Evaluating the Sustainability of Dalhousie University's Seafood Purchasing Practices
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Unsustainable fishing is a serious concern worldwide. One would expect universities, especially those with environmental programs, to set a good example by using sustainable seafood in residence cafeterias. In this project exploratory and descriptive research, face-to-face interviews, document analysis and direct measurements were all used in determining the environmental, social and economic implications of Dalhousie’s seafood purchasing choices (Atchison & Palys, 2003; Creswell, 2003). With the seafood purchasing records obtained from Aramark, the SeaChoice seafood guide and advise from the Ecology Action Center, it was made possible to determine that Dalhousie’s current seafood practices are not sustainable. Four seafood species provided at Dalhousie residences are classified as best choice species, listed as green, ten seafood species were determined to be species of concern, listed as yellow and three are classified as species to avoid, listed as red (SeaChoice, 2010). It is important to note that over 80% of the total mass of seafood purchased is Haddock and Atlantic salmon, both found in the species to avoid category. It has been recommended that Dalhousie should work in collaboration with SeaChoice and the Ecology Action Center and to publicly commit to eliminating one red and then yellow listed species per term, to eventually eliminating all red species and half of the yellow species (Ecology Action Center, 2010). As Dalhousie decreases its consumption of unsustainable seafood and increases its support for sustainably caught seafood it will show everyone affiliated with the university that change towards sustainability is possible.