Studying Sustainable Seafood in Seattle

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Studying Sustainable Seafood in Seattle

For the past year, a group of MARINA lab students (Emily, Henry, Kadie, and Brittany) have been working on a project attempting to understand what it means for Seattle to be a "sustainable US seafood city." Last week, the group presented findings from their project at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle, WA. In addition, the group published a blog post with The Nature Conservancy - a partner in this project - summarizing some of their findings. Take a look at their post here!

 

Photo Credit: TNC / Bridget Besaw

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Is Aquaculture Feeding the People Who Need It Most?

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Is Aquaculture Feeding the People Who Need It Most?

This is a central question in a paper Eddie co-authored in Nature entitled "Nutrition: Fall in fish catch threatens human health," last June. The paper concluded that aquaculture was displacing wild catch fisheries in many places; particularly, in places where nutritionally vulnerable people were neither accessing aquaculture-grown fish nor benefiting from its industry profits. In response, industry and researchers alike questioned the representation of aquaculture in developing countries publishing an article in the journal Global Food Security.

Surrounding the debate: Eddie believes that both teams are actually mostly on the same page, even if their conclusions were different. At the end of March, Eddie was interviewed about this research and his take on some of the contention surrounding their findings. Read about it here!

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Farquhar presents at Aquaculture America 2018

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Farquhar presents at Aquaculture America 2018

This past February, Sam traveled to Las Vegas to present at the Aquaculture America 2018 Conference. The conference is the largest aquaculture trade show in the United States focused on technological advancements within the aquaculture sector. Sam attended to present her research demonstrating the socio-economic benefits that aquaculture has had on women in rural Nepal. Specifically, how fish farming has allowed women to earn significant supplemental income, consume more protein, and give women a sense of independence and empowerment. Additionally, while at the conference, Sam got to reconnect with her old colleagues she met during fieldwork in Nepal and Bangladesh!

 

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Our Lab, Unlocked!

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Our Lab, Unlocked!

Last Thursday, we had the honor of opening our metaphorical lab doors to a select audience of friends, community, and alums of the UW's College of the Environment. We were among three lab groups from the College invited to present our work on the theme of 'Climate and Food.' While we may not have a physical lab filled with beakers and pipettes, we were excited to present some of our work with a wider audience.

Under the overarching title of "Fishing for Justice, Nutrition, and Wellbeing in a Changing Climate," we chose to highlight our lab's work through the presentation of three student-led projects. Lily presented her work on the importance of East Africa's octopus fishery to local livelihoods and food security. She even exhorted the audience to try (sustainably sourced!) octopus soup as an aphrodisiac. 

Brittany, Kadie, Henry, and Emily - presenting their capstone project - spoke about Seattle's potential for national, and perhaps even global, leadership in the seafood sustainability movement. Zach - assisted by MARINA lab alum Jack Cheney - outlined the objective of our new Population Health Initiative grant piloting ways to get underutilized fish species in the California current ecosystem to low-income coastal communities with a need for seafood. 

With such a unique opportunity to engage local community members, Eddie emphasized our lab’s overall mission of conducting research and policy analysis related to the fair allocation of benefits from well-managed coastal ecosystems. He also stressed the importance of our connections with resource users and policy makers, the applied and interdisciplinary nature of our work, and the potential of our lab members to become key influencers in future environment and development policy arenas.

Here are some fun photos of our lab preparing for the presentation:

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Towards an Integrative Framework for Local Environmental Stewardship

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Towards an Integrative Framework for Local Environmental Stewardship

Last week was a busy time for the Lab. In addition to the Cinner et. al. paper published in Nature Climate Science, Eddie Allison and PhD student Hannah Bassett co-authored a paper led by Nathan Bennett entitled Environmental Stewardship: A Conceptual Review and Analytical Framework

The paper deepens the concept of stewardship by presenting a comprehensive definition of environmental stewardship and a framework to better understand conditions that lead to successful stewardship in different contexts. To date, there has been extensive attention and investment in local environmental stewardship with regard to conservation and environmental management policies and programs. However, little attention has gone into understanding the conditions that lead to successful stewardship efforts and the nature of activities that can support, enable or facilitate stewardship maintenance or development. Stewardship, as the authors define it, hinges on three central elements - actors, motivations, and capacity. 

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This figure from the paper shows the analytical framework for environmental stewardship and it's many elements. Asterisks (*) mark leverage points where strategic interventions – via government policies, NGO programs, market mechanisms or other initiatives at a range of scales – can be applied to support or promote local environmental stewardship efforts. 

This paper was published open access, so is available to everyone for free, here!

 

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