Oceans and the Future of Food

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Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions and Center on Food Security and the Environment, together with Springer-Nature, are hosting a workshop focused on building a research agenda that, for the first time, analyzes the role of oceans within the context of global food systems.
Massive changes in the global food sector over the next few decades – driven by climate change and other environmental stresses, growing population and income, advances in technology, and shifts in policies and trade patterns – will have profound implications for the oceans and vice versa. While there is a large community of researchers addressing challenges in food policy and agriculture and a similar community in oceans and fisheries, there is very little interaction between them. This workshop addresses a pressing need to foster more interaction among these communities, to build a research agenda that illuminates the many interconnections among food and the oceans, and to inform action to meet these challenges.
“Stanford is in a perfect position to take the lead in developing this new area of research and outreach, with its strong expertise in terrestrial food systems, global food security, and the oceans,” claims Roz Naylor, Professor of Earth System Science, founding Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, and co-organizer of the workshop.
This event brings together diverse leaders across academia, business, policy, and government. Together participants will analyze the role of the oceans within a global food systems context, highlighting issues related to food security, equity, poverty alleviation, marine ecosystems, and environmental change. The aim is to define and develop this emerging field, as researchers and stakeholders explore cutting edge ideas and identify emerging trends and challenges that can inform ongoing policy discussions.

“This is a unique opportunity to build a new and vibrant community, bringing together leading researchers in oceans, fisheries, food, and agriculture from around the world," explained COS co-director Jim Leape. "We're coming together to ask the key questions needed to identify emerging themes and solutions, in lockstep with those who will put these findings into practice," added COS co-director Fiorenza Micheli. "As the world's demand for food continues to grow, we will increasingly need to understand and act on the critical role of the oceans to meet these challenges."

Jim Leape is also the William and Eva Price Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Fiorenza Micheli is also the David and Lucile Packard Professor in Marine Sciences at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station and senior fellow at the Woods Institute. Read more about the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions.