Stanford, Aquarium, and MBARI launch new centre to tackle global threats to oceans
Fish Update Magazine ran this story on the new Center for Ocean Solutions, and quoted Professor Buzz Thompson and Senior Lecturer Meg Caldwell:
PEOPLE have long depended on healthy oceans for food, recreation and commerce. But this irreplaceable resource is in dire trouble, say marine scientists, largely because of human impacts—from pollution to poorly managed fisheries to climate change.
To address these, and other major threats to the marine environment, Stanford University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) - all based in the US - have joined forces to create the Centre for Ocean Solutions, a new collaboration that will bring together international experts in marine science and policy to find innovative ways to protect and restore the world’s oceans.
Although based in California, the centre will confront problems that affect oceans worldwide, including climate change and overfishing. Recent studies warn that unless global warming is brought under control and the seas are managed in a sustainable way, most of the world’s commercial fisheries will collapse within 50 years, along with the majority of coral reef and mangrove ecosystems.
“Unlike traditional academic partnerships, the centre will have a results-oriented focus that brings experts and decision makers together to develop new strategies that lead to real change,” said Buzz Thompson, professor of law at Stanford and co-director of the Woods Institute. “During the next few months, we will be examining where the centre can have the greatest impact and, therefore, we should be focusing our attention.”
A search is under way for a centre director, who will be appointed to the Stanford faculty and will work under the leadership of an advisory council chosen by the three collaborating institutions. In the meantime, marine policy expert Meg Caldwell, a senior lecturer at Stanford Law School and at the Woods Institute, will serve as interim director.
“In the United States, there has been a clear lack of leadership on the part of government to solve the major risks facing our oceans, so there is a real opportunity vacuum that the Centre for Ocean Solutions can fill,” said Caldwell, former chair of the California Coastal Commission. “One of our aspirations is to be really forward-looking—not only acknowledging immediate threats but being able to look well ahead and say, ‘These are issues that are going to confront society in the next generation, which we should be dealing with right now.’”