November 21st marks World Fisheries Day. Total world fish production is expected to reach 201m tonnes by 2030—a growth of 18% from 2016. Yet one third of global fish stocks are being exploited at unsustainable levels, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Carbon emissions from shipping account for almost 3% of global emissions, a larger percentage than Germany. When the International Maritime Organisation met in London in November I was interviewed by BBC News on the need for the decarbonisation of the shipping sector.
In October I attended the annual Our Ocean conference in Oslo. The conference was established in 2014. Eye-catching commitments from governments, businesses and civil-society organisations are a hallmark of the conference. But the transformation towards a truly “blue” economy requires more fundamental changes.
I presented The Economist Intelligence Unit's Food Sustainability Index, of which I was the lead editor for several years, at the Sustainable Food Summit in Istanbul. Organised by the Sustainability Academy and the Turkey Food Industry Employers' Association, the event discussed policy, civil society and corporate action to boost food sustainability in Turkey and beyond.
The effects of climate change are already being profoundly felt in the ocean, a reality that policymakers collectively acknowledged when they signed up to develop a treaty on marine biodiversity. Climate and resilience will be hotly debated topics at the World Ocean Summit in Japan in March next year.
Dutch scientists from The Ocean Cleanup project have successfully collected plastic from the high seas for the first time. I was interviewed by TRT World on how to deal with the systemic problem of plastic pollution in the ocean.
As a continuation of the global cancer preparedness project, for which I edited the main report, I edited a regional report focusing on Latin America. The report looks at the diversity of the cancer challenge in Latin America, the current extent of efforts to address the disease, and the essential elements to building enhanced preparedness.
The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate highlights risks and opportunities for the blue economy. I was interviewed by TRT World on the implications of the climate crisis for the ocean economy and coastal communities.
On September 5th I attended the inaugural EU-China Blue Partnership Forum for the Oceans. The meeting discussed the joint need to tackle blue-economy challenges such as illegal fishing, enhancing marine protected areas, protecting the high seas and promoting sustainable financing.