News - John Virdin

A coalition of experts has launched a free online training course to shed light on the impact of small-scale fisheries and help governments and nonprofit organizations collect crucial data, writes the Oak Foundation. The course is part of a wider effort to create guidelines for decision-makers on governing small-scale fisheries by a coalition, including Duke University.

A new e-learning course is supporting countries’ efforts to collect data on the impact of small-scale fisheries using an approach developed by experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Duke University and WorldFish.

Small-scale fisheries are “widely recognized as one of the most vulnerable food-production sectors in the face of climate change,” Tarub Bahri, fishery resources officer at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told the Economist Impact blog. The Illuminating Hidden Harvests study estimates that 492 million people around the world depend at least partially on engagement with small-scale fisheries for their jobs and livelihoods.

An annual report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlights the organization's work with Duke University and WorldFish on the global Illuminating Hidden Harvests initiative. “Part of Duke’s mission is to provide knowledge in the service of society, and this partnership with FAO allows us to conduct actionable research that can help support the millions of livelihoods worldwide that are dependent upon small-scale fisheries," said John Virdin, director of the Ocean Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute.

Building on a global study released earlier this year, a new paper led by Duke University researchers provides global estimates of the number of livelihoods supported by small-scale fisheries, distinguishing between subsistence and commercial fishing. The paper, published in the journal Nature Food, uses measures of subsistence fishing to highlight the importance of small-scale fisheries as a safety net for local communities.

The Nicholas Institute has updated its Plastics Policy Inventory to include nearly 900 public policies introduced around the world since 2000 to reduce plastic use and waste. A new library also connects individual policies to studies of their effectiveness, while a pair of publications explore overarching trends and gender considerations in the policy landscape.

An article in National Fisherman highlighted top findings from Illuminating Hidden Harvests: The Contributions of Small-Scale Fisheries to Sustainable Development, a collaborative research effort led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Duke University and WorldFish.

Duke University scholars and students were among more than 800 experts who contributed to the global Illuminating Hidden Harvests study detailing the contributions of small-scale fisheries to sustainable development. The collaborative research effort was led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Duke, and WorldFish.

A blog post by John Virdin (Nicholas Institute) and Raian Divanbeigi (World Bank) summarizes the findings of a World Bank Learning Engagement Note on maximizing potential job benefits in fisheries projects.

72% of Earth’s largest companies have pledged to reduce their plastic waste. A new study surveys what they’re doing (or not) to fulfill those promises.