The ocean could produce up to 75 percent more seafood than it does today and drive sustainable economic growth, holding a key role in solving global hunger. Center on Ocean Solutions Co-Director Jim Leape joined Stanford Earth Professor Roz Naylor for a conversation about food security, the current COVID-19 pandemic and how global food policies can better integrate “blue foods” from marine and freshwater systems.
"COVID-19 is disrupting processed and widely traded seafood products, such as salmon, shrimp and tuna," states Naylor. "However, locally produced and consumed food systems are actually faring much better. This is especially true for some small-scale fisheries, where local fishing groups have taken the initiative to sell seafood locally and new markets are emerging during the COVID-19 period. Production and consumption have become more tightly connected as a result."
Both Leape and Naylor are part of the global Blue Food Assessment, the first comprehensive review of aquatic foods and their roles in the global food system. Naylor will discuss the assessment with collaborators during the Virtual Ocean Dialogues on June 3rd.
The pair also highlighted promising innovations for sustainable future food systems. "Illegal fishing defeats efforts to manage the resource sustainability and cheats the fishers who are playing by the rules," Leape explains. "And we can end it. Emerging technologies are bringing much greater transparency into the fishing industry."
"If we want healthy oceans in the future, we have to be thinking about a wide range of innovations, and the institutions, financial incentives, and public trust needed to turn these innovations into real market solutions," says Naylor.