CBE Summer Fellows 2019-Final Report

Chiao Ting, Taiwan,

May 1- July 27. Satoumi Food supplies Ltd. (Closed)

Fig 1 The 2018 Blue Pioneer Program (July 29 – Aug 9) went to Packard Foundation. Thanks to my boss agree that I can come back earlier to join this team.

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

(1)    Building a model that the company can provide captured seafood by a shorter supplying period in each species. By this way, the nearshore marine environment could have less pressure in overfishing. (When the total seafood quantity is the same in the market, the supplier can provide double or more species to mitigate the commercial fish catching pressure in near-shore)

(2)    Finding out the unreported fish resources, especially the fish is from bottom-trawl boats

(3) stop any possible illegal selling on the ocean

(4) use Facebook to reveal the small-scale capture fishery and problem and stimulate chefs’ to rethink about the lack of fish resources.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally.

My boss solved the problem of stray dogs and ended the business fighting dogs (RSPCA). Therefore, when he joins to the seafood market, he hopes that fish should have less pain when they die, and they should have higher quality in transporting. Before having this internship, I was a marine conservator and have educated people in the museum and schools for many years. I believed that people, who work in the capture fishery and catering, should understand and have a serious attitude in the declining of fish resources. Unfortunately, the internship teaches me that people can do everything when they face to the benefit. The capture fishery industry is not like an international company, they could not follow the 4 bottom lines. Sadly, even the high-end restaurants who are from a multinational corporation, they also do not want to follow the 4 bottom lines, to carry the social responsibility, and to care about environmental responsibility.

After this internship, my friend, who has worked for public education, told me that: educating people is not easy, especially you want to educate people in an industry.

Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?

“Fish is an animal, food, or money?”

This is the only topic my boss has talked to me during these few months. From the business side, any type of earning money will be a good policy for people. However, how to “steal” some fish from the consumers” is a challenge.

To review the industry which relies on capture fishery, there are various types: (1) Food (selling to Taiwan and China) (2) Religion release (3) Conservation (for subsidies) are three major commercial activities in Taiwan. Also, when the maximum producing cannot match with the selling time, many fishermen and distributors tend to catch as much as possible, and they freeze the products in the future. Unfortunately, predicting the selling quantity in the market is difficult, so, the market price is always unstable and has an extreme gap in the price. Having an unstable price in seafood is very easy to trick the government if it wants to regulate the market and the quantity of a product. This internship told me that why there is always a gap between industry and the government. In Taiwan, the public policy is in the public administration; In the U.S., the public policy and public administration have relative and independent. Therefore, if a person who writes a public policy for industry, it usually has a huge barrier so that the policy becomes very weird and is difficult to follow.

Discovering Brest

Of all the places I had thought of going to for my summer fellowship, I never would have thought of being based in Brest, France–especially when I had zero skills in speaking or even understanding French! I admit… I had never even heard of the city before this internship was recommended to me so it has never been on my list of top destinations to work. As someone who grew up in the tropics and prefers the tropical climate, I had imagined being somewhere closer to the equator. Despite this, however, Brest definitely did not disappoint!

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Final Reflections from BSR

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

My summer at BSR was one of the most educative periods of my life to date. I had three main work accomplishments with the Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG). First, the IMO 2020 report which I wrote about in my previous blog post.

Second, CCWG strives to be forging new partnerships in and outside of its membership to build its capacity and foster innovative solutions to decarbonizing the international maritime shipping industry. For an example of one of these innovative solutions, CCWG was an instrumental organizer between Heineken, GoodFuels, Combined Cargo Terminals, and Reinplus Fiwado Bunker to partner together and build a 100% sustainable biofuel ship (I was not involved with this project, as it pre-dated my time at BSR). To increase our capacity to be innovators in this field, I built a landscape map identifying innovators and innovation catalysts in green shipping around the world with whom we could connect with our members to start new, sustainable partnerships. As a result of this work, CCWG is connecting with many innovators around the world, and is already participating in one incubator’s award process. In addition to growing our capacity and reach, I re-designed some of our recruitment decks to attract more members to CCWG.

Third, I created a survey tool to help shippers (companies who own goods and hire ship owners to move their goods) assess the sustainability of their procurement process. When shippers want to make more sustainable decisions when procuring their shipping orders, they need ask questions like: what is emissions footprint of our shipping activities, are our carriers participating in leading sustainability initiatives such as CCWG, and is our leadership investing resources to make more sustainable choices? When the survey tool is launched (scheduled for October), shippers around the world will have a self-assessment tool that will provide guidance on how to take the next step to making their procurement process more sustainable.

Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?

Before this summer I had no exposure to the transportation sector, and now I am looking for work primarily in transportation. In addition, my whole life I have thought I would work in government, focusing on public policy, but now I am leaning towards staying in the private sector, focusing on sustainability collaborations in business.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally.

I was working alongside people who are at the forefront of decarbonizing an industry that represents 2.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions and moves approximately 90% of the world’s cargo in volume. I was on weekly calls and daily emails with global heads of sustainability for some of the biggest companies in the world, representing a leading sustainability initiative. It was a truly unique experience that opened up a lot my doors of professional growth and networking.

In addition, I moved to San Francisco and absolutely fell in love with the city. I am here to stay! A fun fact, if you are in the Bay Area, and you see a cargo ship rolling into the Port of Oakland (as I did in this picture below taken from Treasure Island), rest easy knowing that that ship (and every cargo ship) that comes into the Port of Oakland is a CCWG member!

The passive government and the positive market: How to use the market to find out the wasted fish.

The seafood market is a giant market in Taiwan. However, because the ocean is large (about 180,000 km2) and the marine environment is complicated (coral reef environment in the South China Sea, kelp environment in the Ease China Sea, Kuroshio ocean current, and China coastal current), the seafood is various so that it is difficult to be regulated.

According to the Fishery Agency, there are 322 genus species are economic marine species, but only a few species have clear data of fish population to modify its catching. These species include tuna family (Family Scombridae), mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), and farmed fish (about 12 genus and species). Therefore, a consumer could have various choices in fish but the products could be from boats which are from IUU fishing (Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing).

This end of June, Taiwan, because of pressure from the European Commission, leads the long-distance fleets to comply with the RFMO obligations systematically (Regional Fisheries Management Organization) and have VMS (vessels monitory system). Now, it is the time to stimulate the small-scale fishing vessels to have legal, reported, and regulated fishing. But, how to do it?

If we use the “cap and trade” on GHG management, the tax is a cap and the carbon market is a trade. Similarity, the prescription in the small-scale fishery from the government is the cap and the high-end catering industry will be the trade in the seafood market in Taiwan. We hope to stimulate people to understand which species they are eating and what the impact will give to the ocean by the chosen fish from the high-end catering industry. The reason is we notice that many Taiwanese tend to know what the seafood is eaten by wealthier. By revealing the seafood what they like to eat, the local social media would report and stimulate people that they should choose this new seafood carefully or not.

This summer, I am working in Satoumi (里海有限公司). Satoumi is a company which provides many high-end restaurants in Taiwan. These chefs are looking for local food, including seafood. Unfortunately, the choice in seafood is very difficult. To review the reason why the local seafood providing is so difficult, we got some reasons: the marine environment is changing too quickly but the scientific data did not follow up; many chefs in high-end restaurants prefer to take a challenge in unique food. If we can switch the high-risked fish species to low-risk fish in the chosen list, can we release a little bit of pressure from the overfishing?

For example, giant isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) is a by-catch with giant scarlet prawn (Aristaeopsis edwardsiana). However, this year, because of not enough catching value of giant scarlet prawn, the vessels tended to increase its trawling times. The problem on the vessel was that there were a lot of giant isopods rather than the giant scarlet prawn. The giant isopods were the bycatch in this case. To stop the vessels working in the South China Sea and ruining the coral reef environment,  the company decides to sell giant isopod to cover the shortage of income from giant scarlet prawn. I evaluated the possibility to sell it or not.  Then, my boss and I decided the price that people will payment (about 8~17 USD for the first sale and 12.6~50 USD for the second sale).

Interestingly, this product stimulates not only people who love to take challenge in specific seafood but also people who love to collect specimen to buy the giant isopods. By selling a new product, the team wants to trigger people to rethink where the seafood is from.

Fig 1. Giant isopod (Bathynomus giganteus). There are about 19 species in this genus. Because it is a giant body size in the Isopoda and its style is very interesting, also, the Toba Aquarium in Japan has had the same genus but different species of the isopod, there are many people tend to concentrate on this news about it’s from and how the fishermen caught it.

IMO 2020

High Sulfur Fuel Oil (HSFO) is amongst the cheapest, most polluting, and most used fuel to power cargo ships. When HSFO combusts, the sulfur within it reacts with oxygen to form sulfur oxides (SOx). SOx emissions are harmful to human health, causing respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is the international agency setting global standards for shipping safety, security, and environmental performance, has mandated that on January 1, 2020, the limit for sulfur in fuel oil on ships operating outside Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will be significantly reduced. This regulation is known as IMO 2020 and it is projected to prevent 150,000 annual premature deaths around the globe.

One of my responsibilities at BSR has been to conduct research on IMO 2020, and write a report on how it will impact Clean Cargo members’ shipping and supply chain activities. The report aims to inform the shippers (who own cargo and procure carriers to move their goods) and forwarders (who organize shipments between Carriers and Shippers to provide logistics services to ensure goods arrive at the final point of distribution) how they should navigate the changing waters of international shipping, and what questions they should ask carriers (who own vessels and move goods ).

This report explores how the international maritime shipping industry is likely to comply with IMO 2020 and how they will transition. It first explains the scientific process of SOx emissions, the creation of HSFO and its prevalence in the shipping industry, why the IMO is limiting ships’ ability to emit SOx. The paper then evaluates the three options carriers have to adapt to IMO 2020: Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oils (VLSFOs), Scrubbers, or alternative means of compliance such as Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). It then analyzes the engineering, scientific, and regulatory challenges in each of these options. Next, the paper explores the potential costs of the transition as a whole, analyzes the challenges of enforcing IMO 2020. This paper concludes with why VLSFOs will be the most used path to compliance and will provide suggestions as to how the public and other members of the ocean shipping value chain can positively contribute to this transition to ensure their supply chain is complying with IMO 2020.

I would be more than happy to discuss this topic at further length so please feel free to reach out!

Final Reflection On My Summer Experience

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

This summer, I worked with the Environmental and Social Safeguards Team at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Washington DC. This was a unique experience given than at the time I conducted my internship, WWF had just decided to implement Environmental and Social Safeguards Policies in most of its projects to ensure any negative impacts of projects are eliminated or mitigated. As part of my internship, I supported the Safeguards team in day-to-day work and helped edit the Spanish version of the “Safeguards Integrated Policies and Procedures” document for Latin American offices. I developed training materials for workshops and webinars on the safeguards policies. Thanks to the work conducted, the safeguards policies can be implemented in WWF’s Latin American projects like “Mesoamerican Ridge to Reef Management”.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally.

Despite the fact that my academic background is in Law, my hands-on experience has mostly been field work. For example, I have worked with fishing communities and as a naturalist tour guide in Costa Rica. This experience helped me gain experience working in an office of a large international environmental organization. Furthermore, living in Washington DC was an invaluable experience where I made connections and learned about different organizations and the work they do in the marine conservation field. 

US Botanic Garden

 Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?

This experience helped me get out of my comfort zone, challenge myself and gain hands-on experience. I discovered that an office job can be fun when I work in a topic I feel passionate about. Even though I am not a city person, I enjoyed my time in Washington DC and learned to appreciate specific aspects of my life back in Monterey, California and on the US west coast. 

Life in the Galapagos pt. 2

September 12, 2019

It has been a month and a half since my last blog post. Since then my life has been filled with some amazing highlights, but also with some very difficult times.

I had the opportunity to accompany a patrol trip from the island of Santa Cruz to the island of Isabella. When we arrived in the bay at the southern end of Isabella, we boarded a large container ship that was about to leave for Guayaquil. Accompanied with several park rangers, a naval officer, a police and a police dog we proceeded to search the ship for any illegal substances. We were primarily looking for signs of illegal fishing; specifically shark fins. Nothing was found but it was great to see how one of these patrol inspections go.

Back in the National Park Office I had been continuing to work on the procedure’s manual with Harman. By now I had made several solid groups of friends who I would go with to surf or explore other parts of the island of Santa Cruz on the weekends.

Unfortunately, during the first week of August I received some bad news from back home. My grandfather, who had been diagnosed with cancer several months earlier, was not doing well. After talking to him on the phone I made the decision to book a flight home. I spent two weeks back in California and had the opportunity to spend time with him and my family. He sadly passed away on August 16th. I was lucky enough to have over a week with him before he passed, and I was able to be there for the funeral which took place on the 18th. I returned to Galapagos on the 22nd and was met with support and kindness from everyone I work with at the park and WildAid.        

I had been continuing to work on the manual at national park when I was abruptly told that I would be part of a large expedition going to the island of Española for 7 days. The day before we left, we were given a full orientation. The park was partnering with a group called Galapagos Conservancy to monitor and count the albatross and tortoise population. Furthermore, some of the tortoises, which had been reintroduced on the island several years ago, would be taken back to be as first members of a reintroduced population on the island of Santa Fe.

Tagging and tracking a tortoise on Española

We were split into 10 different groups to cover the entire island. I was to be in a group of three on the far side of the island primarily counting albatross, but also examining the tortoises. On the day of the trip we all boarded the National Parks largest boat, La Sierra Negra, and accompanied with a helicopter made our way to Española. When we arrived to Española my group was flown by helicopter to the far side of the island where we would be camping and collecting data for the next week. The first three days were tough as we had to hike between 10-20km everyday using machetes to cut through thick brush covered in thorns, but the experience was incredible. After day three the helicopter helped us move camps as we and dropped us much closer to the coast. Those last two days were fantastic as were constantly surrounded by albatrosses taking care of their fledglings, blue footed boobies, Galapagos Sea Lions, marine iguanas, humpback whales and a plethora of other bird species.

Upon arriving back in Santa Cruz (the island where I live) I went back to work on the procedures manual and started to help update an excel database of all the illicit activity committed by fishing and tourists boats in the Galapagos marine reserve.

The next week I had the opportunity to accompany a patrol team on a trip to la Base Bolivar, a patrol base on the far side of the island of Isabella. At this patrol base park rangers stay for two weeks at a time and monitor the surrounding marine area on a zodiac to make sure not illicit activity takes place in the area. I went with the resupply group to drop of two new park rangers and pick up the park rangers who had been stationed there. During the two-day trip we saw dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, and whales.       

That Friday of the next weekend while eating dinner with some friends, we met a tour guide operator who works out of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. He said that in the morning he was going on a day-trip to an island known as North Seymour, and that he had extra spots on the trip which he would give me and a few friends for free! The next morning, we left on a bus bright and early to catch a boat on the other side of the Santa Cruz. The boat was much fancier than the National Park boats I was used to, and we were given a delicious breakfast. After a short boat ride, we arrived at North Seymour where we saw blue footed boobies, frigate birds and land iguanas. Then in the afternoon after lunch we went snorkeling with parrot fish.

The next day with a group of friends we went on another boat trip, but this time to Bartalomé. While Bartalomé is a small island, it is the most photographed place in all the Galapagos. This is due to the epic spire that sticks up next to a gorgeous beach. We woke up early and once again took a bus to the other side of Santa Cruz, where another fancy boat waited for us. We were fed breakfast and coffee and told to prepare for an angry sea. It took a bit over two hours to get to Bartalomé and the boat was rocking for much of the trip. When we arrived we ate got off the boat and proceeded to hike up to the top of the inactive volcano on the island where you get the most unbelievable views of the beach, the spire, and the large island of Santiago in the background. After the hike we got back on the boat and got ready for some snorkeling. The snorkeling was a magical as there was a group of Galapagos Penguins swimming around us and playing in the water. Galapagos Penguins are the second smallest penguin in the world and the only penguin that can be found north of the equator.

Each of these trips was unbelievable and reminded me of why it is so important that we protect the Galapagos.  

While talking to my boss Diana from WildAid about a week before we went on the trips to Seymour and Bartalomé, I mentioned to her that I am strongly considering veterinary school. She replied that WildAid also helps run a wild animal rescue hospital in Ecuador about two hours north of Guayaquil in Puerto Lopez, and that I could work there for a few weeks. This sounded like an amazing opportunity and I told her that I was extremely interested. While it didn’t seem that this was going to work out for a while, after discussing the topic more with her and other WildAid personal in Guayaquil I will be leaving the Galapagos on Wednesday to work in Puerto Lopez for my final two weeks. I am extremely excited and thankful for this opportunity and will continue to keep you all updated on how it goes.  

Midpoint reflection-Experience at EDF

Why I applied to the MIIS IEP program, I was aspired to be a environmental “communicator” that merges the gaps between science and policy, and the cultural/political barrier between different nations that from collaborating effectively in solving the common threat of climate change. I also wish to be involved in some revolutionary work regarding ocean conservation. I’ve been searching for a role that tackles all of the aspects I desire, and here comes the perfect match.

My internship at EDF combines international trade, environmental science, economics and knowledge of fishery. This is nothing more “MIIS” than this. I work under the China Ocean team as a fishery evaluation intern, and the scope of my work is incredible global. China is the largest seafood consumer in the world, and China’s national supply can’t suffice its growing marked needs. In fact, China’s EEZ had been severely overfished in the past decades and the coastal governments are looking for ways to restore the stocks while importing more seafood from other countries to satisfy the market needs. The global seafood trade is very likely going to be affected by climate change and policy changes. My job this summer was to 1. Compile the seafood trade flow data between China and its global suppliers; 2. Analyzed the Climate Impact on the major species that China is importing. 3. Compile a case study of sustainable fishery management policy& practice globally for the Fujian Fishery Institute in China. 

I had been dreaming to work for Environmental Defense Fund and EDF has proven to me that it is an awesome organization that attracts truly passionate people. I was humbled by the knowledge that my co-workers had every day, and I felt so respected even as a temporary intern. Beside doing my independent project at the office, I also listened to various webinars that EDF organized. The webinars covered a variety of environmental topics that EDF had focused on and had some ground-breaking accomplishment. There’s no office politics in EDF and everyone genuinely works for the common goal and was always happy to help me connect to other professionals, giving me career and life advice, and share some good stories and laughs with me. I was even introduced to the high-level team and joined their video conferences when they talked about the long-term blueprint for the program. I felt I was treasured as part of the team, even though my project was temporary and independent most of the time. 

Final Reflection — Summer at EDF Boston

China is the largest seafood consumer in the world, and China’s national supply can’t suffice its growing marked needs. In fact, China’s EEZ had been severely overfished in the past decades and the coastal governments are looking for ways to restore the stocks while importing more seafood from other countries to satisfy the market needs. The global seafood trade is very likely going to be affected by climate change and policy changes. My job this summer was to 1. Compile the seafood trade flow data between China and its global suppliers; 2. Analyzed the Climate Impact on the major species that China is importing. 3. Compile a case study of sustainable fishery management policy& practice globally for the Fujian Fishery Institute in China. 

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

This summer I interned with the Environmental Defense Fund at Boston, Massachusetts. I worked under the China Ocean Program as an Asian Fishery Evaluation Intern. I worked on two independents projects: 1. Compiled trade flow data between China and its global suppliers and assessed the climate change impact on the major species. 2. Compiled case studies of sustainable fishery industries/organizations and management plans across the world and assessed the feasibility of each case under China’s cultural and legal background. The climate-fishery report is a Climate Road Map initiative that EDF and the Chinese Fishery Science Academy is launching collaboratively, and the overarching goal of this initiative is to prepare industries and policy maker to adapt to the so-called climate-ready fishery. I was very honored to be part of the team to contribute to this ground-breaking project involving multiple stakeholders and scholars from different countries. The climate roadmap is a very ambitious project and I could only a accomplish a literature review of related studies. However, my report served as a preliminary guideline for the future research focus and provided a general knowledge of what changes were expected in the ocean ecosystem.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally.

I had been dreaming to work for Environmental Defense Fund and EDF prove to me that it was an awesome organization that attracts truly passionate people. I was humbled by the knowledge that my co-workers had every day, and I felt so respected even as a temporary intern. There’s no office politics in EDF and everyone genuinely works for the common goal and was always happy to help me connect to other professionals, giving me career and life advice, and share some good stories and laughs with me. I was even introduced to the high-level team and joined their video conferences when they talked about the long-term blueprint for the program. I felt I was treasured as part of the team, even though my project was temporary and independent most of the time. 

Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?

EDF has a very well-developed fishery knowledge Hub called the Fishery Solutions Center where EDF catalogs its global work related to ocean health and sustainable fishery. They also organized a virtual Fishery Academy where they provide training for sustainable fishery practices and data-limited fishery management. I spent a good amount of time browsing through the courses and I felt incredibly enlightened. My major takeaway was that a successful fishery management was never just about catching less fish. If we do not consider various social factors (eg. secured rights, local employment, communications, platforms for information sharing and behavioral science), it is very likely a management plan will fall part at the implementation stage. After talking with many practitioners in the sustainable fishery field, I found some common grounds in the practices—long-term secured fishing rights and co-management seems to be the most effective way to solve the “tragedy of the common” in the fishery case. A perfect solution is yet to be found, but the global fishery industry is finding its way towards sustainability.   

Final Thoughts on My Time with the Environmental Defense Fund

What did you accomplish with your host organization?  What was the impact of your work?

This summer I interned with the Environmental Defense Fund out of the San Francisco office.  I assisted the Research and Development team of the Fisheries Solutions Center with three projects.  For one project, I co-authored a white paper advising Japan’s Fisheries Agency on management strategies that could be implemented on their nearshore fisheries to comply with their new federal fisheries reform law.  For the paper, we examined case studies of similar coastal fisheries and strategies that have worked in terms of applying science-based targets to diverse fisheries and using input/output controls as well as some ideas for quota allocation and the potential for live releases of vulnerable species.  For another project, I expanded upon a database of case studies examining interactions between fisheries and aquaculture.  EDF will conduct a loop analysis on the database to determine what factors contribute to symbiotic relationships between fisheries and aquaculture and which foster negative interactions.  In addition, for my final project I developed a database which compiles information the governance and policy conditions associated with aquaculture practices by country with the goal of creating a resource to facilitate access to information about aquaculture and to potentially conduct a similar statistical analysis as the other database to glean trends between governance and good aquaculture practices.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally.

My experience interning with the Environmental Defense Fund was extremely beneficial to my career development.  Firstly, I had the opportunity to work directly with experts in my field of fisheries management.  EDF ensures that their interns participate in team meetings, strategy sessions, and workshops to expose us to the work that they are doing.  In these sessions, we were able to contribute our ideas to EDF projects.  I also gained experience with writing white papers directed to government officials and how to quickly compile information to develop case studies.  I also had the time to pour through the literature on fisheries and aquaculture and feel I am consequently significantly more informed on these topics than I was before the start of my internship. 

Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?

Before this summer, and prior to my time at MIIS, I primarily worked in field biology and environmental education.  This summer was my first experience with a regular 9-5 office job.  I was surprised by how normal and welcoming this office environment felt.  They really put in effort to ensure all of the interns get the most out of their experience and host many events to make us feel part of the staff and to have the opportunity to learn about all of the exciting projects that EDF is working on.  I was also surprised by how much I loved San Francisco.  I never considered myself a city person, but found that I could definitely happily live in San Francisco. 

Reflection on my Long Beach Experience

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

            During the time with the California Coastal Commission, I knew my time there was limited. It was not enough to sufficiently digest aspects of a coastal program analyst to become an effective part of the operation. However, I quickly picked up that staff resources were mostly focused on handling permit items that have statutory deadlines. Hence I constantly asked myself this question: What can I contribute to this office at the operational level that other staff could not do because they have lacked resources (mostly time)? I was able to answer the question in two parts: 1. Develop a staff guideline for incorporating environmental justice in permit processes as mandated by the recently adopted Commission’s Environmental Justice Policy, and 2. Tackle the often disputed and confusing languages of local coastal programs (LCPs) to create a solid understanding of the Commission’s certified LCPs for the municipalities of San Pedro, Hermosa Beach, and Long Beach. I would like to appraise my efforts as a step forward in streamlining the everyday operation because these works will save the planners time and efforts to duplicate my work on their own.

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Supplier and Consumer: How huge gap between us?

Chiao Ting

This summer, I decided not to apply for an internship in the U.S., I went to my home country: Taiwan.


This country is located between the East China Sea and the South China Sea. However, many seafood products were from IUU vessels or from nearshore bottom trawler boats. Therefore, the first work is checking where the seafood products are from?


The second work is helping the Michelin restaurants not over-use the seafood products and trigger the environment goes to a worse situation. Recently, Michelin restaurants become an important mark for international tourists. According to the Guide of Michelin in 2019, there are 124 restaurants are in the “Le Guide Michelin” and 24 restaurants have Michelin Star. To stimulate consumers to come again, my company has to find out unique fish, including barnacle, giant isopod (Bathynomus), and Pacific mole crab (Hippaovalis). To provide “unique” seafood for these restaurants, the company has found a lot of different seafood. However, the company forgot how high impact on the catering when these Michelin restaurants have used a new product in their cuisine. Therefore, my second work is educating these chefs’ why we should not use this seafood or shorten the providing period even though the supplying season has not finished.


After reporting how negative impact on the environment of the fish resources to client restaurants, the company had a huge conflict: conceal the information or reveal the information? It is not surprising that all investors were gone, and the company closed. It is a sad story about a company’s bankrupt because of protecting fish resources.
What did I learn from the summer internship? First, even though the Taiwanese Government supports the Sustainable Development Goals in many developing countries, in contrast, in Taiwan, the biggest stakeholder in the industry may not be ready to change their attitude and concentrate on the issue of fish resources collapse in Asia. How to lead the industry to go to a better situation? Probably you will ask some questions: how about using policies and regulation from the government? The South China Sea and the East China Sea have many countries share the marine resources. The marine resources sharing becomes an important issue and not many governments want to secrecy their own fishery industry. Interestingly, the fishery industry already knows how to circumvent the policy and earns the maximum benefit by under-table cooperation.


Second, by education from NGOs? Well, how many consumers cannot know where fish are from? How many fish traders conceal the information just for higher income? The overlapping and closing fishing areas in the north of Taiwan and the large and far area in the south of Taiwan lead the small-scale fishery to have a huge challenge in regulation and management. Shall Taiwan department of fishery ask for help? Or, can Taiwan re-draw its ocean zoning to elevate its efficiency? Recently, the Department of fishery supports aquaculture. While checking these projects of aquaculture, it seems does not have too many high technologies which can improve the pollution from the traditional fish farm. Can the farmed fish be accepted by these restaurants’ chefs’ or consumers?


In August, my guide and I have had a very long conversation. Two years ago, he educated chefs’ use “Ike Jime” (a method of slaughtering fish to maintain the quality of its meat) to let a fish die in less painful (animal right). This year, we used the impact in Facebook to reveal how worse of the fish resources in this summer, then, we announce that we won’t provide IUU fish to the Michelin restaurants until the day when the fish resources recovered. Maybe in this cruel way, the catering industry will self-reflect how to cook their seafood cautiously.


My guider told me: this time, we’ve given these chefs a lesson. However, we have another challenge: the traditional markets in Asia where is the biggest stakeholder but cannot be impacted by Business to Business.

p.s. I am wondering to say THANK YOU for my friends: Brian (Seafood Watch office), Tim (Fish Choice), Pam and Jim (Monterey Bay Aquarium), Fisheries Trust, Ocean2Table, Louie (Seafood Legacy in Japan), China Blue, Mr. Chang-An Cheng (Consultant in the Taipei City Government). Your suggestion will lead me to how to stimulate an industry or a local government to use the marine resources in high efficiency.

Reflections of My Summer in San Diego

Living that office life

Accomplishments and Impact of my Fellowship with TRNERR/CCCIA

Although my Fellowship and time in San Diego was coming to a close at the end of August, the experiences and opportunities continued at full speed. During my last few weeks I was able to complete a number of deliverables that helped tie together my new skills and experience in coastal adaptation. I was also encouraged and supported to get involved in a few things out of the office that turned out to be fantastic networking and professional development opportunities.

            At the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR), I became involved in researching and developing a number of reports to help the resiliency team and the Coastal Training Program. The first was a climate scenario report for the Batiquitos Lagoon Adaptation and Resiliency Plan. This project in being put on by TRNERR, in conjunction with a number of local government agencies, to determine adaptation management options for the Lagoon, located in Carlsbad, CA. During the past two years stakeholders have come together to discuss the importance of the lagoon, its wildlife and habitat, and how they might be threatened by climate scenarios. Two scenarios are being considered: moderate and extreme. This report discussed the scenarios, based on temperate changes and sea level rise, and how they would impact the natural aspects of the Lagoon. The report includes species and habitat level impacts and will help to inform the final adaptation and resiliency options for the Lagoon’s natural resource management. The report is currently being reviewed by stakeholders.

US Mexico Border

            The second deliverable I helped to create was a Market Analysis of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the environmental space in San Diego. This report is TRNERR’s kick-off point as they explore opportunities for growth in the local DEI space. For this project I researched local DEI trainers and facilitators, as well as leadership institutions working statewide and nationally to increase diversity. I also explored what facilitators, research groups, and consultants might be able to offer in terms of capacity and resources. This report was strictly for internal use, but it helped me understand how intertwined inclusion and environmental work is, especially in a border region. Environmental issues do not impact all people equally, and we must confront this in order to avoid injustices. If we truly want environmental work and policy to be effective, we must change our practices and adopt an equity lens. Natural resources and climate change do not follow national boundaries or socioeconomic constructs. Planning a healthy and sustainable future will require equitable planning and stakeholder inclusion.

            The last written TRNERR project I participated in was the creation of a Resiliency and Binational Strategies Appendix to the Comprehensive Management Plan and its new Strategic Plan. This plan, re-structured for the next 5 years, is the guiding document for all operations within the Reserve. This report was a great culmination of the topics I wanted to learn about during my time with TRNERR: how to use plan for sea level rise at the ecosystem level, and how international environmental management can be used to bridge socioeconomic and environmental issues. The document spanned all departments within the Reserve, from Administration to Coastal Training Program and Research. It is intended to be used as an extra resource to show people what efforts are being made to expand binational participation and plan for the impacts of climate change. It is therefore intrinsically intertwined to the Batiquitos Lagoon climate scenario planning and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion report.

            My time at the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation also was coming to a close with the completion of a few deliverables. As this internship focused more on science communications and project management, it only made sense that the resulting projects were public facing. The first was a newsletter to inform the public (including funders and legislators) about the sea level rise and coastal research being done by CCCIA affiliated researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Requiring input from staff scientists and graduate students, the newsletter came together with quotes and photographs.

To complement this, we developed a project website for research in the San Diego Bay. The project will monitor and collect data on waves and tidal patterns within the Bay, turning them into a predictive model that informs adaptation planning for local agencies.  We created the design and language for the website, so that relevant agencies can understand the inputs and outcomes of the research, as well as see what other public agencies are doing to plan for sea level rise.

Professional and Personal Benefits from my Fellowship

The experiences, skills, and final project accomplishments I completed during my summer have given me a greater understanding of the work of California adaptation policy, as well as an understanding of the adaptation network. Meeting people and hearing their advice and input on career moves was incredibly valuable.

My supervisor at CCCIA encouraged me to get the most out of my time in San Diego by meeting with local decision makers and professionals in the local coastal policy network. I was beginning to realize how small the local network is, seeing the same names on several reports and email chains, and meeting people twice and thrice in meetings and conferences. I was happy to be connected with these people to learn what they did in their job, their career goals and pathways, and collect any advice they were willing to impart on me. Talking with these people was one of the greatest takeaways of my summer Fellowship experience.

Self-discovery and Self-realization as a result of my Fellowship

Now that my summer CBE Fellowship has closed, I have concluded a few things. The first was that my decision to gain experience in a place where I may want to work professionally (instead of using my summer to travel to a ‘far off island’ and work on something ‘cool’, but not really reflective of my future career path) was a prudent decision. It helped me make connections and build a network.

Next, I have learned to ask for what you want out of an internship, and to take advantage of any opportunity. Instead of sitting in one office all summer, I wanted to gain the experience of two places. So I asked if this could be accommodated, and the answer was yes. I also requested to meet as many people as possible. Again, I was lucky enough to be supported in achieving this request. In summary, I’m thankful for having the opportunity to do this fellowship. It turned out to be a pivotal summer in my career development and I think it will continue to benefit me for as long as I make a career in California.