AMHERST, Mass. – Dining Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected as a finalist in the 2015 Seafood Champion Awards given by Seaweb, an international, nonprofit, communications organization dedicated to creating a culture of ocean conservation.
A finalist in the “innovation” category, UMass Dining was selected for its leadership in promoting environmentally responsible seafood through its dining program, and its commitment to increasing sustainable seafood consumption at the university and within New England.
Currently, UMass Dining, the largest dining operation in the nation, serves 45,000 meals per day to the campus body, and purchases more than $1 million of sustainable seafood every year. All seafood served through its program is certified sustainably sourced using Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines. Their latest program focuses on incorporating locally sourced, underused seafood into its programs to save endangered fish populations, and increase the resiliency of Boston fisheries.
“We are delighted to be one of the finalists for this prestigious international award, UMass students enjoy sustainable seafood on the menu. It is healthy and delicious too. We are working with our millennial diners to make our world a better place,” says Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. “Currently, students at UMass Amherst outpace the national average for seafood consumption consuming 21 pounds per person per year compared with 14 pounds.”
Seafood Champion finalists were announced at the Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong last fall and winners will be presented on Feb. 9 at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit held in New Orleans.