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Q&A: Oceana Science Advisor Dr. Jessica Gephart reveals the ‘blue foods’ with the lowest environmental impact | Oceana

Dense school of sardines swirl next to a striped striped marlin.
Image: Shutterstock/Andrea Izzotti

This excerpt is from an Oceana Q&A piece with Dr. Jessica Gephart. The interview appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Oceana Magazine. Read the full interview here.

Dr. Jessica Gephart is an Oceana Science Advisor and an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at American University in Washington, D.C., where she studies the seafood trade and its impact on food security and environmental conservation. Gephart’s research has also informed Oceana’s Save the Oceans, Feed the World initiative. 

Recently, she led a study that compared the environmental impact of various aquatic foods. She and 17 other scientists – including fellow Oceana Science Advisor Dr. Christopher Golden – calculated the greenhouse gas, nitrogen, and phosphorous emissions, as well as the freshwater and land use, of “blue foods.” Blue foods as a category include capture products (or “wild” foods from the ocean and inland waters) and aquaculture products (or farmed fish and shellfish).  

In a recent conversation with Oceana, Gephart discussed this paper, which appeared in Nature journal in September as part of the global Blue Food Assessment led by the Stockholm Resilience Center, Stanford University, and EAT. 

Jessica Gephart.

“When steering food production toward greater sustainability, it is not only critical to consider blue foods alongside terrestrial foods, but also to look across the diversity of blue food production.”

Jessica Gephart, American University

Read the full Oceana interview piece with Dr. Jessica Gephart >