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Daniel Pauly talks climate change and fisheries in Peru

The Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Daniel Pauly, is in Peru attending a series of meetings this week and is scheduled to offer a couple of public talks to discuss his most recent research on climate change and global marine fisheries.

The first event will take place on Thursday, April 19th at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, where he will talk about the impact of fisheries and global warming on marine ecosystems.

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Pacific Sleeper Shark. Photo by NOAA.

Bottom trawling causes deep-sea fish populations collapse

Pacific Sleeper Shark. Photo by NOAA.

Pacific Sleeper Shark. Photo by NOAA.

Bottom trawling is causing “boom and bust” fisheries.

A new study using the Sea Around Us’ reconstructed catch data reveals that in the past 60+ years, the practice of towing giant fishing nets along the sea floor has caused the extraction of 25 million tonnes of fish that live 400 metres or more below sea level leading to the collapse of many of those fish populations.

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Catch reconstructions vid

Shareable catch reconstructions vid

Catch reconstructions are not always easy to explain to non-scientists.

How did the Sea Around Us find out that overfishing has caused a steady decline in catches since the mid-1990s? What sources did researchers use? What’s the difference between officially reported figures and the Sea Around Us’ numbers?

More accurate data substantially improves fisheries monitoring and, in return, better monitoring generates better data. The overall result would be a greater protection to global fish stocks.

This is how we get #BetterData

Thai fishing boat. Photo by Sea Dave, Flickr.

Thai government shares information with the Sea Around Us

Thai fishing boat. Photo by Sea Dave, Flickr.

Thai fishing boat. Photo by Sea Dave, Flickr.

Following the publication of the paper “Thailand’s missing marine fisheries catch (1950-2014),” the Sea Around Us received an email from Thailand’s Department of European Affairs. We welcome such communications and engagements with countries.

The electronic communication included a series of media statements that highlight a range of initiatives undertaken by the Prayut Chan-o-cha government to promote best practices in the fisheries sector.

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Fishing trawlers in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Photo by stratman², Flickr.

Industrial fisheries in Southeast Asia divert millions of tonnes of fish to fishmeal

Fishing trawlers in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Photo by stratman², Flickr.

Fishing trawlers in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Photo by stratman², Flickr.

Four countries in Southeast Asia have diverted almost 40 million tonnes of fish towards fishmeal production in the past six decades, as opposed to making it available for direct human consumption.

A new study by the Sea Around Us at the University of British Columbia reveals that government policies in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam have focused on expanding their industrial fisheries and making them competitive, despite the fact that such growth may not always benefit their own countries’ food security.

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Dirk

Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean: Scholarships for international students

Dirk

The Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean under the lead of Professor Dirk Zeller is looking for outstanding international PhD candidates interested in conducting ‘big-data’ research on fisheries and fisheries conservation issues at the ocean-basin scale. If this is of interest to you, then consider applying for an international PhD Scholarship at the University of Western Australia in Perth. The current round of applications closes on April 6, 2018 and is for international candidates only.

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Fishermen holding a net between boat and beach at Pinda, Mozambique. Photo by Stig Nygaard, Wikimedia Commons.

Mistake in fisheries statistics shows false increase in catches

Fishermen holding a net between boat and beach at Pinda, Mozambique. Photo by Stig Nygaard, Wikimedia Commons.

Fishermen holding a net between boat and beach at Pinda, Mozambique. Photo by Stig Nygaard, Wikimedia Commons.

Countries’ improvements to their fisheries statistics have been contributing to the false impression that humanity is getting more and more fish from the ocean when, in reality, global marine catches have been declining on average by around 1.2 million tonnes per year since 1996.

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The Sea Around Us now links to Ecosystem Models in Ecobase

EcoBase

 

Text by Fabien Bourinet – Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes, France.

The deliverables of my five-month internship with the Sea Around Us, at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, included establishing strong links between the area-specific catch and related data made available by the Sea Around Us and the ecosystem food-web models in Ecobase. I played the role of a middleman whose job was to improve the communication between these two websites and the information they contain.

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An Ocean Mystery

An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch now available for free viewing

An Ocean Mystery

 

Following a successful festival season, the film An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch is now available for free viewing.

Besides being premiered on Earth Day 2017 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and on the Smithsonian Channel, the documentary had a full-house screening at the University of British Columbia and at 11 different international film festivals. It was also recognized in different categories at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, the Indie Fest Film Awards, the International Ocean Film Festival, the Impact Docs Awards, and the American Conservation Film Festival.

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Oceana event Philippines 2018

Renowned marine biologists talk about ocean conservation in the Philippines

Oceana event Philippines 2018

 

A group of marine biologists led by the world’s top fisheries scientist, Daniel Pauly, are calling for stronger action to conserve and protect fisheries resources in the Philippines.

Pauly is the Principal Investigator of the Sea Around Us at the University of British Columbia and a co-founder of FishBase.org. Together with his team, he produced global, multi-year analyses of fish catches, which have helped the public understand the sad plight of the oceans – particularly the fact that fish populations all over the world are plummeting.

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Fishing boats huddling together waiting for a storm to pass. Koh Samui Island,Thailand. Photo by Chris Bird, Flickr.

Thailand hides big numbers when it comes to its fish catches in neighbouring waters

Fishing boats huddling together waiting for a storm to pass. Koh Samui Island,Thailand. Photo by Chris Bird, Flickr.

Fishing boats huddling together waiting for a storm to pass. Koh Samui Island,Thailand. Photo by Chris Bird, Flickr.

Fish catches by Thailand’s distant-water fleet fishing throughout the Indo-Pacific are almost seven times higher than what the country reports to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a new study by the Sea Around Us reveals.

In 2014 alone, the Asian country caught 3.7 million tonnes of fish outside its Exclusive Economic Zone but reported only 247,000 tonnes. This figure, although substantial, represents a decline from peak numbers reached in the mid-1990s when the more relaxed rules of Thailand’s neighbours allowed for massive catches of over 7 million tonnes per year. Back then, as much as 80 per cent of the catch was unreported and much of it likely obtained illegally, the study reveals.

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Daniel Pauly knighted by the French government

Daniel Pauly Legion of Honour

 

On French National Day, July 14, 2017, the Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Daniel Pauly, woke up to some exciting news: President Emmanuel Macron had issued a decree naming him Chevalier de la Légion D’Honneur.

Later that day, Pauly received a phone call from the French consulate in Vancouver. He was told that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had nominated him in recognition of his work researching the impacts of fisheries on marine ecosystems.

The Chevalier is a distinction in France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour and it is granted, for life, to individuals with a minimum of 20 years of public service or 25 years of professional activity with “eminent accomplishments.” Knights belong to The Order of Merit, which was created in 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle.

Following months and weeks of excitement and preparation, on November 16, 2017, the knighting ceremony was held at the University of British Columbia’s Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Daniel’s family, closest friends, colleagues, and students were joined by a select group of diplomats, dignitaries, famous environmentalists, and university representatives for the special occasion.

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Using data to better manage fisheries subsidies

Tim Cashion in Geneva.

Tim Cashion in Geneva.

Text and photos by Tim Cashion.

In early October, I had the opportunity to travel to Geneva to present on behalf of Sea Around Us and the Fisheries Economics Research Unit for a roundtable discussion on fisheries subsidies. The discussion was convened by the E15 Initiative and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. The ICTSD has been working closely with Rashid Sumaila of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit for several years on the topic of fisheries subsidies. They have used his research in partnership with Sea Around Us to inform countries of the amounts of fisheries subsidies and designated them as the good (beneficial), the bad (harmful), and the ugly (ambiguous).

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Photo by Jean Pierre Larroque, One Earth Future.

Somali fisheries urgently need better data

Phot by Jean Pierre Larroque, One Earth Future.

Photo by Jean Pierre Larroque, One Earth Future.

In order to back government efforts to overcome the likely legacy effects of illegal fishing and piracy, stakeholders of Somali fisheries should emphasize improvements to their catch data, a new study finds. The paper, recently published in Marine Policy, also reveals that the amount of fish taken out of the country’s waters over the past six decades was 80 per cent higher than officially reported.

The paper, produced by scientists with the Sea Around Us at the University of British Columbia, the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia, One Earth Future’s Secure Fisheries program and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, shows how the lack of proper oversight, monitoring and control in years prior to the establishment of the new Federal Government in 2012 allowed for industrial foreign vessels to exploit Somali marine resources or to operate under dubious licenses.

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FishTracker

Shareholders in fishing companies at risk from fisheries over-exploitation: Research

FishTracker

 

Shareholders in the world’s major publically-listed fishing companies are exposed to risk from overfished fish stocks, with many of these stocks underperforming or at risk of collapse, a new study reveals.

The report, produced by the Fish Tracker Initiative in collaboration with the Sea Around Us, states that 32 per cent of the 97 stocks targeted by fishing giants such as South Korea’s Dongwon Industries and Silla Co., Norway’s Austevoll Seafood, and Canada’s Clearwater Seafoods are overfished.

“This is an important finding because it matches the global average. Globally, at least 31 per cent of fish stocks are overfished and we would have thought that large publicly listed fishing companies like the largest 19 identified here, whose combined annual revenues exceed $4 billion, as well as institutional investors would not be exposed to this, but they are,” says Tim Cashion, a scientist with the Sea Around Us who led the fisheries research in the report.

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