WFC: A hard look beyond catch of the day

Written by: Sue Nichols

Primary Source: Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability

WFC: A hard look beyond catch of the dayI sorta blame restaurants  – from Red Lobster to the Friday fish fries to those honkin’ buffets.

They make fish look so endless. Every day’s a feast, and the shear bounty seems to assure it’ll be that way forever.

Apparently, my woozy feelings of fish fry security aren’t unusual. Americans have a long history of wanting to believe their food comes from a grocery store or restaurant kitchen. But, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Watch, 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are being harvested at capacity or are in decline.

Invasive species – like Asian carp – can wreak havoc with fish populations. Then there’s climate change, which is promising new challenges in managing fish populations.

In other words, there’s more to it than meets the daily special.

That leads us to five graduate students from CSIS who this week are in Edinburgh, Scotland, at the 6th World Fisheries Congress. It’s the Olympics of fish research. Experts from around the world gather every four years to tackle (oh… a pun!) issues of fisheries and fish sustainability.

The CSIS group – Hanna Kruckman, Abigail Lynch, Ayman Mabrouk, Marielle Peschiera, Kelsey Schlee and Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe – bring more than fish and water to the table.  All, with adviser Bill Taylor, University Distinguished professor in global fisheries systems, work to understand how the relationships between people, landscapes and water affect fish biodiversity and productivity. Below is an introduction from four of the six (apologies to Ayman and Marielle who fell victim to a mic failure).

They’ve graciously offered to blog about their experiences. Already, I’m hooked.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning about making sustainable choices when you pick fish, visit Seafood Watch for apps for smartphones and pocket guides.

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Sue Nichols
I’m assistant director of MSU’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability and am in charge of strategic research communication.
Sue Nichols

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