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Andrew Sharpless: What Oceana’s job is, is to put more fish in the sea, to make the oceans more abundant, so that we can feed lots of people from a rebuilt ocean. Our method for doing that is winning national policy changes that produce that outcome. Chiefly that focuses on two things: stopping overfishing and fighting pollution.

Indeed people who work in the Oceana learn – realized because they was indeed really more youthful which they liked the fresh oceans –I am not saying one to people

Melissa Wright: You’ve been doing this since 2003 when you took the helm at Oceana and you have a pretty diverse background that brought you to the place where you are today. Can you tell me more about what attracted you to Oceana and the work that they do?

Andrew Sharpless: Yeah, I did not take a straight line to this position. You know if you’d talked to me when I was 20 years old and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said, oh, I want to run a public interest group and I would have had a long list of the public interests – it could involve lots of good things. But I wasn’t narrowly focused on the oceans.

And so i are a public attention people given that an earlier man. I thought a number of public focus advocacy is loaded with a great aim. And i also decided to go to way too many meetings in which everyone was talking extremely eloquently on the something – then little create happen. And i also got very disillusioned. And i ran on the business. Was providers, it just matters if or not you do that which you said you had been attending would. While discover pretty much every quarter someone notice – whether you are getting –

Andrew Sharpless: It was so real and so satisfying. And then to make a very long short somewhat short, the founders of Oceana, and it was founded by five big foundations –And they contacted me and wanted to help to run it. And I said I don’t want to work that hard ’cause I knew – about startups and I had been in business startups and I know what that takes. And so I said, well, I’ll help you find your CEO. And I’ll help get people organized and… and I got there and I, frankly, I learned about what was happening to the oceans. I learned about the blueprint that the founders had for a very practical group that would deliver measurable outcomes quickly. So lo and behold here I am –

Melissa Wright: We ought to dive into some of that data and information that Oceana is so well known for. I wanted to point out a data point that we used as we were formulating the Vibrant Oceans Initiative. Basically that more than 80% of the world’s fisheries are either overexploited, at risk of becoming over exploited, or recovering from overexploitation. But it also is clear that proper management of fisheries can increase the number of fish and is projected that that could be up to even 50%. So can you say a little bit about the Vibrant Oceans Initiative and how this work is aiming to address that problem?

Andrew Sharpless: So the Vibrant Ocean Initiative brought Oceana together with two other NGOs, one called Rare and one called Encourage Capital. That was Bloomberg’s idea. The essence of that idea was that’s the problem of ocean conservation can be broken down into –overfishing and pollution. The solution to that can be broken down into controlling the big industrial fleets – that have the capacity to overfish really aggressively with these colossal big vessels. And then also helping the smaller artisanal fishers that work closer to the shore self-manage better. And that the fixes for each of those are different. You need to have the laws and the regulations force the big boats to do the right thing.

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