Sustainable Seas began in 2018 at the proposed Fulbright project of the founder, Kim Sawicki. For the first three years, the project was known as Sustainable Seas.
In 2021, the project became the full-time focus of the author of the blog, Kim Sawicki. (PhD research at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth)
Our Vision: To promote the use of innovation and technology to advance safe and sustainable harvest of pot and trap caught seafood.
Our Mission: Sustainable Seas shapes the future of sustainable oceans and seas through discovery, understanding, and action. These goals are realized through research in the application of innovative technologies that protect marine species from unnecessary anthropogenic and pathologic causes of death. It is our further goal to share and promote the education and reasonable and appropriate use of these technologies to fishing communities, fisheries management, scientists, and the general public.
The Project Founders:
Annika Toth is a German-born artist and marine biologist living and
working in Denmark. She graduated with a Masters in Marine Biology from the University of Southern Denmark and currently works at the Nordsøen Aquarium and in the past has performed extensive research to rebuild the population of endangered European eels. Annika has joined the Sustainable Seas project in an effort to reduce the vast suffering she has seen in many of the marine mammals she has worked with in necropsy; both whales and porpoises which were accidental casualties of fishing gear. She is an exceptionally talented artist creating both artistic and technical renderings of the animals we are working to protect as well as the innovations we share with entanglement experts and fishing communities. She is also working on several fundraising projects with her art to aid in research that mitigates these entanglements. Annika is also the designer of the beautiful Sustainable Seas logo, which is initially what drew these two scientists together.
Kim Sawicki is an American currently living and working in Scotland on a Fulbright scholarship. Her work is in collaboration with the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) and the Marine Institute (Republic of Ireland). Her nine-month independent research project requires her to travel along the coasts of both countries to work in close contact with entanglement experts, pathologists, engineers, policy makers, and fishing communities. Her past experience working as a public health professional in emergency & disaster medicine cultivated in her a passion for epidemiology and pathobiology. After earning dual degrees in Pathobiology & Veterinary Science and Allied Health Sciences, she made the decision to apply her knowledge and energy to the study of cetacean epidemiology. Her current work focuses on trauma-induced mortalities, namely those involving entanglement in fishing gear.
As the founder of Sustainable Seas, she is dedicated to working with innovative technology, fishers, and engineers to save marine mammals from unnecessary anthropogenic deaths, and to preserve coastal fishing communities as they are.
Sustainable Seas hopes through the various innovations our project seeks to evaluate and promote that we can help reduce bycatch and entanglements.