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The Blue Revolution: Marine Aquaculture and the Future of Sustainable Food Systems

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

It is estimated that by the year 2050, Earth's population will reach more than 9 billion people, creating serious challenges for meeting global food demand while also addressing environmental sustainability concerns.

Seafood consumption has increased steadily over the past four decades, with more than 3 billion people worldwide depending on fish as a major source of protein. Some studies claim that by the end of the century, a quarter of the sustainable fish catch could be gone. The world's already overtaxed fisheries are being stressed to their limits by climate change.

It's not necessarily all gloomy news. Recent research led by Assistant Professor of Geography Sarah Lester has introduced an advanced, holistic analytical model that could herald a new paradigm of environmentally sustainable ocean industry management.

In this talk, Lester will discuss the increasing role that marine aquaculture – farming of seafood in the ocean – is likely to play in addressing this wicked problem, both globally and along the Florida Gulf coast.

The issue has been key for Lester's research over the years. Currently, she is leading a National Science Foundation-funded project led to examine the socioeconomic and ecological drivers of aquaculture development.

“There’s been very little aquaculture development in the U.S. despite the fact that other analyses have shown that the U.S. has some of the world’s best growing conditions,” Lester said. “The U.S. could be a global leader in aquaculture, but one of the hurdles has been siting, or where to place it. Our model provided a tool for exploring those issues.”

The public is encouraged to come out to this free event to learn, in a casually social atmosphere, more about this potentially beneficial and sustainable method of food production, particularly in a state with such a wealth of oceanic resources. Because Policy Pub events are very well attended, the public is encouraged to arrive early to get a convenient parking spot and a good table inside.


More about Sarah Lester


Listen to the audio from this Policy Pub session:

Download this Policy Pub's slides.