Wednesdays for the Planet | The Fish on My Plate
19 May 2021
Organisation: Geneva Environment Network
Wednesdays for the Planet is a series of online screenings and virtual presentations with experts highlighting the natural world and other environmental challenges our planet faces. The virtual screenings are for educational purposes, non-profit and non-commercial.
The Fish On My Plate
From the investigative documentary and award-winning program Frontline by PBS Broadcasting, best-selling author and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg spends a year eating fish at breakfast, lunch and dinner to help answer the question: “What fish should I eat that’s good for me and good for the planet?”
Article from PBS Broadcasting:
Imagine eating fish, every day, for a year. What would that mean for your health?
It’s a question that journalist Paul Greenberg set out to investigate in the new Frontline documentary, The Fish on My Plate.
Greenberg, the best-selling author of American Catch and Four Fish, says this unique one-man study was motivated by a desire to understand which fish are “good for me and good for the planet.”
A lifelong fisherman, Greenberg began casting lines with his father when he was just five years old. From a young age, he says, he began to understand that overfishing carried far-reaching environmental implications.
Today, more than four decades later, global fish consumption is at an all-time high, with growing demand increasingly depleting natural fisheries. As Greenberg notes, “We’re producing about 80 to 90 million metric tons of wild seafood every year from the ocean … that is equivalent to the human weight of China.” Fish farming — or aquaculture — is helping to fill the void, yet critics say the practice creates more problems than it solves. He adds, “We’re going to have to change the kinds of seafood that we eat.”
“We have reached a point where we have topped out what the ocean can produce, at least in its present compromised state.” – Paul Greenberg, author
Greenberg also noted, “I haven’t been eating as much fish now. I did end up with pretty high mercury levels and that did spook me. There’s a little bit of mercury in most seafood, and if you’re eating it as often as I was eating it, it’s going to add up. I didn’t notice any symptoms, but it spooked me. I’m kind of in a reset mode right now, where I’d like to have seafood be a major part of my diet for all the reasons I said — I think it’s an environmentally sound way of getting protein if you do it in the right way — but I would like to figure out what’s the upper level that I can push, and with which seafood, so that I can achieve a mercury level that is acceptable to me.”
David Vivas Eugui
Legal Officer | Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch | United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
David Vivas Eugui is a Legal Officer in the Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Previously, he was a Senior Economic Affairs Officer in UNCTAD’s Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, Deputy Programmes Director at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), Senior Attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Attaché for Legal Affairs at the Mission of Venezuela to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Staff Attorney at the Venezuelan Institute of Foreign Trade.
David is an international expert with more than 20 years of experience on legal and economic issues. He has worked as an advisor and consultant for various institutions, international and national organizations and has lectured on intellectual property, trade, oceans economy and environmental law at the University of Strasbourg (CEIPI), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Universidad Javeriana (Colombia), Maastricht University (the Netherlands), WIPO Distant Learning Academy, and University of Business and International Studies (Switzerland).
He holds a JD from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, an LLM from Georgetown University and a Master in Transnational Business from the Universidad Externado de Colombia.
Minamata Convention on Mercury
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The Convention also draws attention to a global and ubiquitous metal that, while naturally occurring, has broad uses in everyday objects and is released to the atmosphere, soil and water from a variety of sources. Controlling the anthropogenic releases of mercury throughout its lifecycle has been a key factor in shaping the obligations under the Convention.
Major highlights of the Minamata Convention include a ban on new mercury mines, the phase-out of existing ones, the phase out and phase down of mercury use in a number of products and processes, control measures on emissions to air and on releases to land and water, and the regulation of the informal sector of artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The Convention also addresses interim storage of mercury and its disposal once it becomes waste, sites contaminated by mercury as well as health issues.
Executive Secretary | Minamata Convention on Mercury
Monika Stankiewicz has more than 20 years of experience working on environmental issues, including a decade in an executive position. Prior to being appointed as the Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention, she served as Executive Secretary of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM), where she led the successful implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, a comprehensive programme of measures based on the ecosystem approach. Previously, Monika worked in the environmental sector of the Polish public administration and, in her personal capacity, she was a member of the EU Mission Board for Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters. She is also a member of the writing team of the chapter on hazardous substances of the 2nd World Ocean Assessment under the UN Regular Process.
Manoela Pessoa De Miranda
Programme Management Officer | Minamata Convention on Mercury
Manoela Pessoa De Miranda has over 15 years of experience at the United Nations and has written numerous articles and edited books on science and policy issues. Prior to joining the science team of the Secretariat, she was Head of the Biosafety Unit at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and worked at the UNEP Pacific Office in Samoa where she oversaw regional and national projects focused on environmental conservation. Before joining UNEP, Manoela worked on technical cooperation at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Programme Management Officer | Minamata Convention on Mercury
Richard Gutierrez is an international law practitioner on chemicals and waste, with a focus on illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes. Prior to joining the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, Richard was managing mercury elimination projects on artisanal small-scale gold mining in Indonesia, the Philippines and Mongolia. He has been at forefront of promoting environmental justice in the field of chemicals and wastes in Southeast Asia with his work with an NGO he established in 2006.
The virtual presentations will be available on 19 May 2021 at 13:30 CEST.
- Oceans Economy and Fisheries | UNCTAD
- How to Craft a Strong WTO Deal on Fishing Subsidies | UNCTAD
- Why a Sustainable Blue Recovery is Needed | UNCTAD
- Fishing For Equality and Sustainability | International Union for Conservation of Nature
- Global Mercury Assessment 2018 – Key Findings | Minamata Convention on Mercury
- Mercury: Time to Act | Minamata Convention on Mercury
- Mercury and Health | World Health Organization
- Food Loss and Waste in Fish Value Chains |Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- 2020 State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) | FAO
- Two-Thirds Of The World’s Seafood Is Over-Fished | Forbes
- How the World’s Oceans Could Be Running Out of Fish | BBC
- Wednesdays for the Planet