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University of British Columbia researchers have found that chemical pollutant accumulation in Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales in the Pacific Northeast Coast region will be exacerbated under climate change. This is yet another anthropogenic stressor that threatens the survivability of the both Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales.

September 18, 2018 | Climate ChangeEcologyFisheries

Marine heatwaves can cause irreversible ecosystem damage and their frequency has doubled since 1982. If average global temperatures rise 3.5°C, we’ll see a jump from just fewer than four marine heat waves a year on average to a startling 122.

What happens when some of the most vulnerable populations on the planet are forced to flee the impacts of climate change without legal backing or clear definition of their rights?

On the surface, it’s a joy to see students take ownership of research and form a connection with the ocean. But now, against a backdrop of cuts to programs supporting low-income communities and erosion of policies protecting marine ecosystems, this kind of community-oriented science education is incredibly urgent.

One hundred and twenty five nations gathered from July 9-13 at the Committee on Fisheries meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome, Italy, to examine international fisheries and agriculture issues.

In a Q & A session with Nereus researcher Dr. Richard Caddell, we delve deeper into the policy implications of the projected mass migration of fish towards the poles.

Halibut, sole and other flatfish are household names around the world. But that might not always be the case. New paper finds that climate change will drastically reduce flatfish numbers and alter species distributions by hundreds of kilometers by the end of the century.

The Nassau grouper: an endangered, boldly striped fish that was once plentiful in southern coastal Florida, the Florida Keys, Bermuda, the Yucatan, and the Caribbean Sea. For more than 20 years, conservationists in the Caribbean have been working to protect this endangered species. Climate change now threatens to undo all of it.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are an admirable set of targets set out to achieve a better world–but how do they interact with each other? Are some more pivotal to the success of all? Possibly.

I think what inspires me most about this group is that it values a diverse array of approaches to research. We reward the type of disciplinary flexibility and freedom that most academic organizations tend to smother. Nereus lets us be who we want to be, not who they want us to be

Fish are being driven from their territory at a rate of 70 km per decade, which could accelerate. In a paper published in Science yesterday, an interdisciplinary team of Nereus researchers describe how many species will be pushed across national and other political boundaries in the coming decades.

Who controls the narrative on the environment? Nereus researchers have been delving deeper into work on coastal Indigenous fisheries and as they develop relationships with Indigenous community members around the world, some are starting to rethink many of the core concepts of ocean governance.

The excitement around Sustainable Development Goals has faded somewhat since the United Nations meeting in 2015, and now comes the less inspiring dirty work of analysis and policy-setting to achieve them.

Reducing tourist consumption of reef fish is critical for Palau’s ocean sustainability, finds a new Nippon Foundation-UBC Nereus Program study published today in Marine Policy.

September 21, 2017 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Climate change and human activity have pressing impacts on the state of our ocean, threatening the integrity of marine ecosystems themselves as well as the services they provide to human communities. Given the inevitable current and future effects of climate change, adaptation by both physical and human systems is crucial. As defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), adaptation refers to “the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects.”

September 11, 2017 | Climate Change

Fish are expected to shrink in size by 20 to 30 per cent if ocean temperatures continue to climb due to climate change. A new study by researchers at the Nippon Foundation-UBC Nereus Program provides a deeper explanation of why fish are expected to decline in size.

August 21, 2017 | Climate Change

Coastal ecosystems are undergoing complex changes caused by both social and ecological drivers occurring at varying scales and speeds, which ultimately act as either risks or opportunities to coastal social-ecological systems. The assessment of adaptive capacity of coastal ecosystems is crucial in understanding the extent to which they will be able to accept and adapt to these social and biophysical drivers.

The United Nations Ocean Conference to “Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14” was held in New York at the UNHQ between June 5 and 9, 2017. On Friday June 9, the Nereus Program hosted a side event, ‘The Role of the Oceans in Sustainability: Benefits of Achieving SDG 14 for all Sustainable Development Goals,’ at the conference. This side event introduced recent research that evaluates how achieving ocean SDG 14 targets contributes to- and in some cases is required for – the achievement of other SDG targets.

June 26, 2017 | Climate Change

Developing nations, which have contributed little to the issue of climate change, are likely to experience reduced livelihood opportunities and emerging dietary nutrient deficiencies as a result of climate change impacts on fisheries.

June 22, 2017 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Meeting the Paris Agreement global warming target of 1.5°C will have large benefits to fisheries, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Science. For every degree Celsius decrease in global warming, potential fish catches could increase by more than three million tonnes per year.

“Our energy choices have ramifications for many other types of pollutants,” said Elsie Sunderland, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University and Nereus Program collaborator.

November 26, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Nereus Fellow at Princeton University Colleen Petrik won the Science Board Best Presentation Award at the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) annual meeting, held in San Diego, from November 2 to 11.

November 25, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

From November 2 to 13, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) held their annual meeting in San Diego, USA. The meeting celebrated the 25th anniversary of PICES with the theme of looking at the past 25 years and imagining the next 25.

Nereus Director of Science William Cheung gave a keynote entitled “Applying macroecology to project future marine ecosystems under climate change” at the British Ecological Society’s Aquatic Macroecology Meeting in London on September 30, 2016.

October 1, 2016 | Climate ChangeEcology

This chapter explores recent and future impacts of rapid temperature changes in the North Sea, identified as a ‘hot spot’ of climate change, with respect to biological, operational, and economic concerns in fisheries.

Heatwaves are occurring not only on the land but also in the sea, notably “The Blob” in Northeast Pacific and a shorter heatwave on Australia’s west coast in 2010 and 2011.

September 28, 2016 | Climate ChangeExtreme Events

‘Aliens’, ‘jelly-balls’, ‘globs’, ‘buckets of snot’, and ‘sea-walnuts’. These are the names media have used to describe salps, as mentioned by Nereus Fellow Natasha Henschke, Princeton University, in her recently published paper “Rethinking the Roles of Salps in the Ocean”.

In spring, as the plant buds push up through the ground and the days get warmer and longer, the baby salmon fry hatch out of their eggs and start swimming and feeding. At this time, their food – phytoplankton – should also bloom.

September 26, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Nereus Program research featured in Wired, NEWS 1130, The Ubyssey, and Conservation magazine.

September 23, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

This year, the Nereus Program will hold a seminar series with UBC’s Green College on “Adapting to global changes in oceans and fisheries.” This series will consist of seven lectures looking at how ocean changes are affecting environments and people.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released their Methodological Assessment of Scenarios & Models of Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services, for which Nereus Director of Science William Cheung was a coordinating lead author, as well as a contributing author for Chapter 5.

Nereus Alumni at ETH Zurich Thomas Fröelicher attended The Royal Society’s meeting on ‘Ocean Ventilation and Deoxygenation in a Warming World’ on September 12 and 13, in London, United Kingdom.

September 15, 2016 | Climate ChangeEcologyFisheries

Nereus Program research featured in Global News, CBC Radio Canada, Metro News, and CKNW AM 980.

Nereus Director of Science William Cheung attended the Scoping Meeting for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways as an invited expert.

September 7, 2016 | Climate Change

Explaining Ocean Warming is a comprehensive report produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) looking at the impacts of warming on ocean life, ecosystems, and goods and services. The report is the work of 80 scientists from 12 countries, launched during the IUCN World Conservation Congress, September 1-10 in Hawaii. Nereus Program research was contributed to two chapters within the report.

Nereus Program research covered in National Geographic, Reuters, CBC Radio Canada, Metro, LocalXpress, and Sport Fishing.

September 2, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Closing the high seas to fishing could increase fish catches in coastal waters by 10%, compensating for expected losses due to climate change, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Fish and Fisheries.

The Nereus Scientific & Technical Briefs on Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) series was developed out of a workshop held prior to this year’s 4th International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July-August 2016).

Nereus Fellow at University of Cambridge/UNEP-WCMC Rachel Seary attended the 1st FishAdapt conference on climate change adaptation for fisheries and aquaculture, held in Bangkok from August 8 to 10, 2016.

Despite their remoteness, the high seas and deep ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) are at the forefront of CO2-induced climate stress, both in their mitigation capacity, and their vulnerabilities.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Part XIV provides for State cooperation with the view to promoting the development and transfer of marine science and technology. In addition, Article 202 refers to the provision of scientific and technical assistance to developing States for the protection and preservation of the marine environment. UNCLOS Part XIV and XIII refer to various forms of technology transfer including training, access to information, international scientific research cooperation and establishing national and regional marine science and technology centres.

Nereus Fellow at UBC Muhammed Oyinlola attended the ClimEco5 Summer School organized by the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research project (IMBER), titled ‘Towards more resilient oceans: Predicting and projecting future changes in the ocean and their impacts on human societies’. The summer school took place from August 10 to 17, in Natal, Brazil.

August 19, 2016 | Climate ChangeEcology

The ocean has provided incredible services for us — taking up 28% of carbon emissions since preindustrial levels and absorbing 93% of the Earth’s excess heat since the 1970s — but because of this, it is undergoing changes.

August 18, 2016 | Climate Change

alps, a type of gelatinous zooplankton, are often confused with jellyfish and while jellyfish research has increased drastically, salps have been ignored. The authors write that there “has been no comprehensive study on the biology or ecological impact of salps in almost 20 years”. This paper looks at four misconceptions about salps, including that salps are jellyfish, salps are rare, salps are trophic dead ends, and salps have a minor role in biogeochemical cycles.

Senior Nereus Fellow at Duke University, Daniel Dunn, acted as a panelist at a COMPASS Capitol Hill briefingon ocean change and implications for fisheries and fishing communities.

July 11, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

For five days, from May 23rd to 27th, and 14 years after the 1st World Fisheries Congress in Athens, Greece, the 7th World Fisheries Congress visited Busan, the second largest city of South Korea.

June 27, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

The Nereus Program organized a workshop with the Center for Ocean Solutions and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security called “Integrating climate change and small scale fisheries: Impact shocks and responses.”

June 23, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Nereus Alumni Thomas Fröelicher (ETH Zurich) gave a joint seminar at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Hungary, on June 8th.

June 20, 2016 | Climate Change

Nereus Program research and interviews in Vice, the Globe and Mail, and Radio Canada International.

June 17, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

The Nereus Program was created to look at ocean questions that need input from experts on a range of topics from around the world. This past May 30 to June 3, nearly 50 of these experts gathered at the University of British Columbia for the Nereus Program Annual General Meeting.

More than 10% of the global population could face nutrition deficiencies in the coming decades due to fish catch declines, says a new Nature commentary published today co-authored by Nereus Director of Science William Cheung.

Paris tends to relate to fisheries through its gourmet cuisine, which every so often includes fish. However, in December 2015, Paris was the epicenter of the renowned United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21), which aimed at setting a target to curb Carbon emissions at a global scale.

Floating marine species and objects can drift from one area in the surface ocean to any other spot across the globe in less than a decade, finds a new study published in Nature Communications by Nereus Program alumnus James Watson, currently a research scientist at Stockholm Resilience Centre.

“What has been interesting about the Nereus fellowship right from the beginning is that we are all here, all engaged in this monumental challenge of predicting the future of marine fisheries and the global oceans. My whole PhD has been grappling with that question- how do you say something valuable around the future of the oceans from a governance perspective?”

“Seasonal phytoplankton blooms in the North Atlantic linked to the overwintering strategies of copepods,” co-authored by Nereus Fellow Rebecca Asch (Princeton University), was recently published in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in 2013 and 2014, highlighted the vulnerability, impacts and adaptation of marine systems to climate change and ocean acidification.

The paper “Temperature-based targeting in a multispecies fishery under climate change” was recently published in Fisheries Oceanography by Nereus Program Fellow Daniel Dunn (Duke University) and Principal Investigator Patrick Halpin (Duke University). The study looked at whether the bottom temperature of the water, in spring and fall, affected the distribution of Atlantic cod in the USA Northeast compared to other species of fish.

April 7, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Nereus Program research and interviews featured in Vox, Deutschlandfunk, and Toronto Star.

Climate change is expected to have major impacts on the ocean, the species that live there, and the people who rely it for their food and livelihood. Since the beginning of the 20th century, CO2 emissions from human activities have altered physical and chemical properties of the ocean. The ocean has become warmer and, in some areas, less oxygenated, which has caused changes in the productivity and distribution of marine species.

Controlled chaos is one way to describe a Surya Vanka-led Design Swarm. Controlled chaos that brings great minds together to solve important real world problems would be more accurate. Conceived of by Vanka, a design industry leader and former Director of User Experience at Microsoft, the innovative hack-a-thon meets brainstorm design approach has been traveling the globe tackling issues where solutions are in high demand.

February 26, 2016 | Climate Change

A range of human pressures is threatening the sustainability of marine fisheries. Amongst those, overfishing, partly driven by Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, is a major stressor. Thirty percent of global fish catch goes unreported, found a recent study by Nereus Program collaborator Sea Around Us.

While jellyfish, with their soft, gelatinous bodies, may seem like innocuous creatures, when they occur in large blooms they can often cause detrimental effects. Jellyfish blooms have been observed to clog power plants, cause mass mortality to fish in aquaculture farms, burst fishing nets and even sink a 10 tonne fishing vessel.

February 12, 2016 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Nereus research reported on in the Washington Post, the Vancouver Sun, CTV News, Global News, NPR, Hakai magazine, The Tyee, Times Colonist and Vancouver Observer.

First Nations fisheries’ catch could decline by nearly 50 per cent by 2050, according to a new study examining the threat of climate change to the food and economic security of indigenous communities along coastal British Columbia, Canada.

Climate change news, editorials and interviews from CKNW, the David Suzuki Foundation and Future Oceans.

December 11, 2015 | Climate Change

Based on the current trajectory of human-induced impacts on the environment, it is clear that we are pushing the oceans and marine ecosystems to unprecedented limits.

Climate change could affect temperatures all over the world, but what may not be immediately apparent is that climate change will affect ocean temperatures.

Climate change is resulting in the earlier arrival of spring conditions in many ecosystems around the world.

December 1, 2015 | Climate Change

From November 20 to December 11, leaders from more than 195 countries will meet in Paris to discuss the future of the planet. But will oceans be on the agenda?

Colleen Petrik, Senior Nereus Fellow at Princeton, visited the Stockholm Resilience Centre at the University of Stockholm from October 26 to 30 to collaborate with former Nereus Fellow James Watson.

November 25, 2015 | Climate ChangeEcology

Water spills from the edge of a giant, melting iceberg on the cover of the November 2015 issue of Science. The special issue focused on the effects of climate change on our ocean systems, and highlighted research by Dr. William Cheung, an Associate Professor with the Changing Ocean Research Unit at the University of British Columbia, and Director (Science) of the Nereus Program.

New media coverage from Science, BBC News, South China Morning Post, International Business Times, Undercurrent News and more.

November 13, 2015 | Climate ChangeEcologyFisheries

Vicky Lam, Fisheries Economist and Senior Research Fellow (UBC), was invited by the Fraser Basin Council to give a presentation on the impacts of climate change on fisheries on the coast of northwest British Columbia, Canada.

“Boom or Bust: The Future of Fish in the South China Sea” has been published by William Cheung, Director of the Nereus Program (Science), and Rashid Sumaila, Research Director of the OceanCanada Partnership (UBC), for the OceanAsia project.

In A Sand County Almanac, the landmark book on wilderness, ecology, and conservation, we are offered a short anecdote regarding a changing environment:

“I had a bird dog named Gus. When Gus couldn’t find pheasants he worked up an enthusiasm for Sora rails and meadowlarks. This whipped-up zeal for unsatisfactory substitutes masked his failure to find the real thing. It assuaged his inner frustration.” – Aldo Leopold (1949).

William Cheung, Director of the Nereus Program (Science), and Gabriel Reygondeau, Nereus Fellow (UBC), are co-authors of a chapter on The Southern Ocean, published in the Ocean and Climate Platform’s Scientific Notes.