Solving Sustainability Challenges at the Aquatic Food-Climate-Biodiversity Nexus

This section provides a platform for an international and interdisciplinary panel to discuss the development of marine and aquatic food-climate-biodiversity solutions that explicitly consider their complex social and ecological contexts. The panel will highlight case studies in Canada, China, Costa Rica, Nigeria/Ghana and the Netherlands to elucidate different potential pathways towards achieving food security, climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals. These pathways include Indigenous reconciliation (Canada), aquaculture (China), land-sea interactions (Costa Rica), eliminating IUU fishing (Nigeria/Ghana) and circular economic (the Netherlands). These case studies will also illuminate the diverse social, economic, political, cultural and ecological contexts of food-climate-biodiversity challenges and the commonality and differences in their solutions. Panelists from Canada, China, and Costa Rica will discuss how their experiences and knowledge can be integrated to generate the knowledge needed to develop viable pathways to solve nexus challenges, and transfer this knowledge to inform policy-making.


William Cheung, The University of British Columbia, [email protected]

Onboarding Fisheries Scientists to Open Science: Integrating Collaborative and Inclusive Principles into Education, Workforce Development, and Community Management

The world’s fisheries are in a period of rapidly changing ocean conditions; Open Science will help the field adapt by promoting rapid innovation and collaboration to make science transparent, reproducible, and reusable, and inclusive both for scientific community and those impacted by decisions made using this science. Yet these features of Open Science have not typically been part of education training programs and professional development. This session will feature presentations by 4-5 expert panelists followed by a facilitated discussion with panelists and attendees. The panelist presentations will highlight different examples of programs that leverage Open Science principles to create inclusive, collaborative spaces for skills-building in both formal and informal training settings. The open discussion will center on different ways we can promote Open Science within the field of fisheries, and how we ensure equity and access to training in these skills and principles.


Gavin Fay, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, [email protected]
Julia Lowndes, Openscapes
Elizabeth Eli Holmes, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Mobilizing a Basic Income in the Fisheries

Fisheries are crucial to the social and economic well-being of coastal regions and Indigenous communities across North America and globally. However, those who work in the sector, which includes small-scale and subsistence fisheries as well as fish processing, face intensifying social and ecological pressures. This panel session will consider how a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) may enhance socio-economic sustainability in the fisheries sector. A BIG is an unconditional cash transfer from governments to individuals to enable everyone to meet their basic needs, participate in society, and live with dignity – regardless of work status. This panel will feature scholars and practitioners offering their insights on the potential role, including opportunities and points of tension, of a BIG within their geographies and areas of specialization within fisheries.


Kristen Lowitt, Queen’s University, [email protected]

Going Beyond Environmental Sustainability: Integration of Social Responsibility into Sustainable Seafood Interventions

Embedding social responsibility into the definition of sustainability has accelerated across fisheries and their supply chains, as human rights and labor issues are increasingly being included as key elements of market-based approaches like third-party certifications, fishery improvement projects (FIPs), and buyer sourcing commitments. Now, these interventions aim to address a wide scope of human and labor rights such as forced labor, human trafficking, and child labor, as well as food and livelihood security and gender equity to create meaningful change for fishers and fishworkers across the diversity of global fisheries. In this session, those leading the integration of social responsibility into fisheries sustainability present findings from a recent, empirical evaluation of recognized market-based interventions, highlighting notable progress, challenges, and areas of improvement. Drawing on examples from direct collaboration with industry and fishing communities, they share lessons learned and tangible next actions for the fisheries science and seafood industry sectors.


Gabrielle Lout, Ocean Outcomes, [email protected]

Accelerating Progress: Solutions Through Innovative Technology, Selective Fish Passage and a Dynamic Science-Knowledge-Policy Interface

Fisheries science tells us that we have a fish sustainability crisis. Climate change and decades of human intervention have disrupted the balance of river ecosystems. Clean, renewable energy resources are needed, including hydropower with fish passage. The science “advocates” for massive and faster restoration activities. Recent technological development across many fields has increased dramatically.  However, in the world of fish passage and invasive management the trajectory has been relatively flat: Fish ladders and truck-and-transport operations are largely unchanged and invasive removal is primarily manual. As a result, key objectives are not being met. Given the decline in many migratory fish populations, and the rise in opportunistic invasive fish species, incremental steps toward improvement are not enough. A significant change in approach is needed. Join us in a two-part panel discussion of the requirements for progress, including government policy, and a case evaluation of population restoration efforts necessitating innovative, removal strategies.


Vince Bryan, Whooshh Innovations, Inc., [email protected]
Steve Dearden, Whooshh Innovations, Inc.
Mike Messina, Whooshh Innovations, Inc.

Financing Sustainable and Equitable Fisheries: Lessons Learned and Paths Forward

We plan to convene an expert panel session on financing sustainable and equitable fisheries, and convening representatives from philanthropy, public funding agencies, and investment funds. The expert panel will discuss and answer questions regarding the changing seascape of funding for sustainable and socially responsible fisheries projects around the world.


Katy Dalton, Conservation International, [email protected]

Enforcement and Observer Programs: An Essential Partnership to Protect Observers, Maintain High-Quality Data, Combat IUU, and Ensure Sustainable Fisheries Management

This session seeks to highlight the essential relationship between fisheries observer programs and enforcement in order to foster the support of observers and ultimately sustainable management of our marine resources. Although observers are central to high-quality fishery-dependent data collection, observers also face challenges in performing their work safely at sea on commercial fishing vessels. Without effective enforcement programs, regulations and measures designed to the rules that are in place to create a safe and efficient sampling environment for observers are easily subverted. Enforcement also is paramount to combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fisheries. This expert panel discussion will provide an opportunity to share ideas, present case studies of collaborative partnerships with observer programs and enforcement agencies, and illustrate operational challenges. The end goal will be to identify tactics and strategies that contribute to effective observer and enforcement relationships.


Gwynne Schnaittacher, NOAA Fisheries, [email protected]
Jon McVeigh, NOAA Fisheries

Defining “Destructive Fishing” and Options to Support a Fair Transition to Low-impact Methods

The term “destructive fishing” is widely used across policy, media and academic sectors but with no agreed definition or associated indicators, progress towards sustainable fisheries management and reducing biodiveristy loss is impeded. This panel session will discuss work undertaken to develop an expert-driven definition of “destructive fishing” and associated indicators so that progress against international and national policy frameworks can be measured (e.g. SDGs). In particular, we aim to highlight the need to transition away from the most destructive fishing practices in terms of biodiversity and discuss how a fair transition could be supported. This will be demonstrated through several case studies performed to assess the economic, social, and environmental impact of a transition to lower-impact gears. Audience members will be invited to comment on the work conducted to date and discuss possible barriers and opportunities to support a global transition away from destructive fishing practices.


Hannah Richardson, Fauna and Flora International, [email protected]

Crafting Usable Science to Inform Fisheries Decision-making in a Changing Climate – Lessons from the Science-Policy Interface

Climate-driven impacts on marine species are a complex problem. The myriad challenges climate change poses for managers, stakeholders, and scientists are cross-cutting, cross-disciplinary, and contentious. The ability to move beyond this complexity to manage fisheries in a changing ocean will require information that is tailored to the decision-making context and developed with the input of fisheries managers and stakeholders. This session will present an expert panel of researchers involved in efforts to better understand, predict, and advance solutions for climate change impacts on fisheries. We will focus particularly on methods and experiences around developing and conducting research hand-in-hand with the people who can use the results to position research outcomes for greatest impact.


Sarah Close, Lenfest Ocean Program, The Pew Charitable Trusts, [email protected]