2-4pm 8 November 2013, Halford Mackinder Lecture Theatre, SoGE, Oxford

The annual Oceans symposium examines key issues concerning marine environmental change, conservation, and sustainability. This year we focus on ecological changes in polar marine environments, innovative efforts to promote community based marine conservation in the Indian Ocean, and what forces drive sustainability in the fishing industry. The speakers presentations will be followed by a Q&A and discussion.

Moderator: Dr Thomas Thornton, Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment.

The Arctic in Change: Ecological and climatic consequences of sea ice decline in the Arctic Ocean

Dr Marc Macias-Fauria, University of Oxford

Dr Marc Macias-Fauria is an Oxford Martin School Research Fellow working at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. His research is directed at understanding the interactions between physical and biological systems over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, with a special focus on cold ecosystems. He holds degrees from the University of Barcelona (B.Sc.).

The Southern Ocean: The challenges of managing a unique marine ecosystem

Professor Alex Rogers, University of Oxford

Alex Rogers is Professor of Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. He also serves as Scientific Director of the NGO the International Programme on State of the Ocean and has worked for other NGOs including the WWF, Greenpeace and the Deep-Sea Conservation Coalition. The Antarctic marine ecosystem has evolved over millennia to increasingly low temperatures, the presence of ice and extreme seasonality. The biota of the Southern Ocean is diverse and shows a high level of endemism. Food webs are "wasp waist" where the link between primary production and higher predators is largely controlled through Antarctic krill. Exploitation of Antarctic marine living resources extends back to the 18th century with the hunting of seals, whales and then, in the 20th century, fin-fish. Overexploitation characterised all these fisheries and culminated in the formation of the Convention for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMO) was founded on principles of ecosystem-based management and has, in many respects been viewed as an example of best practice in management of fisheries. However, CCAMLR is currently contending with the management of a new surge in the fishing of Antarctic krill, driven by new technology, as well as experimental fisheries for Antarctic toothfish in the Ross Sea and elsewhere. This is all taking place at a time when climate change is increasingly affecting Antarctic marine ecosystems and driving changes in the abundance and distribution of species. Recent international disagreements on the establishment of a network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean are an example of a wider clash in philosophy with regards to management of marine ecosystems amongst States.

Incentivising community-based coastal conservation in the western Indian Ocean

Dr Alasdair Harris, Blue Ventures

Dr Alasdair Harris has spent the past decade addressing marine conservation issues in the western Indian Ocean through his award winning NGO, Blue Bentures. With a background in zoology and coral reef ecology, he led his first marine research initiative to Madagascar in 2001. Al is a visiting post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas, a member of the Marine Stewardship Council's Stakeholder Council , and a technical advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on Migratory Species Secretariat. He is recipient of the IUCN World Conservation Union's Young Conservationist Award, winner of the Condé Nast Environment Award, and an Ashoka Fellow. His work developing sustainable business approaches for financing conservation has twice been commended by the UK Chancellor in the 'Enterprising Young Brits' awards.

What forces drive sustainability in the fishing Industry

Anthony Kleanthous, former Sr Policy Adviser on Sustainable Business and Markets, WWF-UK

Anthony Kleanthous is a researcher, writer and adviser on sustainable business, and a Trustee of Sustain, the Alliance for Better Food and Farming. Between 2006 and 2013, Anthony was Senior Policy Adviser on Sustainable Business and Markets, then Senior Sustainability Adviser on Food, at WWF-UK. Since May 2013, Anthony has been advising a leading seafood brand on sustainability strategy. He examines how sustainability initiatives, particularly amongst the large retailers and fish processors, are driven primarily by: the need to secure future supplies of fish; and the need to protect and build their reputations, and how this leads to investment in this may lead to investment in improved products, certification schemes, and sustainability standards.

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