Bevan Seminar Series, TODAY with Dr. Heather Koldewey

Please join the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences for our free public symposium, the Bevan Series, featuring internationally-recognized experts.

The 2015 Bevan Series is organized around a collection of current controversies in fisheries, with small groups of speakers to provide alternative perspectives on the issues at hand. We will discuss commercial whaling, seafood certification, the efficacy of marine protected areas, and inter-sectoral allocation in fisheries management.  We invite you to join us for 10 informative lectures and take your place at the leading edge of marine conservation.

Today, March 12, 4:30 PM, social follows

University of Washington, Fishery Sciences Auditorium, 102
1122 NE Boat Street, Seattle, Washington


Finding solutions in marine conservation — a reason for ocean optimism?

If marine conservation is truly important then why is it such a low priority for most people and bottom of the political agenda? Is the conservation community failing in selling the conservation message to the general public? A growing body of research that indicates that many people — especially children — feel anxious or hopeless about the state of the planet and their ability to effect positive change. Unfortunately, environmental narratives — both mainstream media and scientific — are focused on “doom and gloom” stories, which frighten, disempower and disengage people. Mistakenly, the conservation community often buys into this approach, in the belief that more information about how bad things are will spur people to action.

This talk will explore how we might adopt different, positive and hopeful ways to engage people in marine conservation, leading to changes in behaviour and a more sustainable relationship with the ocean. In this context, I will present a series of ‘ocean optimism‘ case studies developed by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) that provide potential solutions that can be scaled up and replicated. These diverse initiatives range from the largest marine protected areas in the world, seahorses as flagship species, community rehabilitation of mangrove forests, recycling waste fishing nets to carpets, and engaging a luxury London department store in ‘retail activism’ to bring ocean conservation to new audiences and change consumer buying habits.


Heather Koldewey is a conservation scientist and active conservation practitioner focusing on the application of sound science to solve conservation problems. Heather started working for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in 1995, initially as a research scientist, then as curator of the ZSL London Zoo Aquarium and currently as Head of Global Conservation Programmes. Her expertise is primarily in the aquatic environment and she oversees the Marine and Freshwater, EDGE of Existence and Conservation Technology programmes. Heather uses research into threatened species (particularly seahorses) to focus conservation responses around fisheries management and marine policy. She is interested in interdisciplinary research at the interface between communities and environment and finding solutions. The scale of her work ranges from community–managed mangrove rehabilitation in the Philippines to open ocean research in remote, near–pristine island archipelagos. Heather has active projects in the UK, Philippines, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Mozambique, Nepal, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Chagos archipelago and the Pitcairn Islands. Some examples of how she has developed projects from their inception to deliver both research and conservation gains include a) co-founding Project Seahorse, which is recognised as the leading authority on seahorse research and conservation; b) developing Net-Works, an award-winning project that has developed a novel community-based supply chain for discarded fishing nets that are recycled into carpet tiles (with Interface Inc.) addressing issues of marine debris and poverty alleviation in coastal communities, and c) Project Ocean — retail activism in action, an innovative and ground-breaking partnership between the luxury London department store, Selfridges and ZSL to bring ocean conservation to new audiences and change consumer buying habits.



The Bevan Series is generously funded by the Donald E. Bevan Endowed Fund in Fisheries, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and Washington Sea Grant. The Bevan Series was founded by Tanya Bevan, as a tribute to her late husband, Don Bevan. Don’s academic career spanned almost 50 years at the University of Washington, during which time he was director of the School of Fisheries and dean of the College of Fisheries. His work focused on the key intersection between science, economics, and politics, and he was deeply involved in the enactment and reauthorization of the Magnuson Act which governs America’s marine fisheries. He worked tirelessly to ensure that fisheries managers, industry and scientists spoke with a unified voice in changing federal regulations, and also helped found what is now the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.

The Bevan Series seeks to continue the legacy of Don Bevan’s legacy by examining current issues affecting fisheries and marine conservation. We try to represent as many viewpoints as possible, focusing on solutions, not just problems.

Dr. Daniel Schindler

View the full seminar schedule on the 2015 Bevan Series on Sustainable Fisheries.

Watch live broadcasts and past seminars


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