Want to have a big impact in marine conservation and global fisheries? Study with the new Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean

Photo from Max Pixel,CC0.

Photo from Max Pixel,CC0.

The Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean under the lead of Professor Dirk Zeller at the University of Western Australia is looking for outstanding PhD candidates interested in conducting ‘big-data’ and meta-analysis research on fisheries and fisheries conservation issues at the ocean-basin scale. If this is of interest to you, then consider applying for a PhD Scholarship at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth. The mid-year 2018 round for domestic (Australian) candidates opens from 1 June 2018 until 13 July 2018, while the international candidates only round 1 for 2019 opens from 2 July 2018 until 31 August 2018. Please only apply after consultation with Professor Zeller.

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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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