Ocean and Coastal Policy Program News

Global Study on Small-Scale Fisheries to Provide Vital Knowledge, Recognizes U.N. Food Report

Global Study on Small-Scale Fisheries to Provide Vital Knowledge, Recognizes U.N. Food Report

The Illuminating Hidden Harvests study will provide critical knowledge and information on small-scale fisheries globally, informing the way forward for sustainable development of the sector. 

This vital contribution of the study, due out in late 2020, was acknowledged in the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food report released on January 25, 2019.

Is Foreign Trawling Benefiting West Africa?

A new blog post by John Virdin, Director of the Ocean and Coast Policy Program, in chinadialogue ocean explores the outcomes when poorer coastal African nations and island countries try to make money by selling access to their fish-abundant waters to companies from richer countries with large fishing fleets. "Done well, these arrangements can contribute significantly to the development of lower-income countries," Virdin writes.

Group Photo in Lisbon

International Expert Workshop on Blue Natural Capital

John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, was among the participants at the Workshop on Blue Natural Capital in Lisbon, Portugal. The two-day conference explored how to mainstream Blue Natural Capital in economic science, corporate accounting, ecosystem management, and policy and international processes. It also highlighted case studies on valuing Blue Natural Capital and its use in conservation strategies, revenue models and business cases for sustainable ocean economy.

Newly Formed Pacific Catalyst Looks to Nurture New Leaders, Policies in Pacific Islands

A group of educators and professionals led by Transform Aqorau recently announced the formation of Pacific Catalyst, a partnership designed to foster new policies and a fresh generation of leaders in the Pacific Island fisheries. Aqorau, formerly the director of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and the CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, is the founding director of Pacific Catalyst, which will count on the participation of the University of South Pacific, the University of Wollongong, Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, iTunalntel, and the Environmental Defense Fund reports Seafood Source

Coalition to Train Pacific Islands New Fisheries Leaders

A new generation of fisheries leaders across the Pacific Islands region is to be trained by a consortium of educators and international policy experts, reports Fish Info and Services. The new coalition, whose founding director is Dr. Transform Aqorau, former deputy director of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and former CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, is formed by Pacific Catalyst in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP), the University of Wollongong, Duke University, iTunaIntel and Environmental Defense Fund.

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. 

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