The Beacon

Blog Tags: Food Security

Feeding the World with Wild Seafood

The Economist hosts it's Feeding the World summit this week in Amsterdam.

What food requires no fresh water, produces little carbon dioxide, does not use any arable land, and provides healthy, lean protein at a cost accessible to the world’s poor?

WILD SEAFOOD.

This is the same question our very own CEO Andrew Sharpless will be asking audience members at The Economist’s “Feeding the World” conference this week in Amsterdam.

In addition to Oceana, other experts from agribusiness, policy, science, and the NGO community will join the conversation by discussing and debating the future of food security as the world population grows toward 9 billion by 2050.

Andy will contribute to this prestigious global conversation by presenting Oceana’s “Save the Oceans: Feed the World” initiative which details the benefits of wild fish as a food source. He’ll explain the many advantages wild fish has over traditional agriculture, especially in developing countries, as it’s cheap and accessible to anyone with a hook or a net and requires no ownership of land or access to fresh water.

The best part is that we already know how to maximize the ocean’s potential as a food source. It requires the same steps we’re already taking to preserve biodiversity, such as reducing bycatch, protecting habitat and enforcing scientific quotas. We just have to do it in the right places.

If managed effectively in the 25 countries that control 75% of the world’s fish stocks, wild fish will be abundant enough to feed 12 billion people by 2050, which far exceeds the current population projections. Andy will explain that by protecting our dwindling fish stocks and focusing on effective fisheries management in the top fishing nations, fish can become the perfect protein of the future.

Andy has discussed Oceana’s efforts in previous presentations, but The Economist’s conference is especially timely given the European Union’s recent action to curb overfishing in its waters.

Learn more about how saving the oceans can feed the world.


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Oceana Chief Scientist on HuffPost Live

Oceana chief scientist Michael Hirshfield dropped by Huffington Post Live yesterday to talk sustainability, food security and fish (Michael begins speaking at around the 11 minute mark).

Michael says that the oceans are an often overlooked resource that if managed correctly could become 20 to 40 percent more productive than they are today, and sigificantly contribute to the global food budget in 2050 when world population is expected to top out at 9 billion people. Michael also discusses the merits of aquaculture, a term that encompasses everything from tuna farming which is unlikely to aid food security or the fight against overfishing, to shellfish cultivation, which can benefit both seafood lovers and ecosystems alike. Watch the video to learn more!


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CO2 Emissions Threaten Ocean-Based Food Security

Oceana’s new report, Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World ranks nations to show which are most vulnerable to reductions in seafood production as a result of climate change and ocean acidification. While seafood is currently a primary source of protein for more than a billion of the poorest people in the world, carbon dioxide emissions are causing the oceans to warm and become more acidic, threatening fisheries and the people who depend on them.

Rising ocean temperatures are pushing many fish species into deeper and colder waters towards the poles and away from the tropics, while increased acidity is threatening important habitats such as coral reefs and the future of shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels.

Many coastal and island developing nations, such as Togo, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Madagascar and Thailand depend more heavily on seafood for protein and could suffer the greatest hardships because they have fewer resources to replace what is lost from the sea. For many developing countries, seafood is often the cheapest and most readily available source of protein, losing this resource could have serious impacts on livelihoods and food security.

The only way to address global ocean acidification and the primary path to ending climate change is by dramatically reducing carbon dioxide emissions. One of the first steps in this process should be to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies.

Some local measures may help make marine resources more resilient to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification such as stopping overfishing, bycatch and destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling, as well as establishing no take marine protected areas and limiting local pollution. But reducing carbon dioxide emissions is essential to make sure the oceans stay vibrant and productive for future generations.

To find the full ranking of nations’ vulnerability to climate change and ocean acidification check out our report:  http://oceana.org/en/HighCO2World


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Andy Sharpless at Ideacity 2012

Watch live streaming video from ideacity at livestream.com

Did you know that the world’s oceans have the power to feed millions of hungry people? It’s true, but only if we make sure that we’re using them sustainably.

Our CEO Andy Sharpless spoke about this at the Ideacity conference in Toronto on June 15th. The three-day conference brought together artists, activists, scientists and more in “Canada’s Premier Meeting of the Minds.”

Here’s a video of his presentation, where he emphasizes the importance of national action and responsible management in ensuring that we don’t deplete wild fish populations. Seafood offers many benefits—it’s healthier than red meat, doesn’t take up land or produce greenhouse gases, and creates jobs in major fishing countries.

Learn more about Oceana’s Save the Oceans , Feed the World campaign and sign the petition today. 


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Video: Andy Sharpless on Fish and World Hunger

Did you know that protecting our oceans could be an answer to world hunger? A few weeks ago our CEO Andy Sharpless gave a talk at TedxSF about how saving the oceans can help feed the world.

We think it’s a fantastic, thought-provoking presentation, please watch and pass it on:


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BBC Interviews Andy Sharpless at World Oceans Summit

Last month our CEO Andy Sharpless attended the Economist's World Oceans Summit in Singapore. He spoke to the BBC about the importance of sustainable fishing to the future of global food security, check out the interview and pass it on:


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World Bank Launches Global Partnerships for the Oceans

© Oceana/Eduardo Sorensen

Today the World Bank announced a new international alliance called the Global Partnerships for the Oceans and we are excited to announce our involvement!

It’s a collaborative partnership in every sense with many of the world’s top conservation organizations, private interests and the World Bank pooling their resources and energies to help tackle the toughest issues facing our oceans like overfishing, marine degradation and habitat loss.

Oceana understands the need to protect our oceans for their beauty and splendor, but we also recognize that there’s more at stake here. It’s not just about the environment. It’s also about the millions of people who rely on the oceans to keep them healthy and well fed—and the millions more who will rely on them in the future.

Oceana’s CEO Andy Sharpless said it best: “This global partnership couldn’t come at a better time. At this moment we’re looking at two diverging lines: world population, on a steady ascent, and global fish catch, on a steady decline. If we reverse this latter trend with better fisheries management, we could have enough wild seafood to feed the 9 billion people projected to live on our planet in 2050. No longer is this issue solely about ocean conservation - it’s also about humanity and saving the oceans in order to feed the world.”

We’re advocating for better ocean management to meet this challenge. By ensuring our oceans are productive enough to feed a growing population we’ll improve biodiversity and strengthen key habitats in the process, which will make the oceans healthier, too.

Oceana’s model for saving the oceans is just one of many. But that’s what makes this partnership so great. We’re uniting conservationists from all corners, public and private. It’s the complementary collaboration that makes this alliance so strong and well rounded.

The news of the alliance was first announced today at the World Oceans Summit in Singapore, which brought together many of the world’s leaders in ocean conservation including our very own CEO Andy Sharpless.  

 


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Ted Danson on CBS Sunday Morning

On Sunday CBS aired a great piece on the always lovable Ted Danson, of “Cheers” and Oceana Board of Directors fame.

In addition to conducting part of the interview dressed as Don Quixote for an episode of “Bored to Death” , Ted talks about his passion for ocean conservation and the need to view ocean issues through the lens of food security and jobs.

Check it out and get his book , “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What You Can Do to Save Them,” if you haven’t yet – it would make a great gift for anyone on your list, and a portion of the proceeds go towards our work to protect the oceans.


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Ocean Acidification Threatens Global Food Security

oysters

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

It makes sense that ocean acidification is bad for marine life. But who knew it could have far-reaching effects on human health as well?

A new report by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that ocean acidification is threatening global food security by hindering the growth of clam, oyster, and other mollusk populations – staples in many nations’ diets.

Without healthy and reliable mollusk populations, countries may be forced to switch to aquaculture. Countries like Haiti, Senegal, and Madagascar, however, lack the ability to make this switch and are thus especially vulnerable to the impacts of mollusk shortages. And of course, problems like this never exist in a vacuum; even developed countries such as the U.S. will feel the effects via a potential drop in GDP.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just a theoretical problem – the deleterious effects can already be seen in both ecosystems and economic realms alike. In Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, scientists have observed that coral growth has slowed, and Pacific Northwest oyster farms have already experienced declining economic yields. Further effects, which will no doubt be broader in scope, will probably be seen in 10 to 50 years if we do not make a concerted effort to halt ocean acidification.


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