The Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Dr. Daniel Pauly, has been awarded the Beverton Medal for 2021 by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles in recognition of his groundbreaking research and lifelong contribution to the study of fish and fisheries science.
The Beverton Medal is FSBI’s most senior award and highest honour and it is usually presented, together with the FSBI and Le Cren medals, at the Society’s annual International Symposium. Given the ongoing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s awardees will receive the medals in advance and participate in the virtual symposium later in July.
Dr. Pauly has been granted the Beverton Medal – among many other achievements – for being one of the first scientists to point out that fishing dramatically affects fish stocks.
Pauly identified global trends in fishing and developed the concept of fishing down the food web. The idea of shifting baselines, or the floating frame of reference of young researchers for what an original fish stock actually represents, also belongs to him.
The Society’s announcement points out that besides the most-cited shifting baselines concept, another major achievement in the career of the Sea Around Us‘ PI is the development of his ‘Pauly equation,’ a simple equation for calculating natural fish mortality that gave rise to his idea of collating and disseminating data on the economically most important fish in a database – FishBase – so that they would also be available to scientists in developing countries.
“Daniel Pauly is a passionate scientist who enters into discussion with society. His mission is to secure the oceans so that future generations, rich and poor, can continue to catch and eat fish,” the Fisheries Society of the British Isles said.
The FSBI considers him the most influential scientist in the field of fisheries biology, having received 37 prizes and awards since 2000. The announcement also highlights the fact that Dr. Pauly was knighted as Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2017 by the French government.
Also in 2017, the Fisheries Society of the British Isles presented Pauly with the Le Cren Medal, an award that was shared with FishBase, the biodiversity information system he co-created together with Rainer Froese.