Social and political drivers are key to the regulation, access, and sustainability of food systems. While the ecological dimension is central to many of our research questions, we also aim to connect and compare species and ecosystem processes with the human dimension. Ultimately, humans are part of the problem and solution when it comes to conservation and resource management of aquatic and food systems.
Governance of marine aquaculture We provide one of the first studies of the global evaluations of sustainable aquaculture potential under current governance, policy, and capital patterns. There are numerous unexploited opportunities for countries, like those in the Pacific and Caribbean, with good governance and growth potential to pursue marine aquaculture, particularly to potentially alleviate local food security concerns.
Recently in the United States, the Executive Order on Promoting American Competitiveness and Economic Growth was signed and the ramifications of this are unclear. We provided five guiding principles for the implementation of the Order’s mandates to facilitate a pathway towards sustainable and economically prosperous fisheries and aquaculture in the US.
Public perceptions of aquaculture What is the public sentiment around aquaculture and how has it evolved over the last 20 years? We evaluated and reported, to our knowledge, the first multinational quantification of the relative sentiments and opinions of the public around distinct forms of aquaculture. Using thousands of newspaper headlines from developed and developing nations, ranging over periods of 1984 to 2015, we found an expanding positive trend of general ‘aquaculture’ coverage, while ‘marine’ and ‘offshore’ appeared more negative.
COVID-19 impacts on fisheries and seafood In the US, the seafood sector has been hit hard by responses to COVID-19. We document the most commonly reported effects of COVID-19 actions on seafood including closing of processing centers, shortened fishing seasons, and loss revenue. Our findings show widespread fallout across fishing and seafood sectors, with the implications that policy-makers will need to focus support on areas most affected by COVID-19, namely fishery-dependent communities, seafood processing facilities, and those fisheries that focus on fresh products. We also examined the resilience of the seafood sector. Looking across high-and low-income countries, we find that some supply chains, market segments, companies, small-scale actors and civil society have shown initial signs of greater resilience than others. We discuss early coping and adaptive responses, combined with lessons from past shocks, that could be considered when building resilience in the sector.