Sacramento briefing: Healthy Predators, Healthy Ocean
On April 4, 2011, COMPASS organized a luncheon briefing on the sometimes surprising roles in ocean ecosystems of top predators, such as sharks. Dr. Stuart Sandin from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Dr. Francesco Ferretti from Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University, presented their work to an audience of policymakers and others in Sacramento. Dr. Sandin discussed research that demonstrates the surprising ways in which predators help make fisheries more productive, contribute to the health of ecosystems, and buffer against disturbance. Dr. Ferretti presented his work on global population declines in sharks. These declines, due primarily to targeted fishing and bycatch, have far-reaching consequences for the health and stability of ocean ecosystems around the world.
Timed to coincide with Ocean Day California, Drs. Sandin and Ferretti spoke to approximately 80 people, including state legislative and agency staff, NGOs, and the public. Throughout the day, they also met with legislative members and/or their staff to discuss the policy implications of their research.