Languages

Policy Forum

The Blue Economy: The coming marine industrial revolution

By Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, Nereus Program Manager and Research Associate

From shore you can see the windmills that provide electricity to the whole town, just behind the desalination plant that supplies freshwater to most of the region. The adjacent bay is where the fishing boats—fishing sustainably, of course—come to unload at the seafood processing centers that take in both wild captured fish and the products from integrated mariculture, where multiple species are grown, simulating an ecosystem. This is the vision for the Blue Economy fostered by the World Bank, the UN, and some of the largest global financial and conservation foundations.

Finding a recipe for scientific innovation: Out-of-the-box thinking is crucial for studying the oceans

By Robert Blasiak, Nereus Program Fellow at Stockholm Resilience Centre

Fachidiot! This wonderfully direct word from the German language describes a person who knows their subject (Fach), and nothing else. It was on my mind recently as I read articles in a new special issue of the journal Ecology & Society on “Reconciling Art and Science for Sustainability”. The issue is filled with contributions from scientists and artists who have in some sense travelled into unknown and unfamiliar territory, and discovered along the way that this was feeding innovation and adding value to their work.

Overfishing & overpopulation: Too many fishers chasing too few fish?

By Julia Mason, Nereus Program fellow at Stanford University

There’s a tendency among conservation scientists to attribute the world’s environmental crises to the growing global population. Fisheries science is no exception—the issue of overfishing is often condensed to one of “too many fishers chasing too few fish,” leading to inevitable fisheries declines.

In Pursuit of Parrotfish: Fieldwork in Antigua and Barbuda

By Julia Mason, Nereus Fellow at Stanford University

I got to spend a few weeks this August doing my very favorite activity: playing field assistant for a friend in a beautiful place. The closest I get to fieldwork for my own research is interviewing fishermen—fun and exciting in its own way, but it’s still a treat to put on my ecologist hat (or rather, mask) and jump in the water.

Understanding how marine species use the high seas: The Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO) system

By Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, Nereus Program Fellow at Duke University

Due to their wide-ranging swimming behaviors, migratory fish, marine mammal, seabird and sea turtle species experience a variety, and an increasing amount, of anthropogenic pressures over the course of their lives. These threats, including climate change, overfishing, and marine pollution, combined with conservation strategies that largely fail to consider spatial connectivity over the life cycle, are resulting in declining populations worldwide.

How polluted your tuna is depends on where it comes from

By Colin Thackray, Nereus Fellow at Harvard University

It’s fairly common knowledge that tuna is high in methylmercury, a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in marine food webs. This means that methylmercury magnifies further up the food web – tuna eat smaller fish that eat even smaller fish or plankton — all of which could contain the contaminant.

One small bay in Japan has been attracting marine scientists from around the world for more than 100 years

By Robert Blasiak, Nereus Program Fellow at Stockholm University

Let’s turn the clock back 113 years. The prominent German zoologist Franz Doflein is about to embark on a two-year journey with the dream of becoming one of the first scientists to study the marine flora and fauna of the deep-sea trenches off the coast of Japan. Reports that the Japanese and Russian empires have just declared war on each other are troubling, yet months of preparation cannot be abandoned, and in the summer of 1904, he boards the Prince Heinrich, a steamship bound for East Asia.