Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division
Professor Manuel Barange is Director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter, UK, a past Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Science at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, and past Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). In recent years he has been very active in leading research on the development of quantitative tools to estimate the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, their resources, and their dependent communities, globally, regionally and nationally. He has become an expert in understanding the two-way relationship between environmental and societal change, has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers and has edited several books. In 2010 he was awarded the UNESCO-IOC Roger Revelle Medal for his contributions to ocean science.
The challenges to seafood sustainability in the 21st century
Humans depend on fish and seafood like never before. Each one of us consumes over 20 kg a year, twice the consumption just a few decades ago, thanks to stable catches from marine and inland environments, and an aquaculture industry that has outpaced every other food production industry (and even human population growth) in the last 4 decades. But how do we reconcile these facts with the dominant media discourse of overfishing, ocean pollution, habitat degradation and climate change? Are we wearing blinkers in our search for positivism? As we move closer to the deadlines set by member countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, what are the main challenges for securing seafood sustainability for future generations? What are the bottlenecks, the opportunities and the threats to a future that continues to make seafood an essential component of our fight for a world without hunger and poverty? What puts at risk our vision of aquatic systems fulfilling our dreams of economic development and livelihood support?