Pomona College Dining Celebrates Sustainable Fish Certification With Special Dinner on Oct. 13
Pomona College will celebrate becoming the nation’s first liberal arts college to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) chain-of-custody certification with a special dinner on Thursday, Oct. 13, in the Frank Dining Hall Blue Room. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will feature seafood specialties from three MSC-certified fisheries (tuna from San Diego, salmon from Alaska and shrimp from Canada) as well as a presentation from San Diego-based tuna harvester Natalie Webster, co-founder and director of operations of the American Albacore Fishing Association and a co-founder of American Tuna, the first U.S. tuna label to have the MSC label.
Last semester, the College served 7,667 pounds of seafood. Receiving the MSC certification involved special training for dining staff on how to order, store and account for the MSC-certified seafood. Since the fall semester began, Dining Services has already been able to source approximately 65% of its seafood, by weight, from MSC-certified fisheries.
According to Glenn Graziano, general manager of Dining Services, achieving MSC certification is another significant step in the College’s continuing efforts to be both a sustainable operation and one of the best campus dining services. “The College is very committed to sustainability,” he points out, “and Dining Services is equally committed to sustainability and using as many local and/or organic ingredients as possible. The MSC certification ensures that the seafood we serve meets our sustainability standard.”
Since Dining Services took over direct management of dining operations last January, all coffee and tea served is fair trade organic, increasing amounts of local and/or organic produce have been available, all eggs are sourced from cage-free chickens, the majority of meat served is humanely raised, and the variety and availability of vegetarian and vegan entrees has increased.
The MSC Celebration Dinner is open to the Claremont Colleges community, but seating for the dinner is limited. Reservations can be made by email to Samantha.Meyer@pomona.edu. There is no extra cost to attend the dinner for those with Claremont Colleges ID. In addition to Webster, there will be comments by a representative of the Marine Stewardship Council and Pomona College Dining Services.
Pomona College is recognized nationally as a leader in campus sustainability. Pomona’s two newest residence halls, Sontag Hall and Pomona Hall, were built to the highest green building standards, LEED Platinum. In 2011, it was one of only eight colleges that received an A grade on the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Sustainability Report Card. Last May, the College’s Board of Trustees approved Pomona’s comprehensive 10-year Sustainability Action Plan.
The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization that promotes solutions to overfishing and runs the only certification and eco-labeling program for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations guidelines for fisheries certification. In total, more than 258 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 118 certified and 140 under full assessment. Together, these fisheries record annual catches of close to nine million metric tons of seafood.
The American Albacore Fishing Association (AFA) began in 2004 after an exodus of American fishing fleets to foreign countries following the dolphin-safe mandate. The AFA is committed to informing and educating Americans about the U.S. “pole and troll” albacore fishery, its families, communities and products. At this event, Webster will discuss what it means to be MSC-certified from a harvester’s perspective and the impact of the MSC label. AFA represented 75 vessels during the 2009 season and more than half of the total U.S. pole & troll albacore harvest. American Tuna, comprised of six fishing families in San Diego, started in one Whole Foods market in San Diego in 2005 and is now available in approximately 900 retailers.