Figuring out how humans have impacted biodiversity through time

Figuring out total human impacts on biodiversity

Figuring out how humans have impacted biodiversity through time

Gulf grouper. Photo by Alfredo Barroso, Wikimedia Commons.

How much have humans affected the population of other species on the planet? A new methodology for documenting the cumulative human impacts on biodiversity aims to answer this question.

Dubbed EPOCH -for Evaluation of Population Change- the methodology was developed by a group of scientists from universities in Europe, Asia, and North America. It provides a standardized framework for organizing disperse data on individual species or populations of animals and plants that have been affected by urbanization, pollution, fishing, hunting, over-harvesting, and other anthropogenic activities.

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New technology allows fleets to double fishing capacity -- and deplete fish stocks faster

New technology allows fleets to double fishing capacity — and deplete fish stocks faster

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Technological advances are allowing commercial fishing fleets to double their fishing power every 35 years and put even more pressure on dwindling fish stocks, new research has found.

Researchers from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia analyzed more than 50 studies related to the increase in vessels’ catching power and found that the introduction of mechanisms such as GPS, fishfinders, echo-sounders or acoustic cameras, has led to an average two per cent yearly increase in boats’ capacity to capture fish.

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Instructors and participants at the CMSY workshop in Qingdao.

Sea Around Us co-hosts successful CMSY workshop in Qingdao

Instructors and participants at the CMSY workshop in Qingdao.

Instructors and participants at the CMSY workshop in Qingdao.

In June 2019, the Sea Around Us PI, Dr. Daniel Pauly, and Project Manager, Dr. Deng Palomares, co-hosted a successful, three-day workshop at the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) in Qingdao, a city on China’s Yellow Sea coast. They were assisted by graduate student Lu Zhai and long-time Sea Around Us collaborator Dr. Liang ‘Elsa’ Cui.

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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.