As global fish stocks dwindle and the number of people in need of food rises, communities across the planet find themselves on the brink of the tragedy of the commons. Today, we met Dr. Nkumbo, who believes he holds a piece of the solution to this planetary health problem – aquaculture. Dr. Nkumbo was an interesting man, well-educated and well-travelled. We soaked in all of his engrossing, wordly stories and advice. However, one idea that was particularly evocative was his philosophy on science. He called this the “So what?”. In essence, this philosophy challenges scientists and managers to look beyond identification and description of the problem. Instead, he suggests, we should focus on adaptations. This was perfectly demonstrated by his many aquaculture experiments. They implemented low-cost, low-impact cultures. The yields were high and so too were our hopes for the future of the commons in Uganda.
Reflection by: Liz Favot, Erika Freeman, Spencer Yeung, Angelina Zhu