For Canada’s 150th Anniversary, fisheries scientists want concrete action

For Canada’s 150th Anniversary, fisheries scientists want concrete action

For Canada’s 150th Anniversary, fisheries scientists want concrete action

To mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, the Peter Wall Institute is releasing, on June 23, the book Reflections of Canada: Illuminating our Biggest Possibilities and Challenges at 150 Years.

It is a provocative essay collection where leading writers, researchers, and public intellectuals peer into the country’s future within their individual areas of expertise. And, who better than the Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Daniel Pauly; the Nereus Program Science Director, William Cheung; and OceanCanada‘s Director, Rashid Sumaila, to talk about what the upcoming years might look like for Canada’s fisheries?

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Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Photo by  NOAA's National Ocean Service, Flickr.

Marine Reserves help mitigate against climate change

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Photo by  NOAA's National Ocean Service, Flickr.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Photo by NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Flickr.

Highly protected marine reserves can help mitigate against the impacts of climate change, a study by a team of international scientists has concluded.

Scientists say reserves can help marine ecosystems counter fight five key impacts of climate change: ocean acidification; sea-level rise; increased intensity of storms; shifts in species distribution, and decreased productivity and oxygen availability.

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Dirk Zeller talks about the new Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean

Starting in the summer of 2017, Dr. Dirk Zeller will be leading the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean as Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Western Australia.

While continuing with the project’s global approach towards the study of the impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystems of the world, the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean will focus on issues affecting this particular region and surrounding areas, and how those issues need to be taken into account when addressing global ocean conservation.

Belated contributions on the biology of fish, fisheries and features of their ecosystems

Photo by Lisa Norwood, Flickr.

Photo by Lisa Norwood, Flickr.

A report (Belated contributions on the biology of fish, Fisheries and features of their ecosystems, Fisheries Centre Research Report 25(1), 2017) edited by Daniel Pauly and Lincoln Hood of UBC’s Sea Around Us and by Konstantinos I. Stergiou of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in Athens- Greece, has just been released which contains mainly contributions initially written several years or even decades ago, but not formally published. They are now because they contained ideas and/or data that may still be valuable.

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The Sea Around Us at Vancouver’s March for Science (PHOTOS)

Photo by Deng Palomares

Photo by Deng Palomares

“It was the most organized, punctual march I’ve ever attended,” the Sea Around Us‘ Graduate Student Madeline Cashion said about the March for Science that took place in Vancouver on April 22, 2017.

Some 500 people gathered at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza and, at 10 a.m., they started walking towards Creekside Park near Science World. Once there, an array of figures such as Dr. Scott Sampson, Paleontologist & CEO of Science World; Erin A’tman Ryan, Research Coordinator with the BC SPCA and member of the Syilx (Okanagan) Nation; and Marine Biologist Abby Schwarz, among others, gave speeches that touched upon the importance of academic freedom and evidence-based policy making, the cuts to scientific research funding proposed by the U.S. government, and climate change denial.

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Missing Catch movies

Sneak peek: The Sea Around Us’ research featured in the film “An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch”

Missing Catch movies
Researching and reporting on overfishing and underreported fish catches is not an easy task.

Nevertheless, for the past 18 years, the Sea Around Us has taken on this mission and nowadays its global reconstructed catch data has become a point of reference for scientists, conservation practitioners, fishers, and fisheries managers across the world.

But getting this information and the associated implications to the general public, and inspiring people to take action on it, is a whole different story. Fortunately, filmmaker Alison Barrat, from the Khaled Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, understood how important it is to spread the word about the true amount of fish we are taking out of our oceans and, with the support of the Smithsonian Channel, Rare and the Sea Around Us, produced and directed the documentary An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch.

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Photo by Elias Levy, Flickr.

Three cheers for biodiversity

Photo by Elias Levy, Flickr.

Photo by Elias Levy, Flickr.

Text by Daniel Pauly

Yes, the 6th Extinction is underway, and we are going to lose quite a bit of the Earth’s biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine, because of our agriculture, our fisheries, and because there are so many of us. But we should try to minimize the loss, using all the tools at our disposal.

One of these tools is slowing down, or even reversing, the rate at which we expand into and thus transform and ultimately destroy natural ecosystems and their biodiversity. On land, this consists of creating parks where the natural vegetative cover, notably forests, can maintain or reestablish itself, and provide habitats for animals that cannot live in landscapes shaped by agriculture.

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Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Thoughts on UBC’s Reconciliation Totem Pole

Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Text by Daniel Pauly

On April 1, 2017, a 17 m totem pole was raised at the south end of the University of British Columbia’s Main Mall. It is the Reconciliation Pole carved by Haida master carver and Hereditary Chief James Hart.

Hundreds of Vancouverites gathered for the event, which started at 1 p.m. with speeches by various First Nations dignitaries and dances. It was only shortly before 5 p.m. that the crowd -to which I belonged- on the small amphitheater to the south of the pole, was called on to tighten up the ropes that were laid along the field and connected to the semi-raised pole which was still resting on scaffolding.

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On meeting the Dalai Lama

Daniel Pauly and the Dalai Lama

Text by Daniel Pauly

On March 17, I met the Dalai Lama for a brief moment, following a long keynote speech he gave at a conference on ‘Buddhism in the 21st Century’, held in Lalanda, in the Indian State of Bihar.

It was not that I had suddenly given up on my freedom from religion. Rather, when I was invited to participate in this conference – along with a few western scientists involved in environmental conservation and animal welfare – I did not find any good reason why I should not accept, given that Buddhism appears to be the rare faith that does not require you to check your knowledge of physics, biology and history, as well common sense at the door.

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Teaching about Filipino sardines in Canada

Amy Coghlan, Eric Sy, Sony de Guzmán, Gordon Tsui, Sarah Popov. Photo by Deng Palomares

Amy Coghlan, Eric Sy, Sony de Guzmán, Gordon Tsui, Sarah Popov

Asunción de Guzmán, aka “Sony” in the underwater-research scene, is passionate about sardines, particularly those caught in the Philippines.

In fact, she is so fond of the tiny pelagic fish that she flew all the way from Manila to Vancouver Island to present at the “Drivers of Dynamics of Small Pelagic Fish Resources” symposium, organized by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization.  Continue reading

The Sea Around Us expands its global presence

Dr. Dirk Zeller, lead of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean node

Dr. Dirk Zeller, lead of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean node. Photo by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud

We are proud to announce that Dr. Dirk Zeller, Senior Scientist and the Executive Director of the Sea Around Us has been appointed as Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Western Australia (UWA), a new position created at the UWA School of Biological Sciences and the UWA Oceans Institute. Dr. Zeller’s appointment supports the establishment of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean node at UWA.

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Photos from Wikimedia Commons.

Illegal foreign fishing and lack of reporting threaten Sierra Leone’s fisheries sector

Photos from Wikimedia Commons.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons.

Illegal fishing accounts for about 30 per cent of catches by industrial foreign fleets in Sierra Leone, says a new study published in Marine Policy.

The paper states that, in the past decade, industrial foreign vessels have increased their presence and illegal activities in Sierra Leonean waters either on their own or by enticing small-scale fishers into illicit partnerships, such as acting as transshipment vessels in nearshore areas.

Reduced monitoring, control, and surveillance, related to the withdrawal of development aid, is spurring unlicensed operations, researchers say. The study estimates that more than 42,000 tonnes of fish were caught illegally in 2015 alone.

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