Durham University has scooped University of the Year in the Marine Stewardship Council’s annual awards, live-streamed in a virtual ceremony from the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. The university won the award for serving the most MSC certified seafood to its students over the past year.

Now more than ever, students are some of the most environmentally conscious consumers around. With so many sustainable dishes being served, students at Durham University have been playing their part in protecting the future health of our oceans, by choosing seafood which is fully traceable from ocean to plate. According to MSC-commissioned research by Globescan, awareness levels of the ecolabel are significantly higher among 18-34 year olds (58% of those surveyed) compared to 44% among all seafood consumers in the UK.  
Paul Embleton, Head Chef, St Marys College, Durham University: “We are delighted to have received the MSC University of the Year award for third time. We have been MSC certified since 2010 and have been committed to providing food that has provenance from sea to plate. Students are becoming increasingly concerned about where their food comes from, so by using the blue MSC label and serving sustainable dishes, we can reassure them that we are looking after the oceans and ensuring fish and seafood for future generations.” 
Due to social distancing restrictions, this year’s MSC UK awards were held virtually on September 30 with a streamed ceremony from the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. Guest speakers included Peter Buckland, fisherman from the MSC Cornish Sardine Fishery, and Tommy Russell, from the Poole Harbour Clam & Cockle Fishery as well as Luke Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, and Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 
Loren Hiller, Senior Commercial Officer at MSC, said of Durham University: “Winning this award for a third time is a fantastic achievement for Durham. Their commitment to the MSC programme, spanning the last decade, has meant thousands of students have been able to eat their fish and seafood suppers from sustainable fisheries.  Choosing the blue fish goes a long way to protect stocks for future generations and with so many dishes served Durham are this year’s deserving winners of our MSC University of the Year, congratulations to Durham University!” 
The winners’ striking award, depicting a sea full of schooling fish, was designed and manufactured using 3D printing by Cornish-based J Supplied 3D. It was made in collaboration with Fishy Filaments, who recycle fishing nets used by fishermen at the MSC certified hake fishery in Cornwall into engineering grade nylon filament. Fishy Filaments' innovative harbour-side recycling technology was invented in Cornwall and saves about 98% of the carbon emissions when compared to using equivalent virgin material.