Making an Impact

IOCS science has contributed to policy solutions and positive societal change in many ways. Below are selected examples showing our impact on a specific conservation issue, through targeted scientific projects and how they led to tangible and beneficial outcomes.

Penguins on Floating Ice

Preventing Extinction

The Issue: Protecting Endangered and Threatened Sturgeon Species

Our Science:

  • Tagging beluga and Atlantic sturgeon to track migratory routes

  • DNA barcoding to track illegal caviar served in restaurants

  • Conducting population analytics in the Caspian region with Kazahk collaborators

  • Publishing the first-ever global assessment of global sturgeon and paddlefish species

Our Impact:

  • Beluga sturgeon listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act

  • U.S. ban on most beluga sturgeon caviar imports

  • CITES international trade bans enacted

  • Consumer campaigns encourage consumption of sustainable, farm-raised sturgeon

  • Improved enforcement of illegal sturgeon fishing

  • 10-year moratorium on sturgeon fishing on Romania beluga and Atlantic sturgeon to track migratory routes

Image by Karl-Heinz Müller

Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management

The Issue: Moving away from managing fish populations individually and towards recognizing the ecosystem as a whole

Our Science:

  • Published EBFM scientific consensus as a Policy Forum in the journal Science

  • Led the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force in developing ecosystem-based management recommendations for forage fish

  • Published the value of forage fish to marine species and ecosystems

​Our Impact:

  • Shaping new conversations on integrating ecosystems into fisheries management

  • Influencing the ASMFC on EBFM for Atlantic menhaden

  • Uptake of key LFFTF recommendations by several US states and other nations

  • Seafood Watch adopts LFFTF guidelines for sustainability

Image by NOAA

Promoting Conservation Awareness

The Issue: Distilling and disseminating scientific concepts to influential groups and the general public for increased marine conservation awareness and stewardship.

Our Science:

  • ​Convening high-level symposia on MPAs in Rome, Italy, and at the United Nations

  • Curating hands-on experiences and field trips for UN ambassadors and leading STEM educators in Shinnecock Bay

  • Frequent speaking engagements at public events and scientific conferences. ​

Our Impact:

  • ​Inspiring decision-makers at the global level

  • Training teachers on local water quality issues for implementation into lesson plans

  • Educating residents, groups, and businesses on Long Island