The Lecture is held approximately biennially at UBC, and the manuscript is submitted for publication in Fish and Fisheries, subject to the normal refereeing process.
What the past tells us about the future of fisheries and oceans research in British Columbia
Dr. Richard Beamish, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
In the 1960s and 1970s, Pacific salmon dominated the fishery and captured the attention of science and management in BC. Pacific herring were recovering from a collapse, the groundfish fishery was getting started, shellfish were important, but received little attention and aquaculture was mostly a dream. All this changed beginning in the 1980s. At the same time, there were undetected changes in the ocean that ultimately affected the dynamics of many species. Science now recognizes the impacts of climate and ocean ecosystem changes on seafood production in British Columbia, but the associated research remains generally fragmented. The new Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia can provide the focus and leadership that will be essential for the stewardship of our ocean ecosystems and the production of seafood in a future that will be full of surprises.
The little brown fish in your pizza and an ecosystem based view of the world
Dr. Patricia Majluf, Center for Environmental Sustainability, Cayetano Heredia University, Peru
A native of Peru, Majluf earned her PhD in zoology at the University of Cambridge and served as a scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society for almost 20 years. She also served as Peru’s Vice Minister of Fisheries and most recently directed the Center for Environmental Sustainability at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima. In addition, she has received awards and fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fundación BBVA, and others. Her work has focused on the Peruvian anchoveta fishery.
Is fisheries policy pertinent? Some doubts from the academy
Dr. Daniel W. Bromley, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Humboldt University, Berlin
An evolutionary account of the emergence of industrial fisheries, and he will show how that evolutionary process gives rise to a final stage of apologetics and entitlement. He will link this evolutionary process to the emergence of specialized academic disciplines that both enable that evolutionary trajectory, and become captured by it. In this end game, the academic enterprise becomes indistinguishable from the economic interests of the industry. Promoting a suite of preferred policies, elaborately justified by reference to bogus concepts, becomes the primary activity of the academy. Dissenters are seen as the enemy, and their concerns are considered politically dangerous.
Sustainability in small-scale fisheries: No recipes but one — play with the full deck
Dr. Ana Parma, Centro Nacional Patagonico, Conicet, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
The assessment and management approaches commonly used for industrial fisheries are remarkably similar worldwide. The dominant paradigm has emphasized the estimation of stock size using data-rich methods as a means for setting global or regional quotas in top-down, centralized systems. The fact that this paradigm does not work for small-scale fisheries is now well-recognized, as the latter are, generally, data-poor, geographically heterogeneous and institutionally weak. This has prompted a search for alternatives. In this lecture I will illustrate a variety of approaches by contrasting some commercial diving fisheries from Chile and Argentina.
Learning from fisheries successes: Managing fish is managing people
Dr. Ray Hilborn, Richard C. and Lois M. Worthington Professor of Fisheries Management, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington
Dr. Hilborn specializes in natural resource management and conservation. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in environmental science, conservation and quantitative population dynamics. He authored several books including Overfishing: what everyone needs to know, Quantitative fisheries stock assessment and The Ecological Detective: confronting models with data. He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles. Hilborn serves on the Editorial Boards of 7 journals including the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science Magazine.
Blue water crime and conservation: Controlling the pirates in marine fisheries
Dr. Jon Sutinen, Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island
Dr Sutinen’s primary research interests are fisheries management and regulation with an emphasis on compliance and enforcement. He has extensive experience in international fisheries, including Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Most of this experience involved conducting research and supplying advice on fisheries policy. His current research focuses on several bioeconomic aspects of New England marine fisheries and the Northeast Large Marine Ecosystem. Dr. Sutinen was the founding editor of the journal Marine Resource Economics and served in that role for over a decade. He is a member of the NRC’s Ocean Studies Board.
Trouble on the reef: Tackling a vulnerable and undervalued fishery
Dr. Yvonne Sadovy, Department of Ecology and Biodiversity, The University of Hong Kong
Reef fish fisheries provide food and livelihoods for millions of people throughout the tropics. Like most small-scale fisheries, they are more efficient, less wasteful of bycatch and fuel and more productive, per tonne of fish produced, than industrial-scale fisheries. This paper explores why management is so poorly developed for most tropical reef fisheries, the relevance of conventional stock assessment approaches to their management, and the prognosis for the current situation to change. It is argued that reef fish fisheries are particularly susceptible to overexploitation and that one of the major factors impeding progress in their management is due to the low social and economic values ascribed them. A generally poor understanding of the worth and vulnerability of such resources, combined with lack of management capacity, is creating serious problems for reef fish fisheries.
The good, the bad and the ugly: Factors influencing the scope and quality of fisheries science and management decisions
Dr. Lee Alverson, Natural Resources Consultants
The paper begins with a short history of global fisheries developments and various events leading to the contemporary view of the status of marine fishery resources and the environment. This is followed by discussion of factors which contributed to significant level of overfishing during the 1960 through 1990 period, including institutional paralysis, uncertainty in science, the rapidity of fishery and technological developments and the inability of national and international fisheries management entities to monitor and enforce fishery regulations.
MSY reborn with a new identity. Is it necessary? Is it sufficient?
Dr. Pamela M. Mace, NMFS, Woods Hole
This paper draws on examples from several fisheries, but specifically focuses on the recent U.S. experience illustrating the practical difficulties of reducing fishing mortality to levels below those corresponding to MSY. However, several studies suggest that even more substantial reductions in fishing mortality may be necessary if ecosystem considerations such as multispecies interactions, maintenance of biodiversity and genetic diversity, and reduction of bycatch and waste are taken into account. The pros and cons of moving beyond single species assessment and management are discussed. A U.S. plan for improving stock assessments indicates that even a ‘simple’ objective such as ‘adequate baseline monitoring of all managed species’ may be extremely costly.
Reconciling sustainability, economic efficiency and equity in fisheries: The one that got away?
Dr. Kevern Cochrane, FAO, Rome
Concern about the global state of fisheries and fish resources has highlighted the three primary considerations in fisheries management: sustainable utilisation; economic efficiency; and equity in access to resources. We appear to be failing in pursuit of all three goals. Living marine resources are particularly threatened by overfishing, leading to many of the world’s fish stocks being heavily, fully or over exploited. Similarly, the economic diagnosis is that costs of fishing exceeded the value of the world’s catch by about $US 40 billion at the beginning of the decade. Statistics on equity are less available but the necessary spread of limited access to fisheries frequently has the greatest impact on the small scale, traditional fisher. The paper considers the reasons underlying the general failure of fisheries management and the solutions that are being proposed. Factors contributing to the problems include high biological uncertainty, conflict between the constraint of sustainability and social and economic priorities, poorly defined objectives, and institutional failures related to access rights and participation in management by the users. These issues point to the real complexity of fisheries management.
Fisheries management after 2000: will new paradigms apply?
Dr. John Caddy, FAO, Rome
Disturbing trends in FAO’s global statistics show the majority of fishery resources fully exploited; seriously overcapitalised fleets; demand and prices increasing; and growing impacts on marine ecosystems from human populations. An urgent search for improved management frameworks is needed. This requires a better understanding of the axioms underlying current approaches, and how we may better reflect local situations. We should deal with ecosystem considerations, environmental fluctuations, socio-economic factors, and the dangers of open access to marine resources throughout their life history and geographical range. Institutions could help by promoting inter-disciplinary teamwork with fisheries stakeholders, and by breaking down excessive specialisation and regionalization. On the management side, success requires consultative frameworks that explicitly incorporate watchdog functions and precautionary approaches. Given high uncertainty in natural systems, we need fail-safe management, with redundancy in measures of fishery performance and in the instruments applied.
Fish, fact and fantasy: A long view
Dr. Ray Beverton, Cardiff, Wales
This paper suggests ways forward from the widely-perceived present failures of fishery assessment and management. A history of fishery yield modelling is presented from the carefree days of the 1950s to the depressing series of stock collapses and depletions of the 1980s. Underlying this gruesome story has been the failure of management by quotas to arrest overcapacity in fishing power, the lack of robust and informative reference points and the inadequacy of methods dealing with some multispecies fisheries. The paper refines the use of the concept of Fext, defined as the minimum value of F in a self-regenerating yield model that leads to eventual extinction in a family of yield curves generated with a range of stock recruitment curves. Model reconstructions for North Sea cod and Icelandic herring make evident calamitous losses in catches forgone as result of the failure of rational management.