the sea around us turns 20

Sea Around Us celebrated 20 years with successful symposium

After months of planning, on June 27-28 the Sea Around Us celebrated its 20th anniversary with a couple of successful events that strengthened the group’s relationship with researchers and civil society.

On June 27, 2019, the team hosted an informal reception that gathered students, staff, alumni, researchers from around the globe, representatives from the French consulate in Vancouver, colleagues from UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), delegates from different departments at the University of British Columbia, among other attendees.

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DP bio cover

Daniel Pauly’s biography hits the bookstores

DP bio cover

Un Océan de Combats is the title of the book that recounts the life of the Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Pauly.

The text, brilliantly written by oceanographer David Grémillet over the course of two years and after doing dozens of interviews over four continents, presents the extraordinary life story of a child born just after the Second World War to a working-class Frenchwoman and an African American GI– Daniel Pauly’s trajectory defies every expectation.

Un Océan de Combats brings to the forefront a scientist’s life-long struggle over the course of his extraordinary career to determine the magnitude and significance of overfishing.

The first accessible account of overfishing as a global issue, both for society and for the planet, this book draws the inevitable connection between the environmental crisis and the political and social inequality between the global North and the global South.

DP's bio

“An iconoclastic fisheries scientist who is so decidedly global in his life and outlook that he is nearly a man without a country.” THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Never afraid to ruffle feathers, Pauly is outspoken about ocean conservation and willing to point fingers at the huge multinational companies that control much of the world’s fishing industry.” NATURE

“Pauly’s insights into global fisheries provide an understanding of the root causes of our unsustainable ocean fishery and are an essential guide to sustain this vital resource.” DAVID SUZUKI

Blue shark (Prionace glauca). Photo by Mark Conlin-NMFS, Wikimedia Commons.

Hidden behind bad numbers: Official stats mask almost all shark and ray species caught in the Mediterranean and Black seas

Blue shark (Prionace glauca). Photo by Mark Conlin-NMFS, Wikimedia Commons.

Blue shark (Prionace glauca). Photo by Mark Conlin-NMFS, Wikimedia Commons.

Shark and ray species commonly caught in the Mediterranean and Black seas are not being reported in official statistics, new research from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia shows.

A new study published in Marine Policy reveals that 97 per cent of the sharks and rays caught and brought to market domestically by fleets from the European, North African and Middle Eastern countries that surround these seas are not reported by species.

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Fisher, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jan van der Ploeg, WorldFish, Flickr.

The importance of coastal fisheries

Fisher, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jan van der Ploeg, WorldFish, Flickr.

Fisher, Solomon Islands. Photo by Jan van der Ploeg, WorldFish, Flickr.

The Sea Around Us’ Deng Palomares and Daniel Pauly have just added a new item to their long list of publications: a chapter in Elsevier’s book Coast and Estuaries: The Future.

In their contribution, titled “Coastal fisheries: the past, present and possible futures,” Palomares and Pauly highlight the importance of coastal fisheries by pointing out that they made up 55 per cent of global marine fisheries catch from 2010 to 2014.

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Pellizar 133. Photo by O roxo Flickr.

Carbon dioxide emissions from global fisheries larger than previously thought

Pellizar 133. Photo by O roxo Flickr.

Pellizar 133. Photo by O roxo Flickr.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the fuel burnt by fishing boats are 30 per cent higher than previously reported, researchers with the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia and the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia have found.

In a study published in Marine Policy, the scientists show that 207 million tonnes of CO2 were released into the atmosphere by marine fishing vessels only in 2016. This is almost the same amount of CO2 emitted by 51 coal-fired power plants in the same timeframe.

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A pair of One-spot Pullers (Chromis hypsilepis) preparing to spawn. Home Bommie, Ulladulla, NSW. Photo by Richard Ling, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Most female fish grow bigger than the males: deal with it!

A pair of One-spot Pullers (Chromis hypsilepis) preparing to spawn. Home Bommie, Ulladulla, NSW. Photo by Richard Ling, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

A pair of One-spot Pullers (Chromis hypsilepis) preparing to spawn. Home Bommie, Ulladulla, NSW. Photo by Richard Ling, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

In over 80 per cent of fish species, the females, including those known as ‘big old fecund females,’ or BOFFS, grow bigger than the males. This long-established fact is difficult to explain with the conventional view of fish spawning being a drain on the ‘energy’ available for growth. If this view were correct, females, which are defined by their larger reproductive effort, would always remain smaller than males.

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Fish at the Cholula market. Photo by Giulian Frisoni, Flickr.

World Oceans Day: Paying attention to marine fisheries

World Oceans Day happens to fall on the same month as the Sea Around Us’ anniversary month.

Initially proposed by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, this day celebrates the ocean and its importance for all living creatures.

World Oceans Day provides also an opportunity for researchers, policymakers, and environmentalists to highlight the most urgent issues affecting the planet’s largest waterbody.

Since this June the Sea Around Us is celebrating not only World Oceans Day but also its 20th Anniversary, it seemed appropriate to reflect on the importance of paying attention to marine fisheries.