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Purina Europe launches its first Ocean Restoration Program, aiming to restore 1 500 hectares of marine habitats by 2030

Fish and marine in the ocean

The ocean is essential for all life on Earth. However, as a result of climate change and human activities, ocean health is declining at an alarming rate, putting all marine life under threat. To ensure a sustainable future, our oceans must be protected and preserved. Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe is launching its first Ocean Restoration Program to help tackle marine biodiversity loss in Europe.

Purina Europe is partnering with expert organizations to help restore 1 500 hectares - the equivalent of around 3 700 football pitches - of marine habitats by 2030. Marine habitats provide a home to many species, including fish. Fish is part of Purina's supply chain because it uses fish by-products, which are parts of fish that are not consumed by humans but provide a valuable ingredient in pet food, so that nothing goes to waste.

Purina is investing in its partners' ocean restoration solutions across Europe, with the aim of making these effective and scalable. Each partner targets species that are critical to restoring local marine habitats but are being depleted. The first phase of the program will last three years and prioritizes the development of research, a measurement framework and the conditions needed to scale up the restoration solutions efficiently and effectively. The second phase is planned to start in 2026 and will focus on scaling the proven solutions.

The Seagrass Consortium, represented by one of its founding partners, Sea Ranger Service, are building solutions to plant seagrass meadows, a key habitat-forming species, helping with biodiversity and capturing carbon. Oyster Heaven is using natural materials to reconstruct lost oyster reefs. Oysters generate biodiversity, provide a home for a multitude of different species and are natural water filterers, removing pollutants including excess nitrogen which helps improve water quality. Better water quality allows more sunlight to reach the seagrass meadows, enabling them to flourish.

Urchinomics is removing excess sea urchins, which have overgrazed seaweed (in this area, kelp) beds since their natural predators have diminished significantly. Their removal will help kelp to rebound. Seaweed acts as a natural purifier of water, providing habitats, food, and energy for many marine organisms, whilst absorbing and storing large amounts of carbon. SeaForester is using techniques such as mobile seaweed nurseries to restore rapidly disappearing seaweed forests.

All these solutions have been piloted in various locations and have the potential to be scaled. They are supported by scientific research and renowned academic organizations and place a strong emphasis on community and local stakeholder engagement. An important feature of the program is to address the common challenges that restoration partner organizations typically face. Collaboration between the program's partners will help advance science and methodologies in marine habitat restoration. Effective marine habitat restoration requires a collective effort. Therefore, Purina is also working with a number of advisory partners* supporting the program.

Restoration efforts will take place in France (Arcachon Bay), the Netherlands (including Zeeland), Norway (Tromsø), and Portugal (Cascais & Peniche), while additional sites in Germany and the UK are being evaluated.

Kerstin Schmeiduch, Director of Corporate Communications and Sustainability at Purina Europe, said: "We are delighted to launch Purina Europe's first Ocean Restoration Program. With marine biodiversity declining dramatically, collective restoration efforts are required. At Purina, we are committed to playing our part to help address the marine biodiversity loss in our extended supply chain. Therefore, together with our partners, we are taking an active role in helping restore marine habitats at-scale in Europe."

Harry Wright, CEO of Bright Tide, said: "We are thrilled to be working with Purina Europe on their Ocean Restoration Program. The structure of the program enables the group of expert partners working on restoring critical species across Europe to scale their solutions and share knowledge and expertise. This will help us collaborate efficiently and give the greatest chance of measuring and replicating success. Going forward, the program can contribute to creating training, employment and business opportunities for local communities."

The Ocean Restoration Program is part of Purina Europe's broader commitment to helping advance the regeneration of ocean and soil ecosystems. Purina remains committed to working towards its goal of ensuring 100% of its seafood ingredients are responsibly sourced or organic. The company is proud to be a founding sponsor of The Bycatch Solutions Hub, established in 2023 by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. Purina is also supporting a consortium study to explore the role of seaweed-based bio-stimulants in regenerative agriculture.

About the restoration partner organizations:

  • Oyster Heaven is a marine conservation organization based in the Netherlands, which uses unique technology and models to allow for scalable and cost-effective oyster reef restoration projects.
  • SeaForester is an environmental impact company based in Portugal, focused on restoring rapidly disappearing seaweed in Europe by using cost-efficient sea forestation techniques and mobile seaweed nurseries.
  • Sea Ranger Service is a social enterprise based in the Netherlands, that trains and employs young people to carry out seagrass restoration work. They are one of the founding partners of The Seagrass Consortium, which exists to accelerate large-scale seagrass restoration in Europe. The consortium works together to plant, restore and monitor seagrass meadows and to develop standardized restoration practices.
  • Urchinomics is helping to restore kelp in Norway, Japan and the United States (California) by turning ecologically destructive sea urchins into a highly valued seafood product.

*About the advisory partners supporting Purina Europe with the program:

  • Article 13 is an independent, mission-based sustainability consultancy offering strategic advisory services, reporting and counsel to private, public, and voluntary sector organizations. Article 13 believes in impact-driven sustainability, using critical science to live within the limits of the planet and societal needs. It is a strategic advisor to Purina Europe on the Ocean Restoration Program, including on its development.
  • The Bellona Foundation is an international, science-based non-profit organization with a vision to create a carbon-negative society with restorative growth.
  • Bright Tide is a sustainability consultancy company who works with organizations to address urgent climate and biodiversity challenges around the world.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe:
Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe believes that when people and pets bond, life becomes richer. This is why, for more than 125 years, it has been committed to creating richer lives for pets and the people who love them through high-quality nutrition and care.

With the ambition of becoming Europe's most trusted pet care company, Purina Europe aims to have a positive impact on pets, people, and the planet. In 2022, the company launched six new Purina Commitments (2023-2030) to help reach this goal, to support adoption and responsible pet ownership, help the wellbeing of people in vulnerable situations and support the regeneration of soil and ocean ecosystems.

The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including Felix, Purina ONE, Gourmet and Pro Plan.

For more information about the company, visit the Purina website.

More information on Purina Europe's Ocean Restoration Program and Purina's Commitments can be found at Our Commitments: Revive Ecosystems in Ocean & Land.