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.
On April 28, 2017, the Sea Around Us organized the first Canadian screening of the film An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries.
The event attracted dozens of people from the Lower Mainland’s environmental community, as well as UBC students, faculty and staff.
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.
Some artisanal fleets in West Africa have grown so much in terms of number of boats, vessel size and capacity, and the aggregate engine power that they deploy that they have become comparable to the smaller industrial fleets operating in the region.
A new study by the Sea Around Us project reveals that, in the past 60 years, total artisanal fishing effort in the waters that extend from the coast of Morocco to the coast of Angola has increased by 10-fold.
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.