Cambridge earns first Sustainable Fish City star

University of Cambridge Catering Departments lead the way serving sustainable fish

Joining forces with Cambridge Sustainable food, a collective of catering departments from the University of Cambridge has successfully earned Cambridge the first of its five stars towards becoming a Sustainable Fish City.

The Sustainable Fish City Campaign is a nationwide campaign coordinated by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. The campaign is urging the country to change its fish buying practices and consumption to conserve fish stocks and the marine environment.

Ruth Westcott Coordinator of Sustainable Fish Cities stresses the importance and urgency of the campaign: “Some scientists estimate that, at current rates of decline, many of the world’s fish stocks could collapse within our lifetimes. 

“The good news is that there’s still time to do something about it. Fish stocks can recover if they are managed sustainably and if we stop buying fish from badly managed stocks or caught with damaging fishing methods.”

Some scientists estimate that, at current rates of decline, many of the world’s fish stocks could collapse within our lifetimes

Along with The University Centre and Madingley Hall, the participating colleges in the campaign are: Christ’s, Churchill, Clare, Corpus Christi, Darwin, Fitzwilliam, Girton, Emmanuel, Homerton, Jesus, Newnham, Magdalene, Peterhouse, Pembroke, Robinson, Sidney Sussex, Selwyn, St John’s and Trinity Hall. Together, the colleges serve hundreds of thousands of meals each year for students, Fellows, staff and conference and events guests.

The participating colleges in the Cambridge campaign, coordinated by Cambridge Sustainable Food, have each signed a pledge marking their commitment to only placing sustainable fish on their menus, such as, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish and those from the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘fish to eat’ list. 

Kevin Keohane, Environmental Subgroup Chair of the Catering Managers’ Committee, said: “I am very proud to see the University of Cambridge Colleges and Departments working together towards what has to be a sustainable ‘win–win’ scenario: ecologically – helping to make a better marine environment for both flora and fauna; and, economically – helping to make a sustainable future for generations of fishermen and their local economies.”

Chair of Cambridge Sustainable Food, Bev Sedley, said “This wonderful achievement not only shows the commitment of the Colleges and Departments to serving sustainably caught fish and avoiding endangered species, but also acts as a great example to other caterers in Cambridge, whom we hope soon to have on board.”

To gain its remaining Fish City stars, Cambridge Sustainable Food is now asking workplaces, local authorities and schools, hospitals and local restaurants and iconic businesses to sign-up and join the campaign too. 

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