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Zoo News Blog

Good News: We’re Eating Ocean-Friendly Seafood to Protect Wildlife!

Banded archer fish

Earlier today, you saw a few of our unusual fish species in Natural Encounters that call the water home. From rivers to lakes, and beyond to the ocean, the Houston Zoo has an incredible diversity of aquatic animals. One of the major threats to species in the water, and especially those in the ocean, is overfishing. Some of the methods utilized to catch seafood for human consumption can be very damaging to species like fish, sea turtles, sharks, and rays. To reduce this threat, the Houston Zoo only purchases ocean-friendly seafood – both for our guests and staff to eat, as well as for our pescatarian animals!

Our Asian small-clawed otters, who live in the Natural Encounters building, love to eat ocean-friendly seafood. Learn more about their diet.

One of the biggest consumers of ocean-friendly seafood are our California sea lions. They eat about 23,850 pounds of ocean-friendly seafood every year! That’s a lot of fish!

You can help protect ocean animals by buying local seafood. Choose ocean-friendly (sourced in the United States) seafood when eating at a restaurant or shopping at the grocery store. When at a restaurant, you can ask your server where the seafood was caught. If buying seafood in the grocery store, check the label to see where the item was caught.

In the meantime, we need your help ensuring all our animals (not just the pescatarians), and our animal care professionals are properly supported during our closure. Please consider donating to our Emergency Zoo Fund so we can continue providing the highest standard in animal care to our zoo residents.