Celebrating Two Seafood Champions

Tidings | Apr 20, 2020

This spring, GMRI Sustainable Seafood Program Manager Kyle Foley traveled to the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Maine at Machias to recognize an important achievement.

Both campuses now source 100% of their fresh white fish (a category that includes haddock, pollock, cod, and other flaky, white fish) through GMRI’s Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® program. The Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® ecolabel identifies seafood that is traceable back to the Gulf of Maine region and meets important sustainability criteria.

The two schools, now “Champions” of the program, first joined in 2016 as members of the Maine Course initiative by Sodexo — the company that manages foodservice operations for the entire University of Maine system. Sodexo has committed to serving 100% Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® fresh white fish at all Maine locations by 2020 — a goal they have nearly completed across the 11 campuses they manage. These campuses, which previously served almost no seafood from the Gulf of Maine, now offer local species such as Atlantic pollock and Acadian redfish.

By sourcing these lesser-known species, University of Maine schools are helping to drive demand for local seafood. The added economic impact makes the program a win-win for foodservice professionals like Gail Gordon of University of Maine, Machias:

“Being in a coastal community here in Machias, it’s especially important to us that we serve fish from this region,” said Gail. “We want to do what we can to help fishing communities up and down our coast.”