The Ocean Health Index: Diagnosis for a Crowded Blue Planet

Saturday, February 18, 2012: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 118 (VCC West Building)
A lot is asked from the world's ocean: renewable energy, bountiful seafood, thriving coastal communities, and gorgeous places to explore. But reaping these benefits involves tough choices in how to use and protect the ocean. To achieve a sustainable future in the face of climate change and other stressors, a tool is needed to proactively evaluate the collective impacts of our actions and policies on the benefits we expect and value from the ocean. In this session, the first global results will be revealed from the Ocean Health Index, a framework to assess the ocean's ability to meet current and future needs. In a single number, the Index encapsulates the benefits people receive from the ocean, explicit trade-offs among those benefits, and cumulative impacts of various activities on the continued delivery of them. In addition to the overall rating, the Index also tracks progress toward 10 discrete policy goals, ranging from seafood provision to livelihoods to biodiversity. Applying the Ocean Health Index reveals dramatic differences across the planet. Speakers will highlight results from regional case studies spanning relatively data-poor (Fiji) to data-rich locales (Chesapeake Bay and California Current). They will also present innovative approaches to setting targets, demonstrate advances in how we incorporate human values in our understanding of ecosystems, and offer guidance for using the Index to craft policy and optimize management.
Karen L. McLeod, Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS)
Benjamin S. Halpern, University of California
and Steven Katona, Conservation International
Steven Katona, Conservation International
Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia Fisheries Center
and Larry Crowder, Stanford University
Karen L. McLeod, Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS)
Now and Forever: Will the Ocean Meet the Needs of Future Generations?
Benjamin S. Halpern, University of California
Mapping the Health of the World's Ocean
Catherine Longo, University of California
Data Gymnastics: Flexible Applications of the Ocean Health Index
Jameal Samhouri, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Sea Sick: Setting Targets for Ocean Health
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