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

An Ocean Mystery

An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch now available for free viewing

An Ocean Mystery

 

Following a successful festival season, the film An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch is now available for free viewing.

Besides being premiered on Earth Day 2017 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and on the Smithsonian Channel, the documentary had a full-house screening at the University of British Columbia and at 11 different international film festivals. It was also recognized in different categories at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, the Indie Fest Film Awards, the International Ocean Film Festival, the Impact Docs Awards, and the American Conservation Film Festival.

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Oceana event Philippines 2018

Renowned marine biologists talk about ocean conservation in the Philippines

Oceana event Philippines 2018

 

A group of marine biologists led by the world’s top fisheries scientist, Daniel Pauly, are calling for stronger action to conserve and protect fisheries resources in the Philippines.

Pauly is the Principal Investigator of the Sea Around Us at the University of British Columbia and a co-founder of FishBase.org. Together with his team, he produced global, multi-year analyses of fish catches, which have helped the public understand the sad plight of the oceans – particularly the fact that fish populations all over the world are plummeting.

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Fishing boats huddling together waiting for a storm to pass. Koh Samui Island,Thailand. Photo by Chris Bird, Flickr.

Thailand hides big numbers when it comes to its fish catches in neighbouring waters

Fishing boats huddling together waiting for a storm to pass. Koh Samui Island,Thailand. Photo by Chris Bird, Flickr.

Fishing boats huddling together waiting for a storm to pass. Koh Samui Island,Thailand. Photo by Chris Bird, Flickr.

Fish catches by Thailand’s distant-water fleet fishing throughout the Indo-Pacific are almost seven times higher than what the country reports to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a new study by the Sea Around Us reveals.

In 2014 alone, the Asian country caught 3.7 million tonnes of fish outside its Exclusive Economic Zone but reported only 247,000 tonnes. This figure, although substantial, represents a decline from peak numbers reached in the mid-1990s when the more relaxed rules of Thailand’s neighbours allowed for massive catches of over 7 million tonnes per year. Back then, as much as 80 per cent of the catch was unreported and much of it likely obtained illegally, the study reveals.

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