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Forums on Ocean Issues

The Aquarium of the Pacific hosts forums and conferences that bring together people from a variety of disciplines to explore complex ocean conservation and other environmental issues. These forums are either for national efforts or to develop a specific Aquarium exhibit. Below is a list, along with accompanying reports, of major MCRI forums. To find a specific topic within the report, be sure to use the PDF search function.

MCRI Forums

The Role of Public Support in Protecting Special Places in the Gulf of CA and the Southern CA Bight

Aquarium of the Pacific

November 18, 2010

The Role of Public Support in Protecting Special Places in the Gulf of CA and the Southern CA Bight  buttonLink

Key to gaining public support in establishing marine protected areas and natural protected areas is including the public in the process of identifying, designating and maintaining these special areas. On September 23-24, 2010, a workshop was held at the Aquarium of the Pacific that brought together scientists, environmental managers, policy-makers, informal educators, and stakeholders to develop public outreach strategies for two areas with different challenges but the same need to protect ocean resources—the Gulf of California and the Southern California Bight. This report is a summary of the workshop discussion and recommendations.

The Southern California Bight (SCB) is a highly developed region with multiple and diverse uses by a population of more than 20 million people. The challenge is to allocate human uses and uses by marine life in a sustainable way.

The Gulf of California is sparsely developed and has a population of only about 8.6 million people, many of whom depend upon the gulf for their livelihoods. Fishing is a major source of income for them. The challenges here are to work for sustainable development and to ensure that plans for designation of special ocean places will enhance the standard of living of those whose livelihood depends on the Gulf of California resources.

Ecosystems and Fisheries

Aquarium of the Pacific

September 9, 2010

Ecosystems and Fisheries  buttonLink

The report explores the impacts a rising sea and associated storm surges will have on the U.S. and nations throughout the world, and on coastal living resources. It describes areas at greatest risk and offers suggestions for increasing the resilience of coastal communities.

In May 2009, the Aquarium brought together a group of leading marine scientists, informal educators, communicators, exhibit designers, and public policy experts to identify and explore major ocean issues and to develop documents and strategies to engage the public in these issues.

Support for the conference was provided by NOAA, NSF, Southern California Edison, the Marine Conservation Research Institute of the Aquarium of the Pacific, Kings Seafood, and Santa Monica Seafood.

Critical Condition: Ocean Health and Human Health

Aquarium of the Pacific

September 9, 2010

Critical Condition: Ocean Health and Human Health  buttonLink

This report explores the interconnectedness of ocean health and human health. The ocean provides benefits to human health including controlling our climate, providing a rich source of healthy protein, providing a source for new medicines, and providing recreational and aesthetic benefits. Yet the ocean also harbors marine toxins and disease causing agents. Human actions are adversely impacting the ocean, increasing these risks and despoiling the beneficial ocean resources. This report explores these concepts and describes some of the actions being taken to mitigate the risks.

Pollution in the Ocean: Everything Flows Downhill

Aquarium of the Pacific

September 9, 2010

Pollution in the Ocean: Everything Flows Downhill  buttonLink

The report explores the sources of pollution to the ocean, their consequences, and ways to manage manage each category of pollutants. Pollutants discussed include: marine debris, nutrients, CO2, toxicants, fecal wastes, oil, and noise.

Is Offshore Finfish Aquaculture in the Southern California Bight an Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Aquarium of the Pacific

January 27, 2009

Is Offshore Finfish Aquaculture in the Southern California Bight an Idea Whose Time Has Come?  buttonLink

The per capita consumption of seafood in the greater Los Angeles area is approximately twice the national average, and the demand continues to grow as population increases and people become more aware of the health benefits of eating seafood. How will the demand for seafood be met? Is sustainable aquaculture part of the answer?

In September 2008 the Aquarium convened a group of proponents of aquaculture, opponents, and the undecided to answer the question:

Is there an opportunity for development of offshore finfish aquaculture in the Southern California Bight?

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