A Preview of ‘Our Ocean’

Progress in the fight to end illegal fishing


On Wednesday, September 2, 2015, The Pew Charitable Trusts held an event to preview the Our Ocean conference, which will be hosted by the Chilean government in Valparaíso, Chile, on October 5 and 6. 

Opening remarks were delivered by Rebecca W. Rimel, president and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Featured speakers included Juan Gabriel Valdés, Chilean ambassador to the United States, who discussed Chile’s efforts on marine conservation; and Pedro Edmunds Paoa, mayor of Easter Island, who spoke about protecting the iconic island’s waters, including a new proposal for what could become one of the largest protected areas of ocean in the world.

The panel discussion included:

  • Russell F. Smith III, deputy assistant secretary for international fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Ian Urbina, investigative reporter, The New York Times, and author of The Outlaw Ocean series.
  • Kristín von Kistowski, senior adviser, FISH-i Africa.
  • Daniel Schaeffer, senior officer, The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The event was moderated by Matt Rand, director of the Global Ocean Legacy project at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Our Ocean conference was created by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014. At that event, participants announced initiatives valued at over $1.8 billion as well as commitments to protect 1.2 million square miles (3 million square kilometers) of ocean.

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Easter Island Mayor Pedro Edmunds Paoa, Josh Reichert, Rebecca Rimel and Chilean Ambassador to the U.S. Juan Gabriel Valdés prior to the event.

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Ambassador Juan Gabriel Valdés discussed Chile’s commitment to ocean conservation and the upcoming ‘Our Ocean’ conference in Valparaíso on October 5-6.

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Mayor Pedro Edmunds Paoa spoke about the Rapa Nui’s proposal to create one of the largest protected areas of ocean in the world around Easter Island.

Easter Island