Martin Smith

Duke University, The Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of the Environment, Nicholas School of the Environment and Department of Economics

Rashid Sumaila

University of British Columbia, Professor & Director, Fisheries Centre

Brenda Norcross

University of Alaska Fairbanks, Professor, Fisheries Oceanography

Selina Heppell

Oregon State University, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

July 18, 2012

A Turnaround plan for fisheries

Rashid Sumaila

Global fisheries currently lose about US$13 billion per year, largely owing to overfishing. Rashid Sumaila (2009) and his colleagues estimate that if governments invested in rebuilding them, fisheries could produce about US$54 billion per year. They also estimate that the benefits would begin to surpass the cost of the investment in as few as 12 years. “If the environmental and sustainability reasons alone can’t convince global governments to take action, the financial incentives should,” Sumaila says.

January 31, 2012

Fisheries: impacts on economies and oceans from 'invisible workforce'?

Rashid Sumaila

photo: Mumbo jiggy

The number of people worldwide whose livelihoods depend on marine fisheries is 260 million, a figure 1.75 times larger than previously thought, according to new research by Rashid Sumaila (2009) and a colleague. Their study, which covered 144 coastal countries, included many small-scale fishing operations that had not been counted before, among them unlicensed fishers. The revised figure suggests larger impacts on fish stocks from fishing -- and possibly on the world's economies, if fish stocks crash, the authors say.

November 29, 2011

Fisheries: Action needed to minimize climate change impacts

Rashid Sumaila

A new study led by Rashid Sumaila (2009) describes how climate change will likely impact various aspects of the global fishing economy, including revenues, costs, jobs, incomes, and the availability of seafood to consumers. Solving the overfishing problem is fundamental, and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions would diminish the ecological impacts on fish stocks and thus minimize the economic effects. “We could be earning interest, but instead we’re fishing away the capital. Climate change is likely to cause more losses unless we choose to act,” says Sumaila.


September 23, 2011

Call to end deep-sea fishing

Selina Heppell, Rashid Sumaila

A team of scientists including Selina Heppell (2006) and Rashid Sumaila (2009) is recommending an end to most fishing in the deep sea. They liken it to mining as an unsustainable practice. Heavily subsidized by governments, most deep-sea fishing involves dragging enormous weighted nets across the ocean floor that destroy slow-growing, minimally productive fishes and corals. Noting that the deep sea provides less than 1% of the world's seafood, the team points out that fishing in more productive coastal waters rather than one of Earth’s most vulnerable ecosystems would be ecologically and economically preferable.

June 30, 2011

A royal champion

Rashid Sumaila

Photograph courtesy of Rashid Sumaila

For Rashid Sumaila (2009) and his colleagues, a meeting with the Prince of Wales spells new hope for oceans and the communities that depend on them.


June 16, 2011

For Gulf fishers, new impacts from growing dead zone

Nancy Rabalais

photo: Kim

A team of scientists including Nancy Rabalais (1999) predicts that this year's dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico will be the largest ever, covering an area between 8,500 and 9,400 square miles. The increase in size stems from recent flooding along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, which carried higher than usual amounts of nitrogen to the Gulf. Impacts are likely to be felt by fishers and shrimpers, who may have to travel farther afield to find fish stocks.