Fisheries & Food Security

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Award Year: 
2015
Principal Investigator: 
Christopher Golden, Harvard University
Douglas McCauley, University of California, Santa Barbara
Associated Program: 

   
One of the greatest challenges facing our planet is the need to feed the nine billion people expected to inhabit the Earth by 2050. Grains and vegetarian sources will be important for providing the calories and protein—but animal-source foods are essential, especially in developing countries, for the provision of nutrients critical to human health such as iron, zinc, vitamins A and B12, and fatty acids. Today, more than two billion people globally are afflicted with micronutrient malnutrition which lead to increases in anemia, diarrhea, cognitive deficits, and maternal and infant mortality, among others. The majority of those in impoverished regions rely on fish as a means to prevent micronutrient deficiencies. This relationship demonstrates that the future of our global fisheries is thus inextricably linked to the fate of global human health. Overfishing, climate change, industrial fish poaching, and marine habitat degradation all threaten fishery health. The FAO (2010) acknowledges this impending socio-ecological disaster stating that, “it is undeniable that overfishing and potential depletion of fishery resources constitute a real threat to many coastal livelihoods"—and yet, we lack the analytical tools necessary to track and respond to the intensification of this threat. We propose to link together global experts in ocean informatics, public health, fisheries modeling, and marine conservation to create a series of models that will enable us to forecast how changes in the health of global fisheries affect global health. This model will draw from eight of the largest and most powerful datasets available on global fisheries health and dietary reliance on fish. Products from this collaboration will position us to more effectively address and motivate sustainable management of global fisheries and proactively safeguard both fisheries health and global health.

Participants: 
Erin Akred, DataKind
Edward Allison, University of Washington
Timothy Bouley, World Bank
William Cheung, University of British Columbia
Teevrat Garg, Cornell University
Benjamin Halpern, University of California, Santa Barbara
Marc Metian, IAEA Environment Laboratories
Steve Mills, Booz Allen Hamilton
Samuel Myers, Harvard University
Riambatosoa Rakotondrazafy Andriamampandry, University of British Columbia
Elizabeth Selig, Conservation International
Katherine Seto, University of California, Berkeley
Anuraj Shankar, Harvard University
Martin Smith, Duke University
Matthew Smith, Harvard University
Dirk Zeller, University of British Columbia

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