then for extremely large and heavy items is reusable and recyclable.

Discover the other ways we're working to deliver a better, sustainable future here.