The Future of Food From the Sea

Learn about the future of food from the sea, including wild fisheries, mariculture, and seafood products. As global food demand rises, how much food can we expect the ocean to sustainably produce by 2050? This Marine Studies Initiative special event took place on Wednesday, December 2nd from 4-5:30 PM. It features short presentations and a panel discussion, followed by an audience Q&A.





Webinar Program 

  • 4:00 PM - Welcome, Jack Barth, Executive Director, Marine Studies Initiative, OSU
  • 4:05 - 4:40 PM Short presentations by---- 
    • Scott Heppell, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, OSU
    • Andrew Plantinga, Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management University of California, Santa Barbara
    • Christina DeWitt, Interim Director of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, and Director, OSU Seafood Lab, Astoria
    • Matt Hawkyard, Research Associate, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, OSU
  • 4:40 - 4:45 PM – Food From the Sea at OSU, Gil Sylvia, Marine Resource Economist, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University
  • 4:45 - 5:15 PM Q&A session facilitated by OSU Ocean11 Students, Drew Taylor and Jenna Cordisco
  • 5:15 PM Closing Remarks, Jack Barth


Contact MSI for accommodations for disabilities at [email protected]


Event Moderator

Jack Barth, Event Moderator

Executive Director, Marine Studies Initiative, and Professor of Oceanography, Oregon State University

Jack Barth is the Executive Director of Oregon State University’s Marine Studies Initiative. He is also a Professor of oceanography in Oregon State University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS). Jack’s research seeks to understand how coastal ocean circulation and water properties shape and influence coastal marine ecosystems. He has led a number of research, technology development and ocean observing system projects off Oregon and around the world.

Gil Sylvia, intro remarks

Gil Sylvia is a Marine Resource Economist, former Director of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University.  His research focuses on fishery and aquaculture management and policy, seafood marketing, and bioeconomic modeling.  Gil has published in numerous economic and fishery management journals and consulted in a variety of national and international fishery and aquaculture projects.


Scott Heppell, speaker

Scott Heppell is an associate professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. His research interests include the physiological ecology and conservation of fishes, in particular how physiology, behavior, and life history traits affect the interactions between fish populations, their respective fisheries, and the environment. He has worked on bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, on groupers throughout the southeast Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico, on rockfish in Oregon and Alaska, on sharks in the Adriatic, on forage fishes in the eastern Bering Sea, and on trout, steelhead, and salmon in Japan and the high deserts of Oregon and Nevada.  Basically he loves working wherever fish can be found and where interesting scientific questions can be asked and conservation issues solved. He is on the Habitat Committee for the Pacific Fishery Management Fishery Council and the Science and Data Committee for the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership. Scott teaches classes in Fishery Biology, Salmon Biology and Management, and Fish Physiology, plus an undergraduate, non-majors course called Food from the Sea, which explores the social, cultural, biological, environmental, and economic aspects how seafood ends up on our plates.

Andrew Plantinga, speaker

Dr. Andrew Plantinga is Professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Before coming to UCSB in 2012, Dr. Plantinga had faculty appointments at Oregon State University (2001-2012) and the University of Maine (1995-2000).  Dr. Plantinga is a Lead Scientist with the Environmental Markets Solution Lab at UCSB (  He received a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1995, an MS in Forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988, and a BA from Grinnell College in 1986.

Dr. Plantinga is a natural resource economist whose research focuses on the economics of land use, climate change, and forests. Particular emphasis is given to the development of methods for econometrically modeling land-use decisions, the analysis of environmental policies that affect private land-use decisions, and the modeling of land development pressures. A current project, funded by the National Science Foundation, examines how salient wildfires influence risk management decisions by public land management agencies.  Additional work examines the economic benefits from assigning tradable property rights to groundwater.  Dr. Plantinga has authored or co-authored over 80 journal articles, including publications in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Christina DeWitt, speaker

Christina A. Mireles DeWitt joined the faculty at Oregon State University in 2011 and currently serves as the Director of the Seafood Research and Education Center in Astoria, OR, Interim Director of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station in Newport, OR, and as a professor in the department of Food Science & Technology.  Dr. DeWitt’s current research is focused on improving seafood quality, safety and utilization.  While at Oregon State University she has served as an affiliate instructor for the FDA/University of Maryland Joint Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (JIFSAN) and has participated in the delivery of workshops internationally focused on Good Fishing Vessel Practices, Good Aquaculture Practices, and Seafood HACCP.  Dr. DeWitt is also on the executive committee of the National Seafood HACCP Alliance, serves on the seafood technical committee for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, is a technical advisor for the board of Positively Groundfish, and is co-editor-in-chief for the Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology.

Matt Hawkyard, speaker

Matt Hawkyard is a Research Associate at Oregon State University. Matt's research is focused in the areas of nutrition and disease management in marine finfish and shellfish aquaculture. He is currently investigating the use and application of microencapsulation technologies for improved delivery of water soluble compounds and vaccines to marine fish larvae and juveniles. He has also been involved in efforts to identify replacements for live microalgae used in shellfish aquaculture. Matt teaches several aquaculture-related courses including: Introduction to Aquaculture, Aquaculture Laboratory and Nutrition and Reproduction of Aquatic Organisms.  Matt was a US Fulbright scholar and conducted his master's research at the National Institute for Nutrition and Seafood Research (now IMR) in Bergen Norway and received his graduate degrees from Oregon State University.

Seafood Facts

•UN FAO  reports  that seafood consumption  increased  to a record  20 kg/person  in 2014

•Seafood  accounts for ~17% of global  protein  intake

•Up to 70 percent in some coastal and island countries

•~7% of all protein  consumed

•Fish  protein  made up at least 20% of dietary  protein  for >3.1 billion  people

Source-Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, 2016