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The next time you order up some calamari, stop for a minute and think. Where does this actually come from? This summer, Foreign Policy is partnering with the Walton Family Foundation to bring you a new podcast: The Catch. Each episode offers a behind-the-scenes look at the current state of global fishing by tracking squid—from the waters off the coast of Peru to the processing plants, all the way to the restaurants, and finally to your plate. Join us as we learn what squid tells us about the state of our oceans. Follow and listen to The Catch wherever you get your podcasts.


About the host: Ruxandra Guidi has been telling nonfiction and news stories for more than two decades. Her reporting for public radio, magazines, and various multimedia and multidisciplinary outlets has taken her throughout the United States, the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border region. She’s a native of Venezuela.

Watch the Trailer:

Episode 1

Part I: Out to Sea

Host Ruxandra Guidi, along with her Lima-based reporting partner Simeon Tegel (@SimeonTegel), travel to Paita, Peru, to get a firsthand look at one of the country’s top fisheries: squid. We begin with Lima-based reporter Dan Collyns (@yachay_dc) as he joins the Peruvian Coast Guard as it patrols Peru’s waters and works to prevent illegal fishing. We hear from local fishermen Eduardo Garcia, Javier Chiroque, and Atias Aguilar on what it’s like to be out at sea day-in and day-out. And finally, we then hear from Edwin Houghton, president of the Paita Fishing Boat Owners’ Association, on why the Peruvian government should do more to help these fishermen.

Episode 2

Part II: Pota in Paita

On this week’s episode of The Catch, we continue to follow squid, or pota, as it’s known locally. We hear from local fisherman Armando Chinchay on how artisanal fishers are faring against larger industrial fleets. Then we head to two processing plants to speak with Gerardo Carrera of Produmar and Hector Olaya of Fisholg & Sons about how squid has changed the local and national economy. And finally, we speak with Juan Carlos Sueiro, the fisheries director at Oceana, about the state of squid in Peru.

Episode 3

Part III: Who’s in Charge?

In Part III of our series, host Ruxandra Guidi and reporter Simeon Tegel return to Lima, Peru, to hear from officials and NGOs on how sustainability could be improved. Voices in this episode include Cpt. Jesus Menacho of the Peruvian Coast Guard and Alfonso Miranda, the president of Calamasur. They speak to Carlos Martín Salazar at the Instituto del Mar del Perú about ways to improve sustainability with data. And finally, they hear from Patricia Majluf, a well-known conservationist and senior scientist at Oceana, who dared to take on the fishing industry and rein in overfishing as a former Peruvian vice minister of fisheries.

Episode 4

Part IV: The High Seas

In Part IV of The Catch, host Ruxandra Guidi examines the international efforts to curb illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. She hears from Peter Hammarstedt, a captain with the conservation organization Sea Shepherd, as well as Dyhia Belhabib, a principal investigator at Ecotrust Canada and an executive director at Nautical Crime Investigation Services. The two discuss the ways in which NGOs are assisting law enforcement to root out bad actors and what can be done to better monitor international waters.

Episode 5

Part V: Game-Changing Diplomacy

This year, the future of squid and the oceans in general is being determined by a relatively small group of diplomats and representatives who are working on new agreements to regulate the laws of the oceans. With new incentives to curb fishing subsidies, new marine protected areas, and new laws for the high seas, collectively these agreements could have a major impact on the health of the Earth’s oceans and the viability of all fishing stocks. Today on The Catch we go behind the scenes—first to the United Nations, where we meet up with Lisa Speer from the Natural Resources Defense Council and learn about the work she’s doing to help shape U.N. negotiations over a new treaty governing the high seas. Next we hear from Matt Rand, an oceans expert with the Pew Charitable Trusts, on what it takes to get various sides to come together to create and expand marine protected areas. Finally, host Ruxandra Guidi speaks with Rashid Sumaila, a fisheries economist, and the World Trade Organization’s Santiago Wills about a new agreement on subsidies that’s been decades in the making.

Episode 6

Part VI: The Fate of Fishing

In the final installment of our series we hear from two U.S. congressmen—Jared Huffman, a California Democrat, and Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican—who are working to curb illegal fishing practices. We learn about the ways individual countries such as Japan and China are adapting their laws to hold industrial fishers more accountable. Finally, chef and food advocate Barton Seaver talks about his quest to teach others how to think and eat more conscientiously.
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