One student organization on MSU’s campus has taken action against a dining hall for serving mako shark, which might be susceptible to overfishing.
MSU Shark Club is comprised of a group of students fascinated by sharks and other marine species. The club has organized trips to aquariums and museums in the past and promotes protecting ocean life. The club recently received word that The Gallery, the dining hall between Snyder and Phillips halls, served an entree containing shark meat.
Human biology senior Ellen Martines started the club in 2012 as a fun way for students interested in sharks to spend time together, but it has since become a club for activism regarding the conservation of ocean life and raising student awareness.
At the club’s Jan. 30 meeting, a member came forward and noted that a sign in The Gallery the night before revealed that the mariscotta dish featured shark meat.
Initially, the club was told by an official that shark was not used. However in a later response, the correction was made that shark meat was purchased and included as a ‘fresh fish ingredient.’”
Members of the executive board of MSU Shark Club have arranged to meet with management of the dining hall to discuss how this came about and hope to prevent it from happening in the future.
“When I heard about this, I immediately needed to get to the bottom of it,” said Chelsea Stein, the public relations executive for Shark Club. “I am looking forward to understanding the exact details behind the decision to purchase shark meat.”
Gina Kielen, a university dietitian, has worked with the club’s executive board to plan a meeting with the person in charge of purchasing the meat for the dining hall this upcoming March. She also helped identify that shark meat is not a typical ingredient in mariscotta sauce.
The executive board of MSU Shark Club has encouraged students to write letters to the dining hall management expressing their dissent on the decision and hopefully preventing it from happening again.
Kat Cooper, communications manager for Residential and Hospitality Services has confirmed the short fin mako shark served in the dining hall was a U.S. domestic product and not from Argentina, where the club originally thought the shark meat to be from.
“This domestic product is considered sustainable by our Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, who helps inform our sustainable practices,” Cooper said.