The Blog Aquatic » Andreas Merkl http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:32:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Presenting Our New Solutions at the Camden Conference http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/20/presenting-our-new-solutions-at-the-camden-conference/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/20/presenting-our-new-solutions-at-the-camden-conference/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:01:34 +0000 Andreas Merkl http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=7857

Last month, I was invited to speak at the Camden Conference in Maine. This conference brings experts from a number of disciplines together with policymakers, industry leaders and college students to discuss some of the biggest issues facing our world today. This year’s theme was “The Global Politics of Food and Water,” and I spoke about how the ocean sits at the nexus of these issues.

Right now, the ocean is in a period of uncertainty. Climate change and a growing population are changing the chemistry of the ocean and the life that calls it home. But instead of viewing the ocean’s changes in a negative light, I think we have an incredible opportunity to become better problem-solvers. We can break free from old resource management models to find new solutions for our changing ocean. We can effectively address these new complexities; it’s not too late.

You can watch my presentation, as well as those from others at the event, by clicking here.

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The Fish We Need to Feed 9 Billion People http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/05/22/the-fish-we-need-to-feed-9-billion-people/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/05/22/the-fish-we-need-to-feed-9-billion-people/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 15:50:26 +0000 Andreas Merkl http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=5848

Salmon in the Ketchikan, Alaska harbor credit — Chris Howerton

The following is an excerpt from a post that first appeared on National Geographic’s Ocean Views:

Smart fisheries management is a great place to start a conversation about putting the ocean at the center of the world’s biggest challenges.  This is because the most profitable type of fishing is sustainable fishing – better management helps fishermen and the ocean at the same time.

Sustainable fishing means keeping enough fish in the water to reproduce and ensure a bountiful catch in the future. It’s a balancing act, but sustainable fisheries are in everyone’s best interest – from fishermen to distributors to gear manufacturers to retailers to consumers. If you’re a fisherman and you want to pass on your traditions to the next generation, or you want to be able to make good money 10 years from now, the most profitable way to fish is sustainably.

Unfortunately, overfishing due to poor fisheries management remains a global problem that threatens ecosystem health and human survival. For example, without enough forage fish—small fish like anchovies, sardines, and squid—the larger predators, like tuna, that feed on them will start to disappear as well.

That matters because we are facing a future with 9 billion people on the planet, and with that future comes huge concerns for food security.

Read the full post at National Geographic

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This Week’s Top Tweets: March 2 – 8 http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/03/08/this-weeks-top-tweets-march-2-8/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/03/08/this-weeks-top-tweets-march-2-8/#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2013 21:14:28 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=4985 This week’s top tweets ranges from endangered species to insightful ideas, with a little bit of humor thrown into the mix. Check them out and let us know which one was your favorite in the comments!

1. Shark Scarcity?

Our most popular tweet of the week deals with an updated report on the amount of sharks that are killed every year by humans, with the tally at a sobering 100 million. That’s 30 to 60 percent higher than sharks can sustain at their current population growth rates, which illustrates how large of a problem dwindling shark populations are becoming. With sharks being such a naturally powerful maintenance mechanism in the ocean, this is definitely a conservation issue worth looking into.

2.The Threat to Manta and Mobula Rays is a Global One

This tweet shows a striking video of just what level of trouble manta and mobula rays are in these days throughout the world. What’s more? The video shows that with all this exploitation throughout the globe of these creatures, none of them are sustainably caught.

3. Going Underwater With Google Maps

Google Maps has a lot of cool features, but this one of street view underwater is by far our favorite–and apparently a lot of yours, too!

4. What’s Your Vision for a Healthy Ocean?

This week, our new president and CEO, Andreas Merkl, published a blog post calling for suggestions and input from the greater Ocean Conservancy community. Ocean Conservancy wants you to help us shape the vision for a healthy ocean by sharing what you think a healthy ocean is, what the ocean signifies as an important resource issue, and how these priorities can be transmitted into ideas. Leave a comment on Andreas’ blog post and help us shape this vision and move forward!

5.Whale, Meet Bird

Our last top tweet this week will send us off into the weekend on a humorous note from this gif. This close-up encounter of a whale and a bird give Roger Federer a run for his money!

As always, we’ll be tweeting regularly from @OurOcean for all of your ocean-based news and entertainment.

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Help Us Shape a Vision for a Healthy Planet http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/03/05/help-us-shape-a-vision-for-a-healthy-planet/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/03/05/help-us-shape-a-vision-for-a-healthy-planet/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 21:03:54 +0000 Andreas Merkl http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=4918

At the Ocean Conservancy, we’re working to ensure a healthy ocean because we know that the ocean sustains us. The oxygen we breathe, the protein we eat, the moderate climates we enjoy, the joys of fishing, boating, diving and surfing, the easy global transfer of goods, and even the water we drink—all of this is thanks to the ocean. If the ocean is healthy, so are we.

Keeping it healthy is not easy, however. The only thing growing faster than our population—2 billion more people by 2040—is our consumption. The world’s population is becoming richer, and our demand for protein, energy, minerals and more, is exploding. The ocean holds the key to satisfying much of that demand, and it is thus at the very center of the most pressing challenge of our time: how do we create prosperity for all without destroying the natural world that sustains us?

We can do this, but we must first awaken to what is truly needed. In the old days, being an environmentalist meant that we sought to clean up very specific messes.  As a child, I witnessed this when the first attempts were made to clean up the Rhine River, which was a cesspool at the time—and, against all odds, we succeeded to the point that salmon were re-introduced.

But now our job is much bigger, because the distinctions we once had in the environmental movement—among people working on the ocean, on air pollution, on biodiversity, on climate change, on land use, on natural resources—are increasingly meaningless. We know that the ocean sustains us at a very existential level and that all of these natural systems are interconnected.

The more we come to appreciate how beautifully these natural systems hang together, the more powerful we become. What it means to be an environmentalist is changing, and that makes this a very exciting time to set the vision for the Ocean Conservancy at the beginning of its fifth and most important decade yet.

In setting this vision, I want to draw not just on the talents of our team and partners, but also on the collective wisdom of the greater community. Which is why I’m asking you to share with us your vision for a healthy ocean and its role at the center of the most important resources issues of our time.

How should we think about the ocean’s role in producing protein for the world?  Should climate change considerations guide our thinking on offshore oil drilling?  What does the massive tide of plastic trash ending up in the ocean imply for our patterns of consumption?  What does a healthy ocean mean to you, and how can we get there?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll incorporate some of the responses in a future post.

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Making Waves as Ocean Conservancy’s New President and CEO http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/02/04/making-waves-as-ocean-conservancys-new-president-and-ceo/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/02/04/making-waves-as-ocean-conservancys-new-president-and-ceo/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 12:00:34 +0000 Andreas Merkl http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=4448 Andreas Merkl

Photo: Paolo Vescia / Ocean Conservancy

As is the case with many career paths, my journey toward joining Ocean Conservancy as President and CEO is a long and circuitous one, and it begins with a childhood spent playing along the Rhine River in Cologne, Germany. Inspired by the post-war environmental awakening in industrial northern Germany, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to conservation.

When I graduated from high school, my father gave me 3,000 Deutsche Marks and told me to leave out of the front door of the house and return at the back door, taking the long way around. As naïve as it sounds, I started my “walkabout” in the United States by sticking my thumb in the air outside the arrivals terminal of New York City’s JFK airport and eventually hitchhiked my way across the country.

I ended up finding a more permanent home in San Francisco, where I’ve spent nearly four decades working in environmental conservation and natural resource management. That is, until last month, when I made one more long-distance move—this time to settle in Washington, D.C., and begin making some waves at an organization I’ve long admired.

Today is my first day at the helm, and I’m inspired and honored to be leading efforts to tackle the ocean’s biggest challenges. Ocean Conservancy had a banner year in 2012, and I hope to learn from those victories and build on them.

Last year, Ocean Conservancy helped protect polar bears, seals and walruses by pushing for a timeout on oil and gas activity in the Arctic. We completed the nation’s first statewide network of marine parks in California, and helped pass the RESTORE Act, which will direct much-needed funds toward restoring the marshes, fisheries and habitats of the Gulf of Mexico.

As always, Ocean Conservancy mobilized volunteers all over the world to clean debris from beaches and waterways during the International Coastal Cleanup. But in 2012, we did even more in our work toward trash free seas, including the launch of a mobile app, Rippl™, to help consumers make wise choices to reduce their impact on the ocean.

In the last year and over the last four decades, Ocean Conservancy has made great strides in finding solutions to problems that face the ocean. But our work is far from over.

We must continue to protect and restore ecosystems in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico and along the Pacific Coast; promote productive and sustainable fisheries; fight for trash free seas; ensure comprehensive ocean planning; and begin critical work to address increasing acidity levels in the ocean. This is a world-class platform for growth.

The ocean is at the very center of the central challenge of our time: how to meet the enormous resource demands of a rapidly growing global population without destroying the natural systems that sustain us. In every aspect of this challenge—food, energy, climate and protection of our natural resources—our ability to manage our impacts on the ocean will make the crucial difference in sustaining the resources that we need to survive.

Ocean Conservancy should be at the very center of these issues. We cannot afford to stand still as threats to our ocean increase and the window to preserve the functionality, resiliency and vitality of the ocean closes.

As CEO, I pledge to redouble Ocean Conservancy’s efforts to foster new ideas and embrace an invigorated spirit to tackle the ocean’s biggest challenges with science-based solutions.

I am fortunate to be working with such a great team of colleagues, partners and friends worldwide to help shape a sustainable ocean future. I am confident that together we will continue our legacy of success for years to come.

I invite you to join me in this commitment to fight for a healthy, thriving ocean. I plan on making some waves. How about you?

 

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