Better Worlds Host Kate Wing explores the life of tuna and the people that catch them with the Worldwide Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Tuna Program Manager Alfred “Bubba” Cook. Taking a wandering migratory path starting on the Texas Gulf Coast, Bubba made his way to fisheries conservation and management via the U.S. Navy and Alaska. He also served in the Peace Corps in the South Pacific Islands before making his way to New Zealand to focus on Pacific tuna.
Tuna are some of the fastest and most valuable fish in the sea. While bluefin tuna can command hundreds of thousands of dollars at auctions, other species are canned for the $257B global seafood trade, or brought to shore to support local businesses and communities. A tuna swims thousands of miles in its lifetime, crossing national borders and ocean ecosystems. Tracking tuna and the people who fish over this vast area is a job for technology, and Bubba talks about his work making tech tools accessible to fishers at all levels to help keep the industry accountable and sustainable.
Tuna into this episode of Ocean Podcast to explore with Bubba and Kate how it is that tuna stands out as one of the last, great, wild foraging enterprises of humanity. Learn more about the importance of coastal fisheries to their nearby populations, not only as a food source but also as a provider of employment security in small countries, especially for women.
As the Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager for WWF, Bubba focuses on improving tuna fisheries management in the Western and Central Pacific through policy improvements, market tools, and technological innovation. He recently supported a project implementing electronic reporting tablets for observers in the PNA tuna purse seine fishery and is currently pursuing the development of an electronic reporting platform in four key Pacific Island states. He has expertise in fisheries Electronic Monitoring (EM) and contributed to the development of a UN project in support of EM implementation.
Kate Wing is the founder of Intertidal Agency, a design and strategy consulting firm focused on ocean sustainability for people and the planet.. To learn more visit Intertidal.Agency.
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