The focus on seafood from lower trophic levels in the relevant socio-cultural and political contexts contributes to achieving several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and National Strategic Outputs (NSOs) by producing an opportunity and awareness for civil society of eating seafood from lower trophic levels.
Sustainable Development Goals
Our FoodSmart Dulbin directly addresses the sustainable development goal Life below water (SDG 14) by implementing international law providing the legal framework for conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources specifically directed to the resources in Dublin Bay.
SDG 2, Zero Hunger, will be addressed specifically in regards to the benefits for a nourishing and healthy diet of protein and vitamin by an intake from seafood and seaweed rather than from meat.
SDG 13, Climate Action, will be addressed by improving education through the workshops (ECO-UNESCO and Niall Sabongi), and public engagement to raise awareness on climate change mitigation, adaptation and impact reduction. The Food from the Oceans report by the European Academies recognises that “[s]cience evidence unambiguously points to sustainable “culture” and “capture” at lower trophic levels as the way to bring about an increase of food and biomass from the oceans.” Ireland’s carbon emissions per capita are the third highest in Europe and the Irish Government is one of only four EU states expected to miss its 2020 carbon emission targets. This is not least because of the continually expanding beef industry as seen by recent SFI awards which go against the principles of low carbon sustainable food. A low-carbon food source from Irish waters could transform at least Ireland’s fishing industry and contribute massively to lower carbon emissions.
SDG 4 Quality Education will be addressed specifically through ECO-UNESCO’s involvement. The NGO’s main goal is to educate and empower young people and give them a sense of leadership. ECO-UNESCO has an extensive knowledge of outreach and a large network of schools and youth organisations. The proposed workshops and foraging field trip that will be carried out by both partners promise to have far reaching effects and a high impact on education. This also follows the Campus Engage Strategy which Trinity is part of and will be offered as part of taught modules in environmental history at TCD.
SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities will be addressed by encouraging Dublin’s community to eat more locally sourced and sustainable seafood from lower trophic levels which reduces carbon emissions also due to lesser fuel burning of fishing fleets fishing locally and therefore reducing pollution and safeguarding Ireland’s natural heritage in the long run. It will also raise awareness and encourages engagement with the local habitat, i.e. Dublin Bay, a UNESCO biosphere, which potentially leads to a sense of stewardship towards the local coastline (citizen engagement). This also feeds into SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production and ensures that people in Dublin have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature.
National Strategic Outputs
On a national level the proposed project is relevant to National Strategic Output Transition to a Low-Carbon and Climate-Resilient Society (NSO 8) and Strengthened Rural Economies and Communities (NSO 3).