What’s the Catch? An Analysis of Seafood Sustainability at the University of Vermont
Senior thesis presentation and report by Sara Cleaver '12, Environmental Studies major.
Humans are fishing the oceans at a rate much faster than marine fisheries can recover, often using methods that are damaging to the marine environment. Research has revealed the complexity of issues within how seafood travels from the seas to consumers’ plates. Sustainable seafood certification programs have grown in popularity as public pressure demands certain practices of the seafood industry, and seafood guides have increased public awareness and highlighted the power of consumer choice. The University of Vermont (UVM) has taken steps to provide local and organic food that is sustainably harvested, but has not done the same for seafood. This research is an analysis of seafood at UVM, and it attempts to understand where the seafood served at UVM comes from. Additionally, through document research, interviews, and collaboration with UVM Dining Services, this thesis investigates UVM’s initiation of a sustainable seafood effort on campus and proposes recommendations as alternatives to the seafood currently offered, recommendations which may align more closely with UVM’s commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility.