UBC's Sea Around Us celebrates 20 years with daylong conference

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      The impactful UBC research initiative known as the Sea Around Us is turning 20 this month, and a team of acclaimed fisheries scientists are hosting a daylong conference tomorrow (June 28) to celebrate.

      The Sea Around Us—named after Rachel Carson's famous 1951 book and which is housed at UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, in the AERL facility on the Main Mall—can boast major contributions to the world's knowledge of ocean ecosystems.

      One of these was the compilation and publishing of data that showed that the world's global marine fisheries catches were actually 50 percent higher than reported officially—and declining by the rate of about 1.2 million tonnes per year since the 1990s.

      Another finding was that the globe's industrial fisheries annually discard 10 million tonnes of nontargeted fish species as bycatch or undesirable.

      This global outlook is led by Sea Around Us principal investigator Daniel Pauly, a UBC professor for the past quarter-century and a prolific author of hundreds of scientific papers and articles and several books, including his latest: Vanishing Fish: Shifting Baselines and the Future of Global Fisheries.


      Pauly will be hosting the conference along with fisheries scientists Deng Palomares (Sea Around Us project manager) and Dirk Zeller (former Sea Around Us executive director at UBC and now professor and leader of Sea Around Us—Indian Ocean, a branch of the initiative housed at the University of Western Australia's school of biological sciences).

      The Friday event will see prominent representatives from research institutions and NGOs, scientists, students, and assorted Sea Around Us associates "talk briefly of their collaboration with the Sea Around Us and provide advice for the future".

      Tickets for the event were announced as sold out, but communications officer Valentina Ruiz Leotaud told the Straight there have been a few cancellations. Email v.ruizleotaud@oceans.ubc.ca to enquire as to availability.