Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Explosive Growth of Global Seafood Production Since 1950 and a Look to the Future

Since 1950, enabling technologies and cheap available energy sparked an unprecedented boom in the production of wild caught and farmed seafood.   This never before seen capability to extract and utilize the Earth’s marine and freshwater food resources has elevated seafood to a unique status.  It is now the leading animal food protein for driving improvements in global human health, economic growth, food security, and environmental stewardship. 

·       Since 1950 aquaculture production has increased a hundred fold

·       Since 1950 wild capture fisheries production has increased by over 4.5 times

·       Since 1950 world seafood production has outpaced world population growth

·       Since 1950 aquaculture has been the world’s fastest growing animal protein food production system

·       Since 1950 world per capita consumption of seafood has more than quadrupled

Sea Port believes that ongoing advances in technology and responsible fishery and aquaculture management practices will continue to drive seafood production increases well into our future just like we have experienced since 1950.

However, the ultimate determinants for enabling a sustainable seafood production future may boil down to how well we solve/mitigate the major manmade negative impacts of global warming, ocean acidification, marine dead zones/pollution,  and the loss of productive freshwater and marine coastal habitats. 

Going forward, Sea Port is confident that the world will boldly confront these major emerging critical determinants of sustainable seafood production.  Sustainable global seafood production has truly become the world’s “poster child” for advancing the environmental stewardship of our precious Blue Planet.  Sea Port looks forward to a very bright seafood production future that will continue to improve the state of wellbeing of our growing world population.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Seven billion city dwellers implementing “Hyper-Recycling” by the year 2050 may actually improve the health of our world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems

As the World’s Population grows to 10 billion by 2050, 70% or more will be living in cities.  This unprecedented clustering of the majority of Earth’s population could serve as a platform for creating a world economy and culture based on “Hyper-Recycling” in which all the natural resources that are used to make appliances, food, clothing, transportation, housing,  and provide us with energy are recycled. 

This “Hyper-Recycling” era will become much more feasible in 2050 due to the world’s population being concentrated in cities where economies of scale can successfully achieve efficient recycling schemes for the vast majority of the required natural resource inputs.

If, by 2050, the world does indeed embrace the new paradigm of “Hyper-Recycling”, many improvements may be seen in the water quality of our freshwater and marine environments that are so critical for the sustainable future of our seafood industry.  Here is a list of improvements to water quality that we may see in 2050 due to cities implementing “Hyper-Recycling”.

·         Industrial and municipal sewer effluents will be greatly decreased or eliminated and kept out of freshwater and marine ecosystems

·         Plastics and other solid wastes will be kept from entering our waterways and marine environments

·         Pollution from energy use will be reduced due to using more recycled energy schemes

·         Agricultural runoffs that reach the oceans  will be reduced by large cities actively recapturing valuable nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers from the river systems they boarder

There is certainly room for optimism as we look forward to a brave new world with seven billion people concentrated in cities by the year 2050.  As these future city dwellers hopefully adopt this game-changing paradigm of “Hyper-Recycling”, we just may see a new era where the long list of human caused negative impacts to our precious freshwater and marine ecosystems cease to exist.

However, do not wait until 2050 for this to happen.  Start your own personalized version of “Hyper-Recycling” Today.
You can make a difference!

Sincerely, David Glaubke,
Director of Sustainability Initiatives 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Much has changed since Sea Port’s original blog back in March of 2013 about the devastating disease impact of EMS to the global shrimp farming industry:

1. The causative agent has been identified

2. New technological and scientific management improvements have been implemented worldwide to
    manage EMS.  Subsequently, global farmed shrimp production has resumed its upward trend.
Revisiting our original blog post shows that Sea Port believed that EMS would only be a bump along the road for the global shrimp farming industry as it continued its developmental journey toward improved practices and output.

Looking forward:

1. While the worse of EMS seems to be over for now, diseases in general will continue to be an
    ongoing concern for the industry as new disease agents emerge and old diseases reappear in areas
    where EMS inspired best aquaculture practices have not yet taken hold.

2. In addition to ongoing disease concerns, the rising cost of aquaculture feed will also be an
    ever-present issue. 

In Conclusion:

Global shrimp farming and aquaculture in general are in their infancy compared to the more modern state of animal husbandry exhibited by land based livestock production systems.  Sea Port believes that each bump encountered along aquaculture’s road to expanded production will actually serve as catalysts that help advance its modernization.  This gives great promise that aquaculture will be the major leading sustainable food source to feed the 9-10 billion of us that will inhabit our wondrous blue planet by the year 2050.

Go Blue!.....For Our Environment…..For Our Health…..For Sustainability
Sincerely yours,

David Glaubke, Director of Sustainability Initiatives 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sea Port Helps Sponsor the SeaWeb Seafood Summit and Proposes a Panel for Next Year Concerning Human Population Dynamics

Sea Port was pleased to help sponsor the SeaWeb Seafood Summit on sustainability held in New Orleans during the week of February 9th.    It brought together environmental and social justice NGOs with seafood industry players, academics, and federal/state/foreign governments to brainstorm about how to advance the sustainability of our global fisheries and aquaculture production systems.  There was a great spirit of collaboration among all these groups as they united around this shared goal.

The summit brainstorming focused on advancing seafood sustainability by primarily confronting these three aspects:  environmental, social justice, and economic.

                1.  Environmental Aspects: Ocean acidification becoming a stress on marine ecosystems;
                     impact of IUU fishing & ideas to mitigate via improvements in traceability, international
                     enforcement/cooperation, and using incentives; reducing bycatch; restoration of
                     depleted fish stocks; expanded management of forage fish

                2.  Social Justice Aspects:  Ongoing need to combat slave labor and other unfair labor
                     practices in the Thailand seafood industry and around the globe

                3.  Economic Aspects: Working to increase consumer awareness, demand, and trust  in
                     sustainability ecolabels; driving down costs for small farmers and artisanal fishers to 
                     attain certifications and market access; simplifying and unifying sustainability schemes

Sea Port’s Proposal for Next Year’s Seafood Summit

Sea Port proposes that next year the Seafood Summit convenes a panel to confront how our changing world human population dynamics pose multiple and complex challenges to our efforts to maintain worldwide productive and healthy aquatic ecosystems to provide for our future survival.

Some Points for the Human Population Dynamics Panel to confront:

·         It has taken us only 6 generations to expand our world population from 1 Billion 150 years ago to our present level of over 7 Billion and it will take less than two additional generations to reach 10 Billion by the year 2050.  By 2050, over 70% of us will be living in cities and these cities will be predominantly located along marine coastlines, freshwater rivers and lakes, and close to watersheds.  Will 10 Billion people collectively degrade our aquatic ecosystems?  Will there be enough freshwater for aquaculture, agriculture, and all our other needs?  With nearly 3/4th of the world’s population living in crowded cities in 35 years, will respect and appreciation for our natural environment wane?

·         An ever-growing population increases the likelihood of additional atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases, freshwater and marine pollution, and coastal and riparian habitat losses.  Will new technologies prevent these negative impacts?

·         An ever-increasing economic middle class increases the likelihood that a greater number of people will demand more seafood.  Will there be enough seafood to meet this demand?

Sea Port firmly believes that human population dynamics is a critical variable worthy of its own panel at the next SeaWeb Seafood Summit where we will all once again convene to brainstorm on how we can assure that our wondrous blue planet continues to sustain us as our numbers increase to unprecedented levels. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

The FDA is encouraging pregnant women to consume more seafood for their own personal health and the developmental health of their unborn children.
Attention Pregnant women:  Sea Port’s Go Blue! Plate Choose My Seafood for Sustainability® is here to help and guide you in your responsible seafood choices

The FDA in their encouragement to consume between 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week advised avoiding tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel because of their higher mercury content. They strongly emphasized that this is very targeted advice and should not affect your seafood eating patterns because these specific fish are not popular in the U.S market and are subsequently rarely consumed on a regular basis.  

In short, their message is that consuming the seafood offered in the U.S. marketplace while pregnant is a responsible choice to help further your own personal health as well as the developmental health of your unborn child!

Now is time for you to eat more seafood!  Please use our Sea Port Go Blue! Plate Choose My Seafood for Sustainability® as your guide for choosing to eat a vast variety of seafood at the proper weekly frequencies.  By doing so you will advance the health of you and your unborn baby while also supporting sustainable seafood that will benefit all future mothers and their children.


David Glaubke – Director of Sustainability Initiatives

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Ideal of the Perfectly Sustainable Seafood is an Unending Pursuit

Three years ago when Sea Port created the Go Blue!Seafood Sustainability Spectrum® for each of our seafood items (example above) we purposely indicated that there was no spectrum end-point that represented a lasting achievement of a perfectly sustainable seafood, but rather we showed a wave graphic that communicated that sustainability is an unending pursuit rather than a permanently attainable and static destination.

Sea Port believes that our physical world and all its living creatures are forever in a constant dynamic state of change with countless interconnections and this makes reaching the perfectly sustainable seafood ideal from wild fisheries and aquaculture inherently elusive and unobtainable in the long run.

However, Sea Port adamantly believes that efforts to produce seafood more sustainably should be just as perpetual as the constant state of change that is characteristic of our entire biosphere.  This will result in the most efficient use of our aquatic resources to advance the future of humanity.

Our seafood industry has historically been able to adapt to whatever Mother Nature has thrown at it.  However, today we are living in a new era in which negative environmental changes are created by humanity’s actions as it struggles to utilize the Earth’s resources in order to survive and prosper. This new era in the history of the world is coined the Anthropocene Epoch.   In this new era, the activities of humans are negatively affecting our entire biosphere  and threatening our ability to advance sustainable seafood production from both wild fisheries and aquaculture.  

For years, Sea Port has brought attention to these emerging human caused impacts that affect wild fisheries and aquaculture such as increasing ocean acidification and temperature; increasing marine dead zones; increasing loss of productive riparian and marine coastal habitats; and the increasing worldwide scarcity of freshwater.

Now is the time for the global seafood community to unite and cooperatively work toward mitigating, changing, and stopping the man-made negative impacts that foul the very big house we all live in; planet Earth.  This is our generation’s challenge in this new Anthropocene Epoch.  Sea Port is confident that by working together we can assure that our worldwide seafood production will get ever closer to that elusive ideal of the perfectly sustainable seafood.

Please catch our wave and participate in our unending pursuit of the perfectly sustainable seafood ideal as we boldly acknowledge and confront the emerging man-made environmental challenges of the new Anthropocene Epoch.


David Glaubke – Director of Sustainability Initiatives 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sea Port forecasts good news that seafood sustainability will continue to advance on many fronts in 2015
Protecting Bristol Bay:  

Over the past few years, Sea Port has submitted letters to the EPA and worked in cooperation with the New England Aquarium to call for prohibiting the habitat destroying activities of massive mining ventures in the Bristol Bay watershed of Alaska to protect its economically and culturally important salmonid resources for which it is world famous.   At the end of 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum protecting the coastal waters of the Bay from oil and gas development.  This act unfortunately does not guarantee the safeguarding of the life-giving Bristol Bay watershed that provides the essential breeding and nursery grounds for the native salmon.  However, Sea Port believes that this presidential memorandum will add critical momentum going into 2015 for finally establishing lasting protection for this wondrous watershed which we believe is worthy of World Heritage designation. 

IUU Fishing (Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated):

Sea Port foresees more international cooperative efforts coming in 2015 to tackle the critical sustainability issue of IUU fishing.  As Sea Port did in 2014, we will be offering our seafood industry input to NOAA to assist in solving this crucial  global problem that impedes many high seas and foreign fisheries from becoming more sustainable.

Increasing seafood consumption in order to advance sustainability:

Sea Port foresees that in 2015 the American consumer will gain a better understanding of the unique essential health benefits of eating a diverse variety of seafood and how doing so actually helps our environment when compared to choosing the land based animal protein alternatives.  Sea Port will continue to provide input to the FDA, EPA, USDA and the Seafood Nutrition Partnership in order to help push for increased seafood consumption in America.  We will also feature our Go Blue! Plate Choose My Seafood for Sustainability at industry events and on our website to give guidance to the American consumer in selecting from a vast variety of seafood items and eating them at the proper weekly frequencies in order to advance both human health and resource sustainability.

In 2015, Sea Port looks forward with great enthusiasm to continuing to boldly charge ahead on our Go Blue! initiative that champions the consumption of seafood to promote human health, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.  Please join us in this totally immersive pro-seafood quest so we can all make sure 2015 is truly a year in which seafood sustainability continues to advance.

Happy New Year!

David Glaubke – Director of Sustainability Initiatives