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The negotiations on the fate of biodiversity in 46% of our planet, or the high seas, have begun. Since the aftermath of World War II, the distribution and intensity of anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) have been increasing almost continuously. After almost two decades of discussions about the need to better protect the high seas, the international community mobilized.

September 11, 2018 | BiodiversityLaw and Governance

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?

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.

Is the ocean a biological continuum or are there distinct ecological units? Nereus researchers are delving deep into this question, exploring how climate-change will change the answer and untangling what it will all mean for the ocean resources humans rely on across the globe.

An international team of researchers has developed a comprehensive set of criteria to help the International Seabed Authority (ISA) protect local biodiversity from deep-sea mining activities. These guidelines should help identify areas of particular environmental importance where no mining should occur.

Twenty six million tons of seafood, worth $23 billion is illegally caught, unregulated and unreported every year. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, this is a “huge threat to all efforts to bolster sustainable fishing in the world’s oceans.”

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.

A story of marine genetic resources with an unusual set of characters: a fuzzy little five-inch worm, the doomed Roman city of Pompeii, the world’s largest chemical company, and a cosmetic skin cream.

All the big names in the field were in attendance; the 5 days of presentations crystallized how far we have come in understanding what climate change will mean for ocean systems. But we still have a long way to go before we achieve climate-ready ocean resource management.

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

Many marine organisms have evolved unique and rare adaptations to allow them to survive in some of the most extreme and varied environments on earth. The genetic sequences responsible for these traits could have applications in anything from pharmaceuticals to biofuels.

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.

The most prevalent seafood supply chain is the shortest one: from the ocean to the plate. And that’s the one we have the least information on. Small-scale fisheries are vital to coastal communities around the world, but their contributions to global harvests are severely underestimated.

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.

International wildlife law can be used as a tool to enhance conservation if a selective, informed approach is chosen to enhance cooperation among international wildlife lawyers and conservation professionals. Nereus Program Fellow Richard Caddell explores the limitations and opportunities of international wildlife law in a new paper published in BioScience.

October 31, 2017 | Law and Governance

Nereus Program Fellow Richard Caddell attended the “Natural Marine Resource Management in a Changing Climate” Workshop between June 12 to 13, 2017 at the University of Tromsø in Norway. Discussion at the workshop addressed how regulations might evolve in response to shifting fish stocks due to ocean warming and acidification.

June 28, 2017 | Law and Governance

Fisheries Economics Research Unit (UBC) Research Associate Louise Teh, Nereus Director of Science William Cheung, and OceanCanada Director and Nereus Research Associate (Honourary) Rashid Sumaila recently had a paper (“Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change”) published in Regional Environmental Change…

December 16, 2016 | FisheriesLaw and Governance

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.

Nereus Fellow at Utrecht University Richard Caddell presented at the Seventh Annual Oslo-Southampton-Tulane Colloquium at Southampton University on October 13, 2016. He presented his paper entitled “Pirates and Platforms: Maritime Disorder and the Arctic Sunrise Arbitration”.

October 21, 2016 | Law and Governance

Dellmuth received her PhD in political science from the University of Mannheim. Her research as part of her fellowship focused on understanding when, how and why advocacy groups mobilize and gain influence in global marine governance.

October 20, 2016 | Law and Governance

Nereus Fellow at Utrecht Richard Caddell acted as the keynote speaker at a fisheries law workshop on September 23 at Tromsø University, Tromsø, Norway.

September 28, 2016 | FisheriesLaw and Governance

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.

The Second Session of the Preparatory Committee related to Marine Biological Diversity Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction took place from August 26th to September 9th at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, United States.

September 16, 2016 | BiodiversityLaw and Governance

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).

Up until the 1960s, the open-ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) was one of the last frontiers of fisheries exploitation.

August 27, 2016 | FisheriesLaw and Governance

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.

Open data is critically important for effective conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Open data enables effective and efficient environmental impact assessments, area-based management, sharing of non-monetary benefits of marine genetic resources and achieving marine technology transfer.

The International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) took place from July 30th to August 3rd in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. The congress brings together marine conservation professionals and students in order to “develop new and powerful tools to further marine conservation science and policy”.

Newly published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ocean Law and Policy is the paper “Dispute Resolution and Scientific Whaling in the Antarctic: The Story Continues” by Nereus Fellow Richard Caddell, Utrecht University. The paper looks at the implications of judgements by the International Court of Justice against Japanese scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Senior Nereus Fellow at Duke University, Daniel Dunn, co-organized a workshop from July 12th to 15th on the development of a strategic environmental management plan for deep sea mining on the Mid-Range Atlantic Ridge. The workshop, held in Lisbon, Portugal, was carried under the International Seabed Authority.

July 16, 2016 | Law and Governance

One of the most significant – and increasingly bitter – international disputes of recent years has engaged legal claims over maritime territory in the South China Sea. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS), to which the main protagonists are parties, states are entitled to claim an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) conferring sovereign rights and jurisdiction up to 200 nautical miles of maritime space from their coasts.

Nereus Fellow Richard Waddell (Utrecht) presented at the ‘New uses and abuses of the seabed’ workshop at the Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law at the University of Oslo, Norway, from June 1 to 2, 2016.

June 18, 2016 | Law and Governance

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.

Richard Caddell, Nereus Fellow at Utrecht, has had his chapter “Uncharted Waters: Strategic Environmental Assessment in the UK Offshore Area” published in The Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive.

June 9, 2016 | Law and Governance

Fish don’t respect borders. With 1982’s United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, coastal nations were given the right to manage fisheries within their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) – the area that extends, generally, up to 200 nautical miles. But of course, fish don’t adhere to imaginary lines in the ocean.

Yoshitaka Ota, Nereus Program Director (Policy), and Rashid Sumaila, OceanCanada Research Director and Nereus Program Honorary Research Associate, acted as panelists during a talk by Marjo Vierros, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability and Liu Institute Visiting Fellow, given at the Liu Institute for Global Issues on April 27th.

May 18, 2016 | Law and Governance

“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?”

Richard Caddell, Nereus Fellow at Utrecht, has contributed a chapter entitled “‘Only connect’? Regime interaction and global biodiversity conservation” to the Research Handbook on Biodiversity and Law, to be published June 2016.

Different people will naturally have different awareness levels of international organisations and global governance. But why does this matter? A new paper by Nereus Fellow Lisa Dellmuth, at Stockholm University, finds that there is inequality due to the type of people that have this knowledge.

April 5, 2016 | Law and Governance

Matilda Petersson has a background in Political Science with a specialization in Environmental Politics. Her PhD project will investigate whether and under which conditions inclusive governance systems can contribute to effective governance of global marine resources.

April 5, 2016 | Law and Governance

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.

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.

Lisa Dellmuth, Senior Research Fellow at Stockholm University, is a co-author of the newly published paper “NGO Influence in International Organizations: Information, Access and Exchange” in the British Journal of Political Science.

November 9, 2015 | Law and Governance

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).