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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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Talk – Putting human population growth and attendant consumption back on the radar screen: A fisheries perspective

October 2, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

Speaker: Karin Limburg, Professor, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Worldwide, fish populations are in decline. Once formerly abundant species now are increasingly threatened, endangered, or extirpated, and most commercial fisheries have “max’d out” their capacity. The root cause is pressure from human activities, both directly from fishing and indirectly from other activities of the human enterprise. Ultimately, human population growth is the driver of consumption and economic growth, but these also drive population growth, particularly in the developed world. It is evident that both consumption and human population growth create the squeeze on ecosystems that sustain fisheries. Despite reticence to discuss these topics, ecologists must re-engage to support policies to guide humanity toward smaller population size and reduced consumptive footprint.

Karin Limburg is a professor of fisheries and ecosystem sciences at the Dept. of Environmental and Forest Biology at SUNY ESF. Limburg’s research interests are at the interface of ecosystem science and fisheries science, thus blending ecosystem theory with population and community theory. Her fisheries interests span all salinities, and her research extends from Lake Erie to the Baltic Sea. Limburg has studied how economic drivers enable sprawl development, and how that in turn affects watershed function and stream/river integrity. In addition, she has worked with ecological economists, having co-authored a controversial paper that appeared in Nature in 1997, estimating the total value of the Earth’s ecosystem goods and services.


October 2, 2017
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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