News & Events

Regional e-Notes: August Letter from the Director

Aug 31, 2018


As you may know, a major hurricane was forecasted to hit the Hawaiian islands last week. Thankfully, it shifted direction and we were spared a direct hit. However, in the days leading up to the anticipated arrival of the storm, fears about food security became a major topic of discussion. In the remote Pacific islands, the impact of storms can be felt for a long time. Not only do we almost completely depend on the imported goods that arrive by boat, but storms can impact our farmlands and fishing waters, disrupting the local food production we do have in place.

Unfortunately, climate change is intensifying storms across the globe. It’s also raising water temperatures, forcing the northern migration of some species typically only found in the Pacific Islands. Pelagic fish like tuna might eventually be found at higher latitudes, further impacting the availability of fish in our region. In short, there are many factors in our ever-changing world that are affecting the islands’ reliance on natural resources particularly seafood. If we cannot get the food we want or need from the ocean, culturing it ourselves will become the only option. As I have mentioned in a previous newsletter, it is time for us to broaden the definition of aquaculture.

Increased collaboration between the aquaculture and fisheries industries—and the integration of management strategies—can help our environment mitigate and/or recover from some of its stressors. At the same time, we all need to our parts as a society to decrease global warming. The future of the planet is in our hands, and I am hopeful that we can and will make a difference if we work together. As the African proverb states, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CTSA