EDFish

Fishing for Resilience: a video series to introduce you to climate-resilient fisheries

Today, we’re introducing readers to the concept of climate resilience in marine fisheries through a new, three-part video series called “Fishing for Resilience.” As Environmental Defense Fund’s Senior Director for Resilient Fisheries, I played a central role in the creation of this short series — even “starring” in the videos as narrator.

Producing and narrating these videos was a bit of a personal journey for me, and not just because I had to listen to my own voice. It’s because I tried to bring this concept home, and found myself asking what climate change means to friends and family that ply the seas, what it means for my community, and what it means for the wildlife and ecosystems that I hold dear. That got me right into thinking about how to help the people, wildlife and broader ocean ecosystems that I care about in practical ways.

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Charting a New Course Toward Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture

Americans import over 85% of all the seafood we consume — and half of that is from foreign aquaculture. That means when it comes to the majority of farmed fish we eat, we’re exporting our environmental footprint while missing out on the opportunity to create greater resilience and jobs for our coastal communities here in the U.S. Also lost is the opportunity to lead the way in developing best practices for sustainable production of healthy seafood that meets the most stringent environmental and health standards. This is most true in building a sustainable marine aquaculture industry.

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Whales, ships and climate change

In all the years I’ve been studying the ocean, whales have provided some of my fondest memories. I remember those humpbacks singing to each other off Maui; the baby gray whale I saw rolling around in the surf near Bodega Bay; and the blue whales that left me awestruck during trips to the Channel Islands.

Lately, I’ve been studying natural ocean processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, searching for ways to restore or accelerate them so that we can safely slow down the rate of global warming. Whales might be part of the solution.

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How to improve Philippine fisheries? Science and stakeholders are key.

The Philippines is a fishing nation, among the top 25 in the world, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The country has about 2 million small-scale fishers who depend on the nearshore waters for their daily needs and livelihoods. The country’s fishing sector faces many challenges, including a lack of science in developing policy, as well as inadequate participation of stakeholders in decision-making. This is why improving Philippine fisheries is so important — every Filipino earning a living from the sea depends on it. Read More »

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3 key questions about the Chinese fishing economy and its impact on global ocean conservation

China is the largest fishing nation in the world. It is responsible for one-fifth of the world’s total marine fish catch. It is the world’s largest fish processor and trader, with huge influence on global seafood markets and the ecosystems they depend on. Actions China takes to manage its fisheries and economy can spill over to other countries and their marine ecosystems — something we need to understand better. Read More »

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Three actions countries managing Tuna need to take this week

Whether you enjoy eating tuna in your lunchbox sandwich, have a stake in the long-term sustainability and livelihoods of Pacific tuna fishing nations, or simply care about the future of healthy oceans and fish populations—it’s worth taking note of an important convening this week that could decide the future of sustainable tuna.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), an international treaty organization of 35 member nations and territories charged with negotiating the management for tuna, sharks and rays, is meeting this week in Honolulu. These species are classified as highly migratory, meaning they swim through internationally managed waters, making collective management a necessity.

Tuna in particular, are highly valuable and face several thorny challenges that have resulted in less than optimal socioeconomic and biological performance, including weaknesses in current management that has allowed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, interactions with sharks, as well as human rights abuses. That’s why decisions made at this forum are so important.

The ultimate goal is to manage for healthy tuna populations that can support both the livelihoods and food security for Pacific Islands fishing communities and a thriving global industry. To achieve both of these outcomes, nations must put politics aside and focus on putting science-based management in place to rebuild tuna populations to a level that can support sustainable harvesting by all users now and for the future. Read More »

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