DURHAM UNIVERSITY has just become the first independently-catered university in the UK to offer its students MSC certified sustainable fish.
The move towards Marine Stewardship Council certified status means that students in all 16 catered colleges now have the option to choose independently certified sustainable fish for the first time as part of their meals in colleges.
Menus will also carry the MSC ecolabel to help communicate the commitment more widely. It will also offer students cramming for exams the option of sustainable brain food with research recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggesting that eating oily fish improves blood flow to the brain and performance during mental tasks.
Each of the new MSC-ecolabelled options in the Durham colleges can each be traced back to an independently certified, sustainable fishery. Independent research published in November indicates that fisheries in the MSC programme have improved fish stocks and reduced bycatch or discards in certified fisheries. They also have improved knowledge of ecosystem impacts and an expansion of environmentally protected areas.
Shona Millar, head of Durham University and Colleges Catering said: "This certification demonstrates our ongoing commitment to sustainable sourcing of wild fish. We are now able to communicate the benefits of responsibly source seafood to a wider audience and in turn, drive further improvements. It's important to us, our students, staff and guests alike that we produce quality food which is sustainable and has demonstrable provenance.
Ruth Westcott, UK commercial officer for the MSC, added: "This is a fantastic commitment by Durham University. Not only are they committing to serving fish from certified sustainable sources, but by using the MSC ecolabel on menus they are communicating that commitment to students. They are making it easy for students to be informed, ethical consumers, and they are rightly proud to be the first independent university caterer in the UK to do so."