Local stakeholder involvement key to understanding protection level of MPAs

Local stakeholder involvement key to understanding protection level of MPAs

Local stakeholder involvement key to understanding protection level of MPAs
Red pencil urchin at the Papahānaumokuākea MPA. Photo by James Watt, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Pacific Region, Wikimedia Commons.

Knowledge provided by local stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations, academics, civil servants, journalists, and fishers can be valuable for evaluating the effectiveness of countries’ marine protected areas (MPAs).

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Trilobites’ growth may have resembled that of modern marine crustaceans

Trilobites’ growth may have resembled that of modern marine crustaceans

Trilobites’ growth may have resembled that of modern marine crustaceans

A Triarthrus eatoni trilobite, 11 mm long, found in the Frankfort Shale, New York, USA. Photo by Dwergenpaartje, Wikimedia Commons.

Trilobites- extinct marine arthropods that roamed the world’s oceans from about 520 million years ago until they went extinct 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period – may have grown in a similar fashion and reached ages that match those of extant crustaceans, a new study has found.

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New sea garden story map showcases Indigenous mariculture practices across the Pacific

New sea garden story map showcases Indigenous mariculture practices across the Pacific

New sea garden story map showcases Indigenous mariculture practices across the Pacific

Clam garden in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia, Canada. Photo by John Harper, courtesy of Simon Fraser University.

A few years ago, while waiting for a connecting flight at Houston Airport, the Sea Around Us PI Daniel Pauly challenged Simon Fraser University resource & environmental management professor Anne Salomon to put clam gardens in a global context by mapping them along with similar Indigenous maricultural innovations around the world.

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Turquoise water Arabian Sea diving spot

Sea Around Us research included in ‘definitive volume on large marine ecosystems’

Turquoise water Arabian Sea diving spot
Arabian Sea. Photo by Naveen Gollapalli, Wikimedia Commons.

Research produced by current and past members of the Sea Around Us has been included in what
is being described as “a definitive volume on large marine ecosystems.”

The book, titled Ocean
sustainability: Assessing and managing the world’s large marine ecosystems
,
presents best assessment and management practices based on examples from 37
years of published peer-reviewed papers on large marine ecosystems or LMEs.


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Sea sponges need oxygen, as fish and people do

Sea sponges need oxygen, as fish and people do

Sea sponges need oxygen, as fish and people do
Wool sponge. Photo by Mark Butler.

The inconspicuous sea sponges are Earth’s oldest multicellular animals and have filtered the oceans for nearly 900 million years, long before the first plants appeared on land. New research appearing in the journal Fisheries Bulletin, published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicates that their growth depends on their oxygen supply in a manner similar to more complex animals such as fish.


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Protecting 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030 would barely impact fisheries

Protecting 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030 would barely impact fisheries

Protecting 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030 would barely impact fisheries

A view from the north on the Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara and the island of Cavoli in Sardinia, Italy. Photo by dronepicr, Flickr.

Conserving marine biodiversity, avoiding species extinction and maintaining food security from wild capture fisheries can all be achieved simultaneously if a global, non-regionalized approach to marine spatial management is undertaken by the signatories of IUCN Resolution 50, which calls for the protection of 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030.

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Jeffrey Hutchings


Jeffrey Hutchings. Photo by Alexfern, Wikimedia Commons.

By Daniel Pauly.

Jeffrey Hutchings, a friend, colleague and mentor to many at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, passed away in late January 2022 at 63 years of age. His eulogy in the Globe and Mail emphasized that he “firmly believed in the value of ensuring that public-policy decisions are guided by unbiased research.”[1]


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New book recounts the remarkable life and work of Daniel Pauly, The Ocean’s Whistleblower

New book recounts the remarkable life and work of Daniel Pauly, The Ocean’s Whistleblower

New book recounts the remarkable life and work of Daniel Pauly, The Ocean’s Whistleblower

Dr. Daniel Pauly is known these days as the world’s most cited fisheries scientist and the whistleblower who alerted the public about the devastation caused to marine ecosystems by the global fishing industry.

He is the mind behind the idea of the shifting baselines syndrome, which explains how knowledge of environmental disaster fades over time, leading to a misguided understanding of change on our planet, and the fishing down marine food webs concept, which describes how in certain parts of the ocean, fisheries have depleted large predatory fish and are increasingly catching smaller – and previously spurned – species lower in the food web.

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High impact fishing dominates catches in many parts of the world

High impact fishing dominates catches in many parts of the world

High impact fishing dominates catches in many parts of the world
Icelandic stern trawler. Photo by Mahlum, Wikimedia Commons.

A new report by leading fisheries experts found that over 99 percent of bottom trawling worldwide occurs inside the Exclusive Economic Zones of coastal nations—with much of the effort focused within just 12 miles of shore— posing risks to critical habitats and traditional, small-scale, artisanal fishing operations. As the only globally significant fishing practice that requires sustained contact with the seabed, bottom trawling has a uniquely high impact, one that can drive habitat destruction, coastal conflict and major fuel-related carbon emissions.


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How much fish is left Sea Around Us now provides assessments for over 2,500 stocks

How much fish is left? Sea Around Us now provides assessments for over 2,500 stocks

How much fish is left Sea Around Us now provides assessments for over 2,500 stocks

Reference photo by Kim Seng, Flickr.

Under the premise of finding out how much fish is left in our oceans since 1950, when industrial fishing operations began to spread to the world oceans, the Sea Around Us team together with the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean, and the FishBase and SeaLifeBase teams assessed the status of over 2,500 fish and invertebrate populations exploited in the Exclusive Economic Zones of all maritime countries and the high seas.

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Dirk Zeller named Australia’s Top Researcher in his field for 2021

Dirk Zeller named Australia’s Top Researcher in his field for 2021

Dirk Zeller talks about conservation vs. blue economic growth in Western Australia

Dirk Zeller at the the State of the Blue Economy Forum.

Dirk Zeller, Director of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean and Professor of Marine Conservation in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia has been named Australia’s Top Researcher in the field of Marine Sciences and Fisheries (Life Sciences category) by The Australian’s 2021 Research Magazine.

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“Race to jellyfish” leaves Mexican fishery in turbulent water

“Race to jellyfish” leaves Mexican fishery in turbulent water

“Race to jellyfish” leaves Mexican fishery in turbulent water

Cannonball Jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris). Image by Josh More, Flickr.

(By Riley Tjosvold).

As countries deplete fish stocks in their own waters, they increasingly look to other nations for a steady supply of seafood favourites. This can result in large fisheries operations appearing in different places around the globe almost overnight and rapidly exploiting the fish stocks there, where the target fish aren’t part of local cuisine.

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Three hundred scientists ask the WTO to ban harmful fisheries subsidies

Nearly 300 scientists ask the WTO to ban harmful fisheries subsidies

Nearly 300 scientists ask the WTO to ban harmful fisheries subsidies

Crab boat working the North Sea. Reference image by Krabbenkutter Ivonne/Pellworm bei Südfall, Wikimedia Commons.

Two hundred and ninety scientists from 46 countries are asking members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to take a bold step and pass a motion to ban harmful fisheries subsidies at their 12th Ministerial Conference that will take place from November 30 to December 3, 2021, in Geneva.

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What really makes fish become sexually active

What really makes fish become sexually active

What really makes fish become sexually active

Mandarin fish mating. Image by Klaus Stiefel, Flickr.

Discounting anthropogenic-induced changes, the seasonally oscillating environments where long-lived fish hatch and grow remain more or less the same throughout the course of their lives. This means that the common explanation that states that fish become sexually active – or spawn for the first time – after experiencing certain environmental stimuli does not properly explain this phenomenon.

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The Ocean Whisleblower cover

Daniel Pauly’s biography now available in English

Two years after the release of Daniel Pauly: Un Océan de Combats, the English version of the biography of the Sea Around Us principal investigator is now available in bookstores.

Titled The Ocean’s Whistleblower: The Remarkable Life and Work of Daniel Pauly, the 342-page tome goes over Dr. Pauly’s scientific career as the whistleblower who alerted the public about the devastation caused to marine ecosystems by the global fishing industry.

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FishBase and SeaLifeBase Symposium 2021

FishBase and SeaLifeBase 2021 Anniversary Symposium – Magnifique!

FishBase and SeaLifeBase Symposium 2021

Attendees to the FishBase and SeaLifeBase Symposium 2021 in Paris.

The always buzzing Paris – which did its best to exhibit its usual accelerated rhythm even in pandemic times -, hosted on September 6-7, 2021, an equally dynamic FishBase and SeaLifeBase Symposium at the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution of the National Museum of Natural History.

One presentation after the next, about 100 attendees – half in-person, half online – were able to get a good grasp of the many ways FishBase and SeaLifeBase are used across disciplines and areas of interest, what is being done to improve certain database functionalities and what can be done to increase their interconnectedness with other biodiversity information systems.

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High cod catches could have been sustained in Eastern Canada for decades, simple stock assessment method shows

High cod catches could have been sustained in Eastern Canada for decades, simple stock assessment method shows

High cod catches could have been sustained in Eastern Canada for decades, simple stock assessment method shows_Image by Phillip_Meintzer _Wikimedia
Fishing for Atlantic cod off the southern coast of Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Photo by Phillip Meintzer, Wikimedia Commons.

A simple fish stock assessment model applied to over 500 years of catch data demonstrated that if Canadian authorities had allowed for the rebuilding of the stock of northern Atlantic cod off Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1980s, annual catches of about 200,000 tonnes could have been sustained.

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The Sea Around Us in the cloud

THE SEA AROUND US IN THE CLOUD

Photo from MaxPixel, CC0.

The Sea Around Us data offered through this website are vast and complex and when large database queries are made, or multi-dimensional charts are rendered, our services may slow down or become unavailable.

Seeking to improve data access, avoid time delays, and provide a better user experience to enhance meaningful analysis and research, we have partnered with UBC Cloud Innovation Center (UBC CIC).

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Paris to host the FishBase and SeaLifeBase Anniversary Symposium

Prominent researchers in the fields of biology and fisheries
science are set to gather on September 6-7, 2021, in Paris to celebrate the
30th anniversary of FishBase and the 15th anniversary of SeaLifeBase.

Hosted at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, on the banks of the river Seine, the FishBase and SeaLifeBase Symposium will bring together renowned scientists such as Daniel Pauly, Rainer Froese, Jessica Meeuwig, Jos Snoeks, among others, who will present the different uses of FishBase and SeaLifeBase in the fields of ecology, biogeography, fisheries, taxonomy and aquariology.


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Bottom trawling: global extent, impacts, and solutions

Bottom trawling global extent, impacts, and solutions

Bottom Trawler on the Grand Banks. Photo by Lisa, Flickr.

A team of researchers from the Sea Around Us initiative at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, CEA Consulting, Duke University, and Virgil Group mapped the extent of bottom trawling in nearshore waters globally, explored its effects on marine ecosystems, and identified possible solutions to address its worst impacts.

Their findings will be presented in a webinar to be held on July 15, 2021, at 12 pm EST.

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A few missing fish US West Coast recreational and discarded catches

A few missing fish: US West Coast recreational and discarded catches

A few missing fish US West Coast recreational and discarded catches

Recreational fisher at Baker Beach, California. Photo by mgstanton, Flickr.

Despite being the leading country when it comes to transparency, public accessibility, and free availability of fisheries data, the United States of America’s lack of international reporting of recreational catches and fish discarded at sea may hinder proper ecosystem-based management efforts, new research has found. Continue reading

Tiger shark. Photo by Albert kok, Wikimedia Commons.

Sea Around Us’ collaborator says shark fishing should be considered ocean vandalism

Sea Around Us collaborator says shark fishing should be considered ocean vandalism

Tiger shark. Photo by Albert kok, Wikimedia Commons.

Killing sharks is ocean vandalism,” Jessica Meeuwig, head of the Marine Futures Lab at the University of Western Australia and a close collaborator of the Sea Around Us and the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean, told journalists following reports of a 395-kilogram tiger shark having been caught by a recreational fishing crew during a competition off the coast of Sydney.

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Cury and Pauly publish Obstinate Nature

Cury and Pauly publish Obstinate Nature

Cury and Pauly publish Obstinate Nature

The Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Daniel Pauly, joined forces with Philippe Cury, research director at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, to publish Obstinate Nature, an updated translation of their 2014 book Mange tes méduses: Reconcilier les cycles de la vie et la flèche du temps.

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William Cheung among top 20 climate scientists according to Reuters

William Cheung among top 20 climate scientists according to Reuters

William Cheung among top 20 climate scientists according to Reuters
William Cheung. Photo courtesy of UBC Oceans.

William Cheung, Director of the Changing Ocean Research Unit at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and Associated Faculty at the Sea Around Us, is among the top 20 climate scientists in the world according to Reuters Hot List.

This accomplishment by Dr. Cheung is based on 176 publications that have received nearly 11,000 citations. His research has been conducted with 713 co-authors, notably Rashid Sumaila and Daniel Pauly, the researchers with whom he has collaborated the most.

Reuters’ ranking system also mentions that he has received
11 grants totaling $2.4 million.


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Small-scale fisheries can back food security efforts in Arabian Sea countries

Small-scale fisheries can back food security efforts in Arabian Sea countries

Small-scale fisheries can back food security efforts in Arabian Sea countries
Iranian fishing boat in the Arabian Sea. Public Domain photo from US National Archives.

Countries surrounding the Arabian Sea should empower well-managed artisanal and subsistence fisheries to back food security efforts, a new Sea Around Us study suggests.

In a chapter titled “The fisheries of the Arabian Sea Large Marine Ecosystem,” included in the book The Arabian Seas: Biodiversity, Environmental Challenges and Conservation Measures published by Springer Nature, Sea Around Us researchers describe the fisheries in the exclusive economic zones of Somalia, Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Pakistan and India’s Malabar coast, as well as in the region’s high seas.

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Data from baited remote underwater video systems now available on FishBase

Data from baited remote underwater video systems now available on FishBase

Data from baited remote underwater video systems now available on FishBase

Image courtesy of the Marine Futures Lab.

Data from baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) are now available on FishBase, the world’s online encyclopedia on fish.

As of April 2021, users accessing www.fishbase.org will be able to download BRUVS data when doing searches by species, family or country/island.

In detail, users can now obtain all records of any species of interest in terms of where they were observed across the samples, how many and how large. For some locations, time-series data are available on diversity, abundance, size and biomass. Continue reading

The people behind FishBase and SeaLifeBase

The people behind FishBase and SeaLifeBase

The people behind FishBase and SeaLifeBase

The FishBase, SeaLifeBase, Aquamaps, Q-Quatics team.

As part of the campaign that was launched in 2020 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of FishBase and the 15th Anniversary of SeaLifeBase, we are joining forces with our partner projects and presenting the stories of the people behind the scenes who have been instrumental in ensuring the longevity of these two global biodiversity information systems.

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Dirk Zeller talks about conservation vs. blue economic growth in Western Australia

Dirk Zeller talks about conservation vs. blue economic growth in Western Australia

Dirk Zeller talks about conservation vs. blue economic growth in Western Australia

Dirk Zeller at the the State of the Blue Economy Forum.

Western Australia needs to be very careful when it comes to balancing the state’s marine ecological health and the growth of its blue economy.

This, according to Professor Dirk Zeller, director of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia, who shared his views on the state’s fisheries and conservation efforts at the State of the Blue Economy Forum held on December 3, 2020, in the port city of Fremantle.

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