A very productive and enlightening Day 1 at the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Symposium is coming to a close. Antonio Fins, Executive Director of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, filed the following synopsis of today’s conversation:
A score of researchers and stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico’s environment wrestled with the challenges from the 2010 Deepwater Horizons disaster.
The spill — rather, the blowout — from two years ago isn’t the only challenge facing the massive body of water.
For starters, hypoxia — low oxygen levels — impact size able areas. And demands for fish and Gulf seafood puts pressure on stocks even without the oil blowout that unleashed 20 times more oil into the Gulf than what the Exxon Valdez dumped in Alaska waters.
What to do?
The answer: stakeholders need to stop battling each other. Instead they need to back technology, better fishing practices and precise data on species to meet America’s and the world’s need for Gulf fish an seafood in the next 25 years.
One area to improve is aquaculture — the harvesting of fish and seafood in environmentally sensitive and sustainable ways.