Stakeholder collaboration for a sustainable, trusted, and healthy global seafood industry

The World Ocean Observatory (W2O), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to communications and solutions for the challenges to the world ocean, is launching the development of the Seafood Commons (SFC). SFC will implement the foundation for a Purpose-Driven seafood industry - an open-source, self-governing system for integrated accountability, traceability, trust, and regeneration for the distribution of seafood worldwide.

The SFC project is based on an understanding of “the commons” as a place of engagement. Through SFC stakeholders will manage and govern according to agreed values and principles toward outcomes defined by efficiency, economy, equity, and justice. Our comprehensive approach is healing the tragedy of the commons.

We share knowledge about seafood; sustainable business, and our environment; we promote advancement in seafood research, development, education, and standards that will lead to a professionally accredited industry.

  • Multi-Stakeholder Process
  • Interoperable Industry Standards
  • Shared Knowledge Base
  • Regenerative Bioregional Development
  • Human Rights Protections and Social Justice
  • Global Ocean Literacy

We will be pursuing a policy of enhancing environmental justice and human rights given the extensive inequity in living and working conditions across the world.


Message from Peter Neill

FOUNDER and DIRECTOR, World Ocean Observatory

Rationale for Action

Over the past 18 years, the W2O has advocated for the ocean through communications, as a place of exchange of information and educational services about the ocean defined as 'an integrated, global, social system.' W2O utilizes a comprehensive website, syndicated radio and podcast, aggregated video, an online forum, a digital magazine, downloadable exhibitions, curriculum development, a virtual aquarium, and relentless social media to build an international community of “Citizens of the Ocean” to serve as a committed constituency of millions for the understanding and sustaining of maritime resources worldwide. But critical challenges remain; information is not enough, and we can no longer just observe and educate, but must act. And so, as an expanded expression of the W2O mission, we are compelled to seek partnerships and to build innovative solutions to one of the ocean’s most pressing problems -- the state of global fisheries, the conservation and future viability and security of marine species, and the integrity of seafood harvest, traceability, accountability, system-wide trust, and consumer engagement that seems the right place to start.

High Seas as a Commons

There is currently no effective management framework for the high seas. Though negotiations and meetings are underway to create new treaties and agreements for preserving marine biodiversity inside and outside territorial waters, this will likely take years to enter into force. There is a growing consensus that at least 30–50% of the ocean should be protected as marine reserves to conserve and regenerate biodiversity and ocean health. With almost two-thirds of the ocean beyond areas of national jurisdiction, there is a compelling opportunity to evolve our approach to marine conservation, to conserve vast ocean areas outside national jurisdictions, to recognize the ocean as a coherent legal entity, and to work toward its management as a global commons free from the tragic exploitation that has, and continues to drive species toward extinction against the best interest and benefit of all mankind. The Seafood Commons can be realized as more than an abstract idea, but also as a political, economic, and social reality. We begin here, now.

World Ocean Observatory

501C3 - a non-profit educational organization

About W2O

The W2O is a major utility for ocean communication as a means to advance public awareness and political will, and is dedicated to providing information and education about the health of the ocean.


The W2O is the leading organization advocating for the health and sustainability of the ocean through an accessible worldwide network of communication. Through education, partnership, information exchange, public connection, and relentless communications, W2O is committed to building an expansive global community of Citizens of the Ocean to promote and conserve marine resources for the future of all mankind.

The Once and Future Ocean

Peter Neill

Peter Neill’s The Once and Future Ocean aspires to do nothing less than transform our relationship with the world’s most promising and imperiled natural element: the ocean and the inter-connected cycles of water, essential for all aspects of human survival in the 21st century.

A successor to Rachael Carson’s The Sea Around Us, Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac, and Jonathan Schell’s The Fate of the Earth, The Once and Future Ocean is ambitious in scope yet grounded in actionable, specific ideas and solutions for preserving the health of the world ocean.

Soul of the Sea

Nishan Degnarain and Gregory S Stone
Soul of the Sea should be on the desks of government heads, business leaders, and concerned citizens. It is an accessible, succinct read with a pithy ocean manifesto. Stone and Degnarian’s narrative takes you through the history of our relationship with the sea, the damage we have done, and then provides a comprehensive overview of the solution that we desperately need and that include agile governance, technologies, and protection.

The World Ocean Observatory is proud to be working with as our technical and social development partner on the SFC program. is an Information Innovation Agency strategically positioned between marketing, technology, and community networks. We follow a unified approach to maximize the greater return on investment, trust, and value offered by an open and interoperable approach to our software development.

Specializing in the value and transformative potential of Open Technology Ecosystems. 

Our Leadership

Peter Neill

Founder, Director,

Founder and Director of the World Ocean Observatory, a place of exchange for information and education about the ocean “an integrated, global, social system,” transcending conventional emphasis on species and habitat to relate the ocean to such issues as climate, fresh water, food, energy, trade, transportation, public health, international finance, policy and governance, economic development, mega-cities, and coastal culture.

Ted Schulman

Founder, Managing Director,
Ted’s experience spans advertising, financial services, technology innovation, and a commitment to social good projects. Clients included AIG, AT&T, Association of International Seafood Professionals, BBDO, Disney, Ellis Island Museum, Fireman's Fund, General Electric, IBM, Lazard Frères, Lehman Brothers, MasterCard, McCann-Erickson, Merrill Lynch, NYMEX, Ogilvy, Rockefeller Group, Salomon, Sony, and TBWA\Chiat\Day.

Edward (Ted) Hall

Environmental, Economic Liaison,
From Harvard, Bard and Columbia Univ. to the trenches of Occupy Wall Street, Edward Hall now focuses on developing and applying global cooling economies principles in the heart of NYC via agriculture and open education. Edward directs the only independent education organization (Seedball) to receive the National Nature Conservancy grant for education in sustainability, agriculture and ecology.

Everett Hoag

Engagement Director,
Everett Hoag delivers stellar experiences integrating and leveraging design-thinking with latest technology across all digital, physical, social and mobile platforms. Strengths include strategic planning; outstanding analytical, problem-solving and team-building skills; project management, experiential marketing, educational program design and development (NY University, Brown, RISD, Emerson), and community engagement.

Barbara DaCosta

Compliance Director,
Barbara DaCosta has over two decades of program/project management experience in business and IT transformations. Her experience is diverse, ranging from global big banks (including JP Morgan, Barclays, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse) to New York City government, in delivering robust enterprise-wide infrastructure, risk management and regulatory compliance solutions.

Matthew Schlanger

Product Manager, Front End Developer,
Matthew is a frontend developer, a product owner and a scrum master (CSM). He has decades of experience designing, managing and developing software, and digital media for a range of Fortune 500 clients. Matthew's experience includes co-founding, a software and game development company and boutique agency. He is also an artist whose work was included in the 1987 Whitney Biennial.

Joel Stevens

Technology Director,
A full-stack engineer, Joel refined his experience while at Hearst Corporation's Digital Media department for both their editorial and advertorial website properties. Having worked for naming and branding agencies, Joel understands the thought and branding intent that goes into an application during the planning stages. Working side-by-side with the designers of those agencies has given him an eye for detail which could be project critical.

Jonathan Askin

Visiting Professor,
MIT Media Lab
Professor at Brooklyn Law School, teaching technology, telecommunications, and entrepreneurial law and policy. Founder of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, which provides full service, pro bono, legal support for bootstrapped entrepreneurs, startups, innovators, and organizations, typically exploring ventures and issues the law has not anticipated.

James Flynn

Global Food Blockchain Initiative
A collaborative space where food industry professionals and food supply chain suppliers can come together to discuss food blockchain developments, initiate and spin out. Founder and owner of Primority Ltd, and developer of the HACCP Now and 3iVerify food safety software solutions. Providing food safety management, audit, training systems and food safety consulting for the food industry.

Bob Trojan

President & CEO,
Token Insights / Financial Services Insights, LLC
Bob is a global thought and industry leader. Serving on two UN Commission working groups; selected by World Bank, OAS, and APEC to provide education to emerging nations; appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Trade Finance Advisory Council; frequent speaker at industry events. A transformational influence with unparalleled global network, trusted resource to executive teams and boards.

Lisa Guss

Founder and CEO, is a cross-chain coin-agnostic distributed ledger (DAG) platform with integrated social marketplace. She is an entrepreneur in Residence at Shatter Fund.

One of the founding members of the DC Digital Economy Hub and blockchain accelerator, Lisa was associate producer on one of the first crowdsourced web serials.

Greg Wendt

Green Economy Think Tank

Co-created Green Economy Think Tank in 2008 with my partners to convene leaders across the world to catalyze ideas into action to grow the living economy through forums, salons, events, andand conferences.

Greg is a Comprehensive Wealth Management Advisor, Consultant, and Regenerative Economist.

Peter Burgess

Founder and CEO,
True Value Metrics
Peter’s career in corporate management, consulting and policy planning, along with his experience with NGOs, the World Bank, and the UN has led him to develop True Value Impact Accounting to add a value dimension to conventional money profit accounting. Earlier in his career Peter was Chief Financial Officer of an international seafood company. He has degrees in engineering and economics from Cambridge University.

David Solomonoff

Founder and CEO,
Zoetic Networks
After serving for six years as President of New York Chapter of Internet Society, David has founded Zoetic Networks LLC to develop open technologies for positive social impact. Current projects include: Embedding ethical behavior into political systems and networked infrastructure via smart contracts using Ethereum and the Goodnik Code of Conduct. Providing wireless mesh Internet access to underserved rural areas.

Harvey Newman

Transformative Communities
Harvey Newman is a member of the New York City Association for Conflict Resolution and facilitates "Practicing Consciousness for the Rest of Your Life" for Dorot's University Without Walls. We have found that there are times in many complex projects where expert conflict mediation and reflection can enhance a project's success. Harvey founded the not-for-profit Circle of Life-Mastery in 2005.

Core Innovation Partners

Community of Practice

The is a next-generation unifying ledger architecture built for next-generation applications that are scalable globally; Effortless e-commerce, censorship-free communication, and unprecedented simplicity of connecting legacy e-stores, communities, and enterprise systems in a decentralized world.

Brooklyn Law Incubator

The Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy ("BLIP") Clinic functions as a modern, technology-oriented law firm. Since its inception in 2008, BLIP is training a new generation of lawyers who are well-versed across the spectrum of skills needed to represent emerging tech, Internet, communications, and new media companies


The Democracy.Earth Foundation is developing free open source software for decision making (voting) based on incorruptible blockchain, which can be used both in large and smaller institutions, from the most local involving two people to the most global involving all of us.


Stakeholder involvement for responsbile supply chains. Ulula connects businesses, workers, communities and governments to de-risk operations and create value across global supply chains. Listen to workers and communities across your operations and supply chains. Prevent risks with cost-effective feedback and case management systems. Empower stakeholders throughout your entire organization.

Did you know...

$230 billion

Size of Global Seafood Industry


Of Aquaculture Comes from Asia


Of Earth is Ocean Covered


Predicted End of Wild-caught Industry

SFC Wants You

Help us to build a trusted and regenerative seafood industry and a healthy planet.

Contact Us

Peter Neill - World Ocean Observatory 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ted Schulman -
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