AquaRio is the first aquarium to obtain this certification, which is the first of its kind.
Friend of the Sea, an international organization that certifies sustainable practices in fisheries and aquaculture, launched last year a new standard to endorse sustainable aquariums around the world.
In order to obtain this certification, an aquarium cannot include marine mammals and penguins, among other requirements.
Marine mammals kept in captivity suffer and their trade has a harmful effect on populations, often implying suppression of individuals or wounds.
A list of prerequisites needed for the certification, which include requirements on sustainable sourcing, corals, animal welfare and waste management, etc, are available on Friend of the Sea’s website.
“We thank AquaRio for its engagement to respect and protect marine life all through its actives and processes. It is important that other aquariums both in South America and worldwide follow its steps,” said Paolo Bray, Friend of the Sea’s director, at an event in Rio de Janeiro on 28 March 2019.
Bray also noted aquariums should represent “an opportunity for humans and new generations to meet aquatic species, learn about their lives and how humans impact might endanger them”.
AquaRio, with a total of 4.5 million litres of salt water, showcases over 350 animal species, according to biologist Marcelo Szpilman, who oversees the project’s conception, direction and technical responsibility.
Launched in 2016, when Rio de Janeiro hosted the summer Olympics, AquaRio is “a unique modern space that provides visitors lots of unprecedented attractions, modern technologies and infrastructure, offering valuable educational entertainment”, said Szpilman, pointing also to importance of conservation policies and environmental sustainability awareness.
Friend of the Sea is an international certification standard that attests sustainable practices in fisheries and aquaculture.
Friend of the Sea logo is widely recognized across international markets, certifying stringent controls over environmental, economic and social responsibility.
Over 900 companies in 70 countries have Friend of the Sea-certified products.
In recent years, Friend of the Sea has expanded the scope of its certification to other sectors and services that might have an impact on the marine environment, such as shipping and aquariums.
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