Born in France and raised in Switzerland, Daniel Pauly studied in Germany, where he acquired a doctorate in fisheries biology in 1979, from the University of Kiel. He did his first intercontinental travel in 1971 (from Germany to Ghana for fieldwork related to his Masters) and has since experienced a multitude of countries, cultures, and modes of exploiting aquatic ecosystems in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. This perspective allowed him to develop tools for managing data-sparse fisheries, as prevailed for example in the Philippines, where Dr. Pauly worked through the 1980s and early 1990s.
In 1994, Dr. Pauly became a Professor at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre, and was its Director from 2003 to 2008. In 1999, Daniel Pauly founded, and since leads, a large research project devoted to identifying and quantifying global fisheries trends, funded until mid-2014 mainly by the Pew Charitable Trusts and since by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and a number of charitable organizations, and called the Sea Around Us after Rachel Carson’s 1951 bestselling book. Daniel Pauly is also co-founder of FishBase.org, the online encyclopedia of more than 30,000 fish species, and he has helped develop the widely-used Ecopath modeling software. He is the author or co-author of over 1000 scientific and other articles, books and book chapters on fish, fisheries and related topics. Two books, reflecting his current interests were published in 2010: “Five Easy Pieces: Reporting on the Global Impact of Fisheries” and “Gasping Fish and Panting Squids: Oxygen, Temperature and the Growth of Water-Breathing Animals”. In 2016, with Dirk Zeller, he published an article titled “Catch reconstruction reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining” (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10244) and the Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries, concluding a decade-long activity of the Sea Around Us.
Dr. Pauly is the recipient of multiple international prizes and awards, including eight honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and Canada. Since 2003, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and since 2016, he is University Killam Professor.
He also received the Award of Excellence of the American Fisheries Society (‘04); the International Cosmos Prize, Japan (‘05), the Volvo Environmental Prize, Sweden (‘06), the Excellence in Ecology Prize, Germany (‘07), the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology, Spain (‘08), the Albert Ier Grand Medal in the Science category (‘16), the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology (‘19), the Beverton Medal by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (‘21), the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (‘23), among others. Daniel was also knighted as Chevalier de la Légion D’Honneur (’17) by the French government on Bastille Day.