Cardiff Hub oversees completion of the Food from the Oceans evidence review for the European Commission

Cardiff Hub oversees completion of the Food from the Oceans evidence review for the European Commission

The AE Cardiff Hub has overseen the compilation of the Evidence Review Report Food from the Oceans, which examines the question of how the ocean can help satisfy the global demand for food.  Handover to the European Commission took place on 29th November, in Brussels.  Two European Commissioners, Karmenu Vella (Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and Carlos Moedas (Research, Science and Innovation) were present.

The SAPEA Consortium (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) was asked to produce this Evidence Review Report to underpin the policy-based Scientific Opinion of the High-Level Group of Scientific Advisers.

Food from the Oceans, is the first evidence review delivered by the SAPEA Consortium and has been led by Academia Europaea, with responsibility for management and delivery of the work given to the Academy’s Cardiff University Hub.

Professor Ole Petersen FRS, Academic Director of the Cardiff Hub and Vice-President of Academia Europaea, represented the SAPEA Consortium for the project, with Louise Edwards, Hub Manager, as Chair of the SAPEA Team. Dr Esther Dorado-Ladera in the Cardiff Hub Office provided further critical support. The Literature review, which is an important part of the Evidence Review Report, was provided by Cardiff University’s Library Services with special input from Nigel Morgan, Sarah Puzey and Delyth Morris.

The Cardiff Hub was responsible for the coordination of the two international working groups, the formal peer review, an expert workshop and public engagement events, as well as the preparation of the report for publication.

The substantial Evidence Review Report (160 pages) warns that in our extraction of food from the oceans, ‘business as usual’ is not sustainable from social, economic and environmental viewpoints. The report suggests a number of options, which inform the recommendations of the High Level Group Scientific Opinion. It states that the only way to obtain significantly more food and biomass sustainably from the ocean is to harvest seafood that on average is from a lower trophic level (lower in the food chain) than we currently harvest.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said:

“This substantive opinion and comprehensive evidence review shows that the Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism is going from strength to strength. I am confident that the value of this opinion will be recognised not just by European policymakers, but also by national governments and all those who care about the future of our oceans.”

Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea said:

“In Food from the Oceans, we believe we have established an attractive model for future SAPEA projects.  I would like to thank the academies across Europe and their experts who have contributed their valuable knowledge to this report. I express my gratitude to everyone involved in making Food from the Oceans a success, particularly the management provided by the Cardiff Hub, ensuring that the Evidence Review Report was delivered on time and to an excellent standard.”

Food from the Oceans Evidence Review Report
Food from the Oceans Evidence Review Report

The SAPEA evidence review report is available here.

The SAM High Level Group Opinion is available here.

This text reflects only the author’s view. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.