Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Thoughts on UBC’s Reconciliation Totem Pole

Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Text by Daniel Pauly

On April 1, 2017, a 17 m totem pole was raised at the south end of the University of British Columbia’s Main Mall. It is the Reconciliation Pole carved by Haida master carver and Hereditary Chief James Hart.

Hundreds of Vancouverites gathered for the event, which started at 1 p.m. with speeches by various First Nations dignitaries and dances. It was only shortly before 5 p.m. that the crowd -to which I belonged- on the small amphitheater to the south of the pole, was called on to tighten up the ropes that were laid along the field and connected to the semi-raised pole which was still resting on scaffolding.

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Cautious fish evolve out of marine reserves

Photo by Matana_and_Jes, Flickr

Photo by Matana_and_Jes, Flickr

New research supports the creation of more marine reserves in the world’s oceans because, the authors say, fish can evolve to be more cautious and stay away from fishing nets.

The research suggests that by creating additional “no-take” areas, some fish will stay within marine reserves where they are protected from fishing. While other fish will move around the ocean, these less mobile fish will continue to live in the protected areas, pass this behaviour on to their offspring, and contribute to future generations, increasing the overall stock.

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Making fisheries science accessible

Photo by Kyle Gillespie

Photo by Kyle Gillespie

Text by Madeline Cashion


Public speaking is an intimidating feat for pretty much everyone.

I am an extrovert who actively strives to listen more than talk (usually unsuccessfully…) while in conversation with any number of people, and yet I have a strong physical aversion to speaking in front of an audience in a professional setting. In part, this is because describing your science in a way that is accessible not only to other researchers but to a generalist, non-scientific audience is surprisingly tough. For example, terms that I use every day like gear, landings, discards, and exclusive economic zone are considered jargon to people who do not work with or study fisheries.

To a scientist, using common words in place of jargon seems imprecise and sensationalist. Science communication is difficult in any forum but can be almost impossible when you are in front of an audience and the immobilizing effects of the “fight or flight” response begin to eclipse your confidence.

Here’s a quick anecdote from a recent such experience of my own:

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ON VIDEO: Daniel Pauly and the Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries

The Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory 120 was packed and people on social media were frantically asking about how to join the Facebook Live stream.

For over an hour, the Sea Around Us Principal Investigator, Daniel Pauly, presented the methods and findings in the Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries, which he published in late 2016 together with Dirk Zeller.

For those who could not be in attendance, the IOF’s communications department prepared series of videos that capture the highlights from Pauly’s presentation.

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Daniel Pauly named “Scientist of the Year” by Radio Canada

“C’est un honneur,” the Sea Around Us Principal Investigator and UBC Killam Professor with the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Dr. Daniel Pauly said after Radio Canada’s Les Années-lumière named him “Scientist of the Year.”

Pauly is being recognized for his lifelong research efforts on the human impacts on global fisheries, which hit a high note in 2016 with two major publications, both co-authored with Dirk Zeller: The Nature Communications paper “Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining” and the Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries, released by Island Press.

Yanick Villedieu, host of Les Années-lumière, explained that the award aims at highlighting the work of a French-speaking scientist who, throughout his/her career but particularly in the past year, had a major discovery, achievement, or publication of national and international significance.

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