Ocean and Coastal Policy Program News

men fishing

Pacific Catalyst will Foster Innovative Fisheries Policies and a New Generation of Leaders

A consortium of educators and international policy experts aims to develop and inspire a new generation of fisheries leaders across the Pacific Islands region. Pacific Catalyst is a partnership of the University of the South Pacific, the University of Wollongong, Duke University, iTunaIntel and Environmental Defense Fund. Dr. Transform Aqorau, former deputy director of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and former CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement is founding director of the new coalition. Pacific Catalyst intends to establish a fisheries think tank and training center at the University of the South Pacific that will receive technical support from each of the partner organizations.

Fish Drying, Photo by Shutterstock.com

The Role of Small-Scale Fisheries in Feeding the World

Small-scale fisheries in coastal and inland communities across the world are a major component of the world’s food system. Despite their contribution to feeding a growing population in both the developed and developing world, the fisheries are often ignored in states’ policymaking, in part because their value has been poorly measured.The Nicholas Institute and the Marine Lab at the Nicholas School of the Environment are working with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WorldFish on a new global study—Illuminating Hidden Harvests: The Contribution of Small-Scale Fisheries to Sustainable Development—that aims to make these fisheries’ contribution better known.

John Virdin Portrait

Top Fisheries Report Mentions Forthcoming Study by Duke, Others

The latest edition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report—the bi-annual flagship publication of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department—was released today. Circulated for the first time at the Committee on Fisheries, a meeting of the world's top fisheries officials, it highlights the importance of fishing and fish farming to people's livelihoods and discusses a 2020 study by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' John Virdin, Nicholas School of the Environment’s Xavier Basurto, and partners at The WorldFish Center, and the FAO.

Duke Researchers Help Organize UN Event on Small-Scale Fisheries

Researchers from Duke University, including our Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director John Virdin, are playing a role in organizing an international symposium, July 9 in Rome, Italy, on small-scale fisheries’ contributions to sustainable development and food security.

Experts Gather At The Fisheries Meeting

Small–Scale Fisheries: Measuring Contributions to Catch and Culture

The Nereus Program quotes John Virdin, Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, in an article about an expert workshop they hosted to plan and map out next steps of a global study of small-scale fisheries. It aims to fill the knowledge gaps that policymakers often overlook related to the nuanced social, cultural, nutritional and economic contributions to people and communities that small-scale fisheries support. 

Voices from World Ocean Summit: An interview with John Virdin

At the most recent World Ocean Summit in Cancun, the Economist's World Ocean Initiative team interviewed John Virdin, the director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Virdin, who has been working on fisheries and financing for a number of years, discussed opportunities to structure investment in fisheries and connect capital to policy. 

Catalyst Program Funding will Advance Five Duke Research Projects

Catalyst Program Funding will Advance Five Duke Research Projects

Five projects received funding in the second year of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Catalyst Program.

The program aims to build on the Nicholas Institute’s mission by increasing engagement with Duke University faculty to incubate and advance new partnerships, enhance policy-relevant knowledge, and create innovative policy solutions based on new creative synergies. Funded in the program’s second year:

Duke Infrastructure Course

Rethinking How Fisheries Contribute to Global Food Needs

It’s often said that one in 10 people on the planet is hungry, and that number is on the rise. For Policy 360, Abigail Bennett, lead author of a new report on the contribution of fisheries to food and nutrition security, talks with Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. The report, which aims to provide a foundation of knowledge to inform research and policy on the role of capture fisheries in achieving sustainable development goals to end poverty and hunger, partners experts from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Environmental Defense Fund, World Bank, Duke Marine Lab, and Duke University's World Food Policy Center. 

Why Should you Care about Fisheries? They can Help Feed the World.

This Environmental Defense Fund blog post discusses a new report partnering the Nicholas Institute's John Virdin that examines how wild capture fisheries fit into the complex discussion of food security. It summarizes what is known about the potential role of fish and other aquatic resources, like shellfish and crustaceans, to help feed an increasingly hungry world. 

Authors Discuss Research on the Nutrition and Food Security Contributions of Capture Fisheries

Author Discusses Research on the Nutrition and Food Security Contributions of Capture Fisheries

Capture (wild caught) fisheries are undoubtedly one of the world’s important food systems, providing nearly one-fifth of the average per capita animal protein intake for more than 3.1 billion people as well as essential micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—and omega-3 fatty acids that are needed to end malnutrition and reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable disease around the world. Yet the contributions of these fisheries to food and nutrition security remain relatively absent from a range of policy dialogues critical to helping the sector do more to end hunger and malnutrition say the authors of the new report Contribution of Fisheries to Food and Nutrition Security: Current Knowledge, Policy, and Research. It suggests that support of capture fisheries’ contributions could require development of policies to ensure the sustainability of resources and to recognize tradeoffs and synergies between conservation and food security objectives. Developing these policies will require a better understanding of the drivers and threats to these fisheries. 

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