A new report entitled: ‘An Ecosystem Services Approach to Assessing the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico’ was released by the National Research Council. The 350-page document, supported by NOAA focuses not only on the natural resources, but also on the intangible goods and services these resources supply to people. The report includes a case study on fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico written by University of Miami Research Associate Professor and Associate Director of CIMAS David Die. He was selected because of his expertise in global fisheries assessment, ecosystem modeling and the Gulf of Mexico fisheries. Additionally, he served as co-author of the marine mammal case study in the report, and contributed to other sections of the report.
“The critical finding of the report is that the impacts of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, and other potential ecological hazards, need to be evaluated in a broader context to the one mandated by the NRDA,” says Die. “We need to take an ecosystem services approach, which albeit challenging, provides a more accurate framework in which to perform such critical evaluations.”
Die has strong links to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and was the founding director of the Center of Independent Experts, a central part of the peer review process for the National Marine Fisheries Service. He is the current Rapporteur for bigeye tuna within the Tropical Tuna Working Group of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna and has recently been asked to serve on the international panel synthesizing the conservation status of tuna and billfish for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.