Spring Seminar Series, TODAY with Dr. Martin Robards

Please join the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences for its Spring Seminar Series. The SAFS seminar series consists of weekly presentations by eminent academics, prospective faculty members and the School’s own faculty members. Seminars are free and open to the public.

TODAY, May 14, 2015 at 4 PM
Social immediately follows

University of Washington
Fishery Sciences Building, Room 102
1122 NE Boat Street
Seattle, Washington (map)

View the full seminar schedule.

For more information, please contact SAFS Front Desk, safsdesk@uw.edu, or 206-543-4270.


Marine Vessel Traffic in the Aleutian Archipelago and Arctic: Mitigating Risks to Food Security and the Environment

Maritime transport accounts for about 90% of all world trade, including 60% of the deliveries of the world’s oil and fuel supplies. Size and speed of the largest vessels are increasing, marine transportation of people has also escalated, and there are an estimated 2.1 million powered fishing vessels around the globe. Evolving industries are expanding markets for certain products (e.g., Liquefied Natural Gas), development of new or expanded port facilities is common, and with diminishing high latitude sea ice, Arctic shipping routes are becoming more routinely used. With these changes comes the need for strategic actions to ensure the safety of people and the environment. Here, we focus on two areas of interest in the United States Arctic – the Aleutian archipelago and the Bering Strait. Although the Aleutian archipelago is one of the most remote landscapes in the United States, it is nonetheless subject to an intense amount of commercial shipping activity. Each year, several thousand vessels make the voyage along great circle routes between North America and Asia. Development of decision support tools to help mitigate risks from international shipping requires a quantitative and spatially explicit understanding of vessel traffic across the entire region. For the Bering Strait, we focus on the protection of the huge aggregations of iconic marine wildlife that are vital to the food security of local indigenous communities. Working with local hunters, their representatives, and the U.S. Coast Guard, we have brought science and local knowledge together to inform policymakers about local needs in a global policy context. Here, a suite of measures, including both voluntary and mandatory rules, will be necessary to mitigate the risks of international vessel traffic to the health and safety of the marine environment, as well as to indigenous food and cultural security.


Dr. Martin Robards is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Arctic Beringia Program. He is an accomplished marine ecologist and policy analyst who has worked extensively with indigenous communities and their representatives in the Arctic. Martin also worked for two years in Washington D.C., informing policy makers about the challenges of implementing regional-scale policies concerning the conservation of marine mammals in remote subsistence-dominated environments. His goal is to encourage the development and implementation of conservation policies that are more responsive to new scientific understandings, and the changes in ecological, social, and economic conditions of the Arctic. In particular, he seeks opportunities for indigenous hunters and their communities to actively engage with scientists to address topics of mutual interest. He has over 20-years of field experience, published over 30 scientific articles, served as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, and is affiliate faculty with the University of Alaska.



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