Plenary Focus: Dr. Amanda Vincent Stresses Turning International Agreements into Action

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Dr. Amanda Vincent, marine biologist and conservation scientist, will be featured as a plenary speaker at the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress in August 2014. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Vincent)

Dr. Amanda Vincent, marine biologist and conservation scientist, will be featured as a plenary speaker at the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress in August 2014.
(Photo courtesy of Amanda Vincent)

Dr. Amanda Vincent is self-diagnosed as suffering from “aqualust,” a condition related to by many marine biologists. A co-founder and director of ProjectSeahorse, she was the first person to study seahorses underwater, the first to document the extensive trade in these fishes and the first to initiate a seahorse conservation project. Her research and advocacy work for marine conservation have earned Vincent several awards and accolades, including being named the 2000 William Dawson Scholar at McGill University, Montréal, Canada, while she was serving on the faculty. Vincent holds the Canada Research Chair in Marine Conservation in the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is Chair of the IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Stickleback Specialist Group and a PEW Fellow in Marine Conservation. 

She is also actively involved in marine conservation policy and will be speaking at the 3rd International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC3) on the “trade winds and trade offs” of CITES. “My talk is about improving the way that international agreements and action can work for marine life,” Vincent explained. “No matter how small or localized the issue, it will be influenced by regional and global forces.  This is particularly true in the ocean, where just everything is connected. Global governance isn’t all smooth sailing … but it must be brought to help.” 

Vincent is considered one of the world’s leading experts on seahorses and related species. She has studied enriching and utilizing knowledge of local seahorse populations to scale up community-based initiatives for seahorse conservation, improving the status of seahorse populations in the Philippines under fishing pressure, and using an unfortunate trade ban to advance seahorse conservation, with the fishers’ co-operation, as well as empowering developing countries to meet international obligations for seahorse conservation and more. She also supported a landmark CITES Appendix II listing for marine fishes of commercial importance.

Vincent says becoming a mother greatly reinforced her commitment to the ocean and its future. She’s excited to be a plenary speaker for IMCC3. She stated, “Giving a plenary talk at IMCC3 will be a magical opportunity to share ideas, challenge ideas and develop ideas about solutions for the ocean.  Together, we need to pick up the pace in marine conservation.”

Vincent will be featured as an IMCC3 plenary speaker on 14 August 2014 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, a day showcasing strong female marine conservationists.

Follow Vincent on Twitter @amandavincent1.

-Samantha Oester is Communications Chair for IMCC3. She can be reached at soester@gmu.edu for information on the IMCC3 Plenary Speakers and other facets of the Congress.

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