Last Wednesday, we hosted our annual public policy forum – Feeding the Future: An Ocean of Opportunity. I was extremely pleased with the attendance by so many people from diverse communities – academic, congressional, agency, industry, military – participating, both as speakers and as active members of our audience. Discussion covered a number of topics, including food security in contrast with growing global population (which is expected to reach 10 billion by mid-century) and the importance of promoting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, as well as associated challenges and opportunities; the role of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing that depletes fish stocks and impacts maritime security and sustainability (up to 30% of the world’ seafood catch comes from IUU fishing); the need to reduce seafood waste to address food security (40-47% of the edible seafood supply is wasted); and the complex linkages between ocean dynamics and land-based agricultural productivity. We ended the day with a discussion of actions and next steps that can be taken in this arena of growing importance; these actions will be published in the near-future in a summary document. A huge “thank you” to all our sponsors, panelists, speakers, moderators, and attendees for making this event so successful and thought provoking! Our consortium and our partners must lead efforts to ensure our healthy, productive ocean plays a role in feeding our growing global population. If you missed the forum, we’ll be posting videos, pictures, and the summary document on our website soon.
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Biologists Identify Ancient Stress Response In Corals
Stanford marine biologists have discovered that corals activate a specific group of ancient, defensive genes when exposed to stressful environmental conditions. These stress-induced genes could serve as a kind of warning sign for coral bleaching events. In the study, researchers monitored three coral colonies in a lagoon on Ofu Island, American Samoa, for their response to stressors like high temperatures, oxygen, and ocean acidity. On the hottest days, the researchers saw a significant change in which genes the corals were activating within their cells.