Is Aiming To Protect 30% of the Earth by 2030 A Good Idea?

Seems like it, but the devil would be in the details. The problem is there are very few details in many of these proclamations including the recent Executive Order by US President, Joe Biden. 
Protected areas can come in different forms. Some you can recreationally hunt and fish in, some you can’t; some allow commercial access (e.g. logging, oil and gas, fishing), some don’t. 
The goal with protected areas is to strike a good balance between human interests, like the wellbeing of coastal communities, and conserving nature - which also provides us longer term benefits. Sustainable fisheries play an important role in the nation’s economy. Combined, U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $244 billion in sales and supported more than 1.7 million jobs in 2017. However, the economic viability of the fisheries sector is now in great peril due to the effects of the novel coronavirus which destroyed demand for seafood across a complicated U.S. supply chain, from luxury items such as lobster and crab, generally consumed at restaurants, to grocery staples sourced from the world’s fish farms. With restaurants closed, many of the nation’s fisheries — across geography, species, gear types and management — have reported sales slumps as high as 95 percent (source). Federal CARES relief has been slow, and inadequate. Additional closures and regulation is likely to place untimely pressure on the sector.
So what does a good human, economic, and fisheries balance look like? A lot of that depends on baseline conditions and geography, or in our case oceanography. Right now about 13% of the world’s oceans are protected in some way and 26% of US waters are covered by marine protected areas (MPAs). It is also important to recognize that MPAs are just one way to manage marine resources. Catch limits including size and species, capacity limits like capping the number of fishing vessels or licenses, and time/area closures are tools used to conserve fish stocks and protect ocean ecosystems. These are applied so effectively by the US government under the Magnuson-Stevens Act that NOAA Fisheries most recent Annual Status of Stocks presentation to Congress summarized 7% of stocks are subject to overfishing and 19% are overfished (population is low) with all of the largest U.S. stocks reported sustainable: by weight, roughly 99% of American wild-caught seafood is sustainable (source).
Some research does show that MPAs can be effective at rebuilding overfished species in near-shore environments and in some deeper water benthic (sea floor) habitats. That is part of the reason why California established its Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), resulting in 124 MPA covering 16% of the State’s coastal waters. The Magnuson-Stevens Act overlaps with the MLPA creating one of the best marine resource management systems in the world; thus Federal and State waters in the US and California are already very well managed. There is room for incremental improvement with good science, careful planning, and multi-stakeholder involvement but not huge increases in MPAs. International waters, or the high seas beyond 200 miles from shore that are under national jurisdictions is a whole other can of worms. Please subscribe to the newsletter here and stay tuned as we dive into relevant areas for consideration on the high seas. 
Pescavore CEO and Co-Founder Matthew Owens started his career in sustainable seafood as a rural aquaculture extension agent in the Peace Corps Zambia; he now leads the industry in promoting responsible tuna fisheries management including in roles appointed by the Secretary of Commerce as an advisor to NOAA for the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
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Celebrate & Support California Fisheries

Celebrating World Oceans Day

There are 840 miles of coastline in California with waters rich in healthy, sustainable seafood. Due in part to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a science-based framework for management, US fisheries are generally abundant and well managed.

Heidi Rhodes of H&H Fresh Fish


This World Oceans Day, Pescavore Seafood hopes to help bring attention to the availability and diversity of seafood harvested in California’s bountiful waters through the lens of our local fishermen, fisherwomen and producers. We encourage you to join us on this visual journey and commit to taking direct action to ensure a future of healthy oceans, while preserving the heritage and vitality of our working waterfronts.

The San Francisco Crab Boat Fisherman’s Association

In the early morning hours of May 23rd a 4 alarm fire rang out at San Francisco’s historic Pier 45 destroying millions of dollars in commercial fishing gear. The majority of these losses have not and may not be covered by insurance. Learn more from Longtime crabber and fisherman Nick Krieger watched his dreams and more than $100,000 of his equipment purchased over the last 12 years burn in the inferno. This film is Nick in his own words.

Prior to this disaster, the Washington Post accurately predicted that many US fisherman would not survive the coronavirus economy. In the words of San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents Fisherman’s Wharf , “[the] business of crabbing is an inextricable part of what San Francisco is. It’s part of our reputation and our economy.”

At the time this newsletter was written, the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association collected less than 10% of the goal to raise $1MM for disaster relief.


H&H Fresh Fish of Santa Cruz, California

For 17 years, this family owned business has served the Santa Cruz and greater Bay Area Communities by bringing healthy, local seafood from dock to table.


Hans Haveman of H&H Fresh Fish


Learn more in this heartfelt story of living simply with gratitude and in harmony with the ocean and the community:


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Pescavore Big Wave Surfing Ambassador Wilem Banks

Pescavore Seafood of Santa Cruz, California

Healthy Oceans Seafood Company, the owner of the brand Pescavore, provides premium, sustainably harvested and resource-smart wild seafood products. A first of its kind innovation, these smoked ahi tuna and sockeye salmon strips are a 1.5 oz single serve, shelf stable, whole muscle cut portion. Every nutritious strip contains 14-15 grams of real food protein, and heart and brain healthy omega-3s. The company’s mission is to produce seafood products that consumers can trust while helping hard-working American fishermen, and coastal communities thrive.

Co-founder, Matthew Owens, started his career in sustainable seafood as a rural aquaculture extension agent with Peace Corps, Zambia. He now leads the industry in promoting responsible tuna fisheries management and social protections. Hear Matt’s story about how Pescavore came to be:


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The Global Agricultural Productivity Gap, what is it?

In short, the global agricultural productivity gap is a current index of how much food is globally produced today compared to how much will be required to feed all the world’s people in 2050, a little over 30 years from now.
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