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  • You may be wondering

  • why a marine biologist from Oceana

  • would come here today to talk to you

  • about world hunger.

  • I'm here today because

  • saving the oceans is more than an ecological desire.

  • It's more than a thing we're doing

  • because we want to create jobs for fishermen

  • or preserve fishermen's jobs.

  • It's more than an economic pursuit.

  • Saving the oceans can feed the world.

  • Let me show you how.

  • As you know, there are already

  • more than a billion hungry people on this planet.

  • We're expecting that problem to get worse

  • as world population grows to nine billion

  • or 10 billion by midcentury,

  • and we can expect to have greater pressure

  • on our food resources.

  • And this is a big concern,

  • especially considering where we are now.

  • Now we know that our arable land per capita

  • is already on the decline

  • in both developed and developing countries.

  • We know that we're headed for climate change,

  • which is going to change rainfall patterns,

  • making some areas drier, as you can see in orange,

  • and others wetter, in blue,

  • causing droughts in our breadbaskets,

  • in places like the Midwest and Central Europe,

  • and floods in others.

  • It's going to make it harder for the land

  • to help us solve the hunger problem.

  • And that's why the oceans need to be their most abundant,

  • so that the oceans can provide us

  • as much food as possible.

  • And that's something the oceans have been doing

  • for us for a long time.

  • As far back as we can go, we've seen an increase

  • in the amount of food we've been able to harvest

  • from our oceans.

  • It just seemed like it was continuing to increase,

  • until about 1980,

  • when we started to see a decline.

  • You've heard of peak oil.

  • Maybe this is peak fish.

  • I hope not. I'm going to come back to that.

  • But you can see about an 18-percent decline

  • in the amount of fish we've gotten in our world catch

  • since 1980.

  • And this is a big problem. It's continuing.

  • This red line is continuing to go down.

  • But we know how to turn it around,

  • and that's what I'm going to talk about today.

  • We know how to turn that curve back upwards.

  • This doesn't have to be peak fish.

  • If we do a few simple things in targeted places,

  • we can bring our fisheries back and use them

  • to feed people.

  • First we want to know where the fish are,

  • so let's look where the fish are.

  • It turns out the fish, conveniently,

  • are located for the most part

  • in our coastal areas of the countries,

  • in coastal zones,

  • and these are areas that national jurisdictions

  • have control over,

  • and they can manage their fisheries

  • in these coastal areas.

  • Coastal countries tend to have jurisdictions

  • that go out about 200 nautical miles,

  • in areas that are called exclusive economic zones,

  • and this is a good thing that they can control

  • their fisheries in these areas,

  • because the high seas,

  • which are the darker areas on this map,

  • the high seas, it's a lot harder to control things,

  • because it has to be done internationally.

  • You get into international agreements,

  • and if any of you are tracking the climate change agreement,

  • you know this can be a very slow,

  • frustrating, tedious process.

  • And so controlling things nationally

  • is a great thing to be able to do.

  • How many fish are actually in these coastal areas

  • compared to the high seas?

  • Well, you can see here about

  • seven times as many fish in the coastal areas

  • than there are in the high seas,

  • so this is a perfect place for us to be focusing,

  • because we can actually get a lot done.

  • We can restore a lot of our fisheries

  • if we focus in these coastal areas.

  • But how many of these countries do we have to work in?

  • There's something like 80 coastal countries.

  • Do we have to fix fisheries management

  • in all of those countries?

  • So we asked ourselves, how many countries

  • do we need to focus on,

  • keeping in mind that the European Union

  • conveniently manages its fisheries

  • through a common fisheries policy?

  • So if we got good fisheries management

  • in the European Union and, say, nine other countries,

  • how much of our fisheries would we be covering?

  • Turns out, European Union plus nine countries

  • covers about two thirds of the world's fish catch.

  • If we took it up to 24 countries plus the European Union,

  • we would up to 90 percent,

  • almost all of the world's fish catch.

  • So we think we can work in a limited number of places

  • to make the fisheries come back.

  • But what do we have to do in these places?

  • Well, based on our work in the United States

  • and elsewhere, we know that there are

  • three key things we have to do

  • to bring fisheries back, and they are:

  • We need to set quotas or limits

  • on how much we take;

  • we need to reduce bycatch, which is the accidental

  • catching and killing of fish that we're not targeting,

  • and it's very wasteful;

  • and three, we need to protect habitats,

  • the nursery areas, the spawning areas

  • that these fish need to grow and reproduce successfully

  • so that they can rebuild their populations.

  • If we do those three things, we know the fisheries will come back.

  • How do we know?

  • We know because we've seen it happening

  • in a lot of different places.

  • This is a slide that shows

  • the herring population in Norway

  • that was crashing since the 1950s.

  • It was coming down, and when Norway set limits,

  • or quotas, on its fishery, what happens?

  • The fishery comes back.

  • This is another example, also happens to be from Norway,

  • of the Norwegian Arctic cod.

  • Same deal. The fishery is crashing.

  • They set limits on discards.

  • Discards are these fish they weren't targeting

  • and they get thrown overboard wastefully.

  • When they set the discard limit,

  • the fishery came back.

  • And it's not just in Norway.

  • We've seen this happening in countries

  • all around the world, time and time again.

  • When these countries step in and they

  • put in sustainable fisheries management policies,

  • the fisheries, which are always crashing, it seems,

  • are starting to come back.

  • So there's a lot of promise here.

  • What does this mean for the world fish catch?

  • This means that if we take that fishery catch

  • that's on the decline

  • and we could turn it upwards, we could increase it

  • up to 100 million metric tons per year.

  • So we didn't have peak fish yet.

  • We still have an opportunity

  • to not only bring the fish back

  • but to actually get more fish

  • that can feed more people

  • than we currently are now.

  • How many more? Right about now,

  • we can feed about 450 million people

  • a fish meal a day

  • based on the current world fish catch,

  • which, of course, you know is going down,

  • so that number will go down over time

  • if we don't fix it,

  • but if we put fishery management practices

  • like the ones I've described in place

  • in 10 to 25 countries,

  • we could bring that number up

  • and feed as many as 700 million people a year

  • a healthy fish meal.

  • We should obviously do this just because

  • it's a good thing to deal with the hunger problem,

  • but it's also cost-effective.

  • It turns out fish is the most cost-effective protein

  • on the planet.

  • If you look at how much fish protein you get

  • per dollar invested

  • compared to all of the other animal proteins,

  • obviously, fish is a good business decision.

  • It also doesn't need a lot of land,

  • something that's in short supply,

  • compared to other protein sources.

  • And it doesn't need a lot of fresh water.

  • It uses a lot less fresh water than,

  • for example, cattle,

  • where you have to irrigate a field

  • so that you can grow the food to graze the cattle.

  • It also has a very low carbon footprint.

  • It has a little bit of a carbon footprint

  • because we do have to get out and catch the fish.

  • It takes a little bit of fuel,

  • but as you know, agriculture can have a carbon footprint,

  • and fish has a much smaller one,

  • so it's less polluting.

  • It's already a big part of our diet,

  • but it can be a bigger part of our diet,

  • which is a good thing, because we know

  • that it's healthy for us.

  • It can reduce our risks of cancer,

  • heart disease and obesity.

  • In fact, our CEO Andy Sharpless,

  • who is the originator of this concept, actually,

  • he likes to say fish is the perfect protein.

  • Andy also talks about the fact that

  • our ocean conservation movement really grew

  • out of the land conservation movement,

  • and in land conservation,

  • we have this problem where biodiversity

  • is at war with food production.

  • You have to cut down the biodiverse forest

  • if you want to get the field

  • to grow the corn to feed people with,

  • and so there's a constant push-pull there.

  • There's a constant tough decision

  • that has to be made between

  • two very important things:

  • maintaining biodiversity and feeding people.

  • But in the oceans, we don't have that war.

  • In the oceans, biodiversity is not at war

  • with abundance.

  • In fact, they're aligned.

  • When we do things that produce biodiversity,

  • we actually get more abundance,

  • and that's important so that we can feed people.

  • Now, there's a catch.

  • Didn't anyone get that? (Laughter)

  • Illegal fishing.

  • Illegal fishing undermines the type of

  • sustainable fisheries management I'm talking about.

  • It can be when you catch fish using gears

  • that have been prohibited,

  • when you fish in places where you're not supposed to fish,

  • you catch fish that are the wrong size or the wrong species.

  • Illegal fishing cheats the consumer

  • and it also cheats honest fishermen,

  • and it needs to stop.

  • The way illegal fish get into our market is through seafood fraud.

  • You might have heard about this.

  • It's when fish are labeled as something they're not.

  • Think about the last time you had fish.

  • What were you eating?

  • Are you sure that's what it was?

  • Because we tested 1,300 different fish samples

  • and about a third of them

  • were not what they were labeled to be.

  • Snappers, nine out of 10 snappers were not snapper.