University of California, Berkeley, Becomes the First Public University in the U.S. to Earn Marine Stewardship Council Sustainable Seafood Certification

The University of California, Berkeley raised the sustainability bar for institutions of higher education across America by becoming the first public university to earn Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification, which enables Cal Dining to serve its students, faculty and guests MSC-certified sustainable seafood.

“In line with UC Berkeley’s and Residential and Student Service Program’s commitment to green and sustainable practices, Cal Dining has long been considered a leader in college and university dining, and our team has achieved another milestone,” said Shawn LaPean, executive director of dining for UC Berkeley’s Housing & Dining Operations.  “Five years after becoming the first university dining program in the country to achieve organic certification, we are happy to announce that, UC Berkeley’s Cal Dining is the first public university dining program to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.”

The certification process for Cal Dining was led by Chuck Davies, Associate Director, Ida Shen, Sustainability Manager and LaPean.

The MSC certification process includes an inspection conducted by a third party certifier as well as training of front line staff.  MSC’s “Chain of Custody” system assures that in every step of the chain – from the fishers, to the processer, to the distributor and the end user – MSC-certified seafood is not mixed with or substituted for non-certified seafood.

“Cal Dining will work with MSC-certified suppliers to provide MSC-certified seafood to our customers whenever financially feasible,” said LaPean, “and once we receive the product, we will maintain the integrity by labeling and storing away from non certified product and will only use the official ecolabel on our menus when certified seafood is being served.”

Cal Dining is part of UC Berkeley’s Residential and Student Services Program – a self-supporting business auxiliary of the campus.  Cal Dining serves some 29,000 customers each year and operates 15 locations.

”Cal Dining looks forward to a long term relationship with MSC and MSC certified suppliers of seafood and to providing sustainable seafood alternatives to our students and the university community as a whole,” said LaPean.

“UC Berkeley has a history of progressive leadership on sustainability issues and we congratulate Cal Dining for making a commitment to serve MSC-certified seafood,” said Kerry Coughlin, MSC regional director, Americas.  “The MSC global standard recognizes and rewards sustainable fishing practices and having a prestigious institution like UC Berkeley join the MSC program will help further engage colleges and universities in contributing to the health of the world’s oceans.”

The MSC maintains the most widely respected and accepted global standard for the certification of wild capture seafood.  The program is based on, a rigorous science based standard and independent, third-party assessment by internationally accredited certification bodies.  The MSC standard is based on three core principles:  health of the stock; impact on the marine ecosystem; and, management of the fishery.  The distinctive MSC blue ecolabel is a trust-mark to buyers and consumers worldwide confirming that the seafood comes from a sustainable fishery that has been awarded MSC-certification.

Source: UC Berkeley

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