AOS Seminar: Are there plenty more fish in the sea?

01/26/2017 - 4:00pm
Speiss Hall 330
Event Description: 

Please join us for the following AOS Seminar on Thursday, January 26th at 4:00PM in Spiess Hall Room 330:

Speaker:  Dr. David Demer, NOAA SWFSC


Title: "Are there plenty more fish in the sea?"


With each passing year, there are some 75 million more people on Earth. In my father’s lifetime, the global population has grown roughly four fold, to 7.4 billion today. Most people are consuming more fish and are paying more for it.  Although the oceans contain the vast majority of livable space on the planet, half of the wild fish harvest is from upwelling regions which comprise only 1% of the ocean area. Productivity in these coastal ecosystems, and elsewhere, is effected by a variety of forces such as El Niño, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, and fishing. These factors change fish distributions and abundances, and may alter biodiversity and ecological functions. Meanwhile, less fish is wild caught and more is from aquaculture.
A quarter century ago, I left what promised to be a lucrative job at Intel Corporation and began my adventure in Fisheries Acoustics at UCSD/SIO, and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. As a Research Engineer, I designed and conducted investigations of zooplankton and fish stocks, predator-prey interactions, and ecosystems along the west coast of North America from the Sea of Cortes to the Bering Sea; along the east coast from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Maine; in the Irish, Ligurian, and Red Seas, off South Africa, and in the Southern Ocean. To probe these often inhospitable marine environments, I gradually assembled a research team, and we developed a variety of acoustic and optical instruments and methods, and manned and autonomous deployment platforms.
Mostly, I have studied populations of krill and fish in two highly productive upwelling ecosystems: the Scotia Sea, off the Antarctic Peninsula (1991-2004); and the California Current (2000-present). In the process of counting and mapping exploited fish and krill, I have gained an interest in, and an appreciation for the complex interactions of climate, weather, seabed and oceanographic environments, avian and marine prey and predators, and fishers. While I continue to learn if there are indeed plenty more fish in the sea (my father once told me this was true), my group and I also develop tools which may be helpful to fish production through restoration and aquaculture.


Snacks and refreshments will be available at 4:00 pm. Please bring your own cup.


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