How sustainable is tuna? New global catch database exposes dangerous fishing trends

How sustainable is tuna? New global catch database exposes dangerous fishing trends

How sustainable is tuna? New global catch database exposes dangerous fishing trends

Tuna at the Tsukiji fish market in Japan. Photo by Humanoid one, Wikimedia Commons.

Appearing in everything from sushi rolls to sandwiches, tuna are among the world’s favourite fish. But are our current tuna fishing habits sustainable?

Probably not, according to a new global database of tuna catches created by researchers at the University of British Columbia and University of Western Australia.

In a study published in Fisheries Research, scientists from the Sea Around Us initiative found that global tuna catches have increased over 1,000 per cent in the past six decades, fueled by a massive expansion of industrial fisheries.

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Artisanal catch. Photo by Australa's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Fisheries Department of Western Australia and Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean conduct data-limited workshop

Artisanal catch. Photo by Australa's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Artisanal catch. Photo by Australia’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

On September 4, 2019, the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean research initiative at the University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development organized a data-limited stock assessment workshop for fisheries researchers and managers of the local state government.

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Spangeled emperor. Photo by Vincent C Chen, Wikimedia Commons.

PhD opportunities at the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean

Spangeled emperor. Photo by Vincent C Chen, Wikimedia Commons.</a)

Spangeled emperor. Photo by Vincent C Chen, Wikimedia Commons.

The Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean under the leadership of Professor Dirk Zeller at the University of Western Australia is looking for highly qualified Australian PhD candidates interested in conducting ‘big-data’ and meta-analysis research on fisheries and fisheries conservation issues at the ocean-basin scale. Interested? Then consider applying for a PhD Scholarship at the University of Western Australia in Perth. For details, see this link.

Applications for the domestic (Australian) Scholarship Round are open from 1 September to Thursday 31 October 2019. This round is only for domestic (Australian) graduates who can enroll in the first half of 2020.

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Clockwise from top left: Matthew Ansell, MSc student;  James Hehre, Associate & Programme Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Dirk Zeller, Director Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean; Jessica Meeuwig, Director Marine Futures Lab;  Gabriel Vianna, Postdoctoral Fellow; Rachel White, Researcher; Hanna Jabour Christ, Associate & Communications and Data Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Lincoln Hood, Senior Researcher; Amy McAlpine MSc Student.

The Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean is growing!

Clockwise from top left: Matthew Ansell, MSc student; James Hehre, Associate & Programme Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Dirk Zeller, Director Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean; Jessica Meeuwig, Director Marine Futures Lab; Gabriel Vianna, Postdoctoral Fellow; Rachel White, Researcher; Hanna Jabour Christ, Associate & Communications and Data Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Lincoln Hood, Senior Researcher; Amy McAlpine MSc Student.

Clockwise from top left: Matthew Ansell, MSc student; James Hehre, Associate & Programme Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Dirk Zeller, Director Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean; Jessica Meeuwig, Director Marine Futures Lab; Gabriel Vianna, Postdoctoral Fellow; Rachel White, Researcher; Hanna Jabour Christ, Associate & Communications and Data Manager – Marine Futures Lab; Lincoln Hood, Senior Researcher; Amy McAlpine MSc Student.

The Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean, founded in 2017 at the University of Western Australia and led by Dr. Dirk Zeller, is starting to grow.

A while back, former members of the Sea Around Us at UBC, Lincoln Hood and Rachel White, followed a tern flock and moved southwards to work with Dr. Zeller on establishing the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean, and to initiate the newest round of updated and improved catch reconstruction database for all maritime countries around the Indian Ocean.

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