Public awareness of our oceans and the threats they face has probably never been as high as it is today.
Blue Planet 2 kept us spellbound by bringing the wonders of deep into people’s homes like never before, but then brought us back down to Earth by highlighting the dangers of overfishing, plastic pollution and climate change. News headlines regularly warn about how we will run out of fish by mid-century, if ocean warming doesn’t cook them, or ocean acidification doesn’t dissolve them, first.
While these threats are real, if sometimes exaggerated, there seems to be much less focus on how to tackle them.
In this talk, Dr Bryce Stewart will present stories from both his own research and experiences about how scientists, conservationists and coastal communities are slowly turning the tide. The ocean belongs to all of us, so we all have a role to play in helping to ensure it has a sustainable future.
Bryce is a marine ecologist and fisheries biologist whose work has ranged from temperate estuaries to tropical coral reefs and the deep-sea. The central thread in his research has been to gain an increased understanding of the factors regulating marine populations and communities so as to ensure their sustainable utilisation. His work on deep-sea fishes was among the first to demonstrate their extreme longevity, and on coral reefs he provided new evidence for mechanisms of community regulation of prey fish by predators.
More recently his focus has been on how to improve the management of fisheries through the use of predictive recruitment models, marine protected areas and stock enhancement. Bryce has also been especially active in promoting the sale and consumption of sustainable seafood by working with everyone from government ministers to fishermen, restaurants and supermarket chains. Since 2016 he has been particularly involved with assessing the effects of Brexit on UK fisheries and the marine environment, and helping to plan for future reform of management by working with a wide range of stakeholders and the Government.