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‘The Future of Seafood, Panel Discussion: Sustainability through Local and Global Action’

Discussion part of URI Honors Colloquium, Sustaining our Shores

KINGSTON, R.I. (URI News) — Leaders in various areas of food science, policy and industry will come together at the University of Rhode Island Tonight, Nov. 9 to discuss “The Future of Seafood: Sustainability through Local and Global Action” as part of the 58th annual Honors Colloquium. The 2021 Colloquium, Sustaining Our Shores, celebrates the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.  

The panel will be moderated by Azure Dee Cygler who joined the University’s Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant in 2012. She is a marine research associate with the center and extension specialist with Sea Grant. Azure earned a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island, where her graduate work focused on measuring the well-being of commercial fishermen in three New England ports and how management measures have affected their decision-making and conservation ethics. 

The panel will be held in-person at 7 p.m. in Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road on the Kingston Campus. Admission is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required. Those unable to attend in person may watch online.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis:  ALL attendees will be REQUIRED to show either a vaccination card OR a university ID.  Also, everyone attending will be required to be masked while inside the building.  Virtual viewing is open to all.

The panelists are:

Monica Jain, founder and executive director of Fish 2.0 and Manta Consulting Inc., is dedicated to growing networks that bring together fisheries and the oceans, finance, and impact investment. She launched and grew Fish 2.0 from 2013-2020 to create a network of quality entrepreneurs and investors to build the sustainable seafood sector and capital flowing into it. Since then, she has worked with more than 600 entrepreneurs, 500 investors, and 50 sponsors to expand Fish 2.0 and move more than $300 million into participating ventures. Monica was named a White House Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood in October 2016 for her achievements with Fish 2.0 and her long-standing work advancing ocean conservation and sustainable seafood. Her career spans 30 years and 4 continents, encompassing marine biology, philanthropy, venture capital, banking, and international development. Jain continues to expand innovation and investment into the seafood arena as a strategic adviser and consultant to government, investors, and growing businesses and corporations. Monica holds degrees from Stanford University and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sarah Schumann is a commercial fisherman in Point Judith, Rhode Island who dedicates her off-seasons to grassroots organizing and applied research on fisheries habitat, climate-resilient fisheries, and supporting the next generation of commercial fishermen. As a leader in the local seafood movement, she has pioneered the aspirational goal of ecosystem-based seafood marketing, in which seafood markets are balanced in proportion to the productivity of the full suite of edible marine species in a given ecosystem and consumers reciprocate for the gifts of the sea by advocating for healthy habitats. Sarah is the author of Simmering the Sea: Diversifying Cookery to Sustain Our Fisheries and Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Eco History, and the founder and former board president of the nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem. 

Russell Smith is the principal at Flen Consulting LLC. He provides consulting services on oceans-related issues to both domestically and internationally based organizations and institutions. This work has focused on a range of topics, including improved strategies for combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, enhanced protection of marine mammals from fishing activities, the performance of a resource management organization, and enhanced efforts to eliminate slave labor in the seafood industry. Before establishing Flen Consulting, Smith served as the deputy assistant secretary for International Fisheries at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  His responsibilities included overseeing NOAA’s international fisheries and trade-related work and leading U.S. efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud. He served as the U.S. commissioner in three regional fisheries management organizations, led U.S. delegations in numerous bilateral and multilateral negotiations, and was a leader in President Barack Obama’s Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud. He is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Michigan Law School.

Gianna Cardarelli, a University of Rhode Island Public Relations major and intern in its Department of Marketing and Communications, wrote this press release.


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