Building Resilient Fishery Globally with Environmental Defense Fund

This summer, I took a “great escape” from the California Coast to the Coast of New England. Boston has a different charm compared to California. This city is small but vibrant, yet full of culture and history. The EDF Boston office is located in historical downtown. In 1 mile radius, there are many historical sites that witnessed the establishment and development of United States as a nation, including the Boston Tea Party Ship, the Massachusetts State House, the Faneuil Hall (the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and James Otis, etc), the Bunker Hill Monument, and many others.  I fell in love with the city immediately after arrival.

The EDF Boston office (I don’t mean to hurt your neck but I can’t rotate the picture >_<) 
View from the office: the historical Boston downtown

On June 11, I started my work at the Environmental Defense Fund Boston Office. I work with the EDF China Ocean team on two independent projects:  1. Identifying the most important species in China’s seafood market and assessing the their climate change vulnerabilities. 2. Compile case studies of sustainable fishery management initiatives and evaluate their feasibilities under China’s legal and cultural background. The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment I’m working on is part of a Climate Roadmap that EDF Ocean Program and Zhejiang Fishery Institute initiated this year, and it’s a pioneer project that will help China develop its policy framework for sustainable and climate-ready fishery. This is a very ambitious project, but I feel very motivated because I, as well as many people, believe that climate-ready fishery its the foundation of all sustainable fishing initiatives we are visioning for the coming years.

A typical morning at work: reading research papers and EDF periodical while sipping on my coffee.

The scope of EDF’s work really impressed me. While the EDF Ocean team is leading the sustainable fishery projects domestically, the Ocean program has also extended the network to Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Chile, China, Japan, Philippines and Indonesia, and EDF Ocean team works very closely with scientists, institutes and fishery communities across the globe.  We have bi-weekly video-conference with EDF Ocean staff and its regional partners, and together we discuss the steps we need to take and what each of us can do to contribute to the overarching goal. I learned so much about different practices in different projects world-wide, and I’m witnessing a growing network of sustainable fishery management teams. Apart from me, there are 3 other EDF staff in the Boston office that focus on China Fishery project. We discuss our work process frequently and share our insights with each other, and we sometimes go sailing after work.

Sailing on the Charles River with my colleagues after work

I’m very grateful to have the chance to work with the wonderful team. The working culture in EDF is absolutely supportive and fun. Everyone (including high-level directors ) is so approachable and people are always willing to take their time to help me with whatever questions I have. Working for such a prestigious NGO is such a privilege and I’m always learning something new from the conversations I have with the staff in EDF, the webinars and the video-conferences. I will definitely look for opportunities to come back after the summer.