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.
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
As coastal and surface fisheries are depleted and fishers turn to the deep sea to fill their nets, scientists are developing innovative ways to locate and protect undiscovered deep-sea habitats.
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.
Small-scale fisheries are vital to communities around the world, but their value is severely underestimated. Hear more about their importance to global catch and culture from experts at the Nereus Program, WorldFish, FAO and Duke.
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.
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.
What happens to big prey when you fish out all of their big predators? Nereus researchers dig deeper into size-specific diet shifts.
What is socially responsible seafood and what can you do about it? Hear from the experts at the Nereus Program, Fair Trade USA, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the International Labor Rights Forum.
Behind the scenes with a determined group of human rights and fisheries experts working to bring social responsibility to the forefront of sustainable fishing.
On April 3rd, 2018, tribal representatives, students and academics gathered to discuss a pressing issue for coastal indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest: the future of the fish they’ve relied on since time immemorial.
Sustainable? Wild? Local? Seafood consumption can be difficult to follow. So we asked ocean scientists from The Nereus Program to stop floundering and tell us whether it’s okay to eat fish, and if so, which.
Nereus Program Principal Investigator Malin Pinsky (Rutgers University) has published a commentary in PNAS on research regarding climate vulnerability and resilience in the American lobster fishery.
Global Fishing Watch, a project that combines machine learning and big data techniques to map industrial fishing activities, was published in new research in Science last week by Nereus collaborators Kroodsma et al.
We are excited to announce our newest interdisciplinary collaboration: Ocean Link Northwest. Ocean Link Northwest is a collaboration between the UW Communication Leadership graduate program and the Nereus Program.
Nereus Program Research Associate Lydia Teh (UBC), Principal Investigator Jack Kittinger (Arizona State University), and Yoshi Ota (University of Washington) joined a webinar organized by EBMTools to discuss “Socially Responsible Seafood.”
Sustainable marine fisheries seem to tick all the boxes. They can fill your belly, fill your wallet, and do it all for a fraction of carbon emmissions generated by conventional agriculture. Getting marine fisheries “right” could also help to reduce the loss of biodiversity in the ocean, and increase equity among coastal populations.
Robert Blasiak, Nereus Fellow at Stockholm Resilience centre, has published a new study on climate change vulnerability.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand, in partnership with US-based tech innovator ConsenSys, tech implementer TraSeable and tuna fishing and processing company Sea Quest Fiji Ltd, has just launched a pilot project in the Pacific Islands tuna industry that will use blockchain technology to track the journey of tuna from “bait to plate”.
From December 21 to 22 , 2017, Principal Investigators from new partner institutes of the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program convened in Tokyo to present research and engage in rich discussions of the various challenges facing the world’s oceans. Speakers covered a diverse range of topics, including climate change impacts on marine ecosystems, the role of fisheries and food security in the South Pacific islands, and the complexity of social responsibility in seafood supply chains
Nereus Program research featured in the Independent, National Geographic, Radio New Zealand, Newsweek, Huffpost UK, ABC Spain, and more.
Not all fish swim the same way. Some fish will live their whole lives swimming around a tiny home range, while others migrate 5000 km across the Atlantic ocean in just a few months. Even among those that move over large areas, there is a lot of variability.
The East Carolina University (ECU) Fisheries Oceanography Lab is now open and being run by Rebecca Asch, a Senior Nereus Fellow at Princeton University from 2013 to 2016.
By Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, Nereus Program Manager and Research Associate
From shore you can see the windmills that provide electricity to the whole town, just behind the desalination plant that supplies freshwater to most of the region. The adjacent bay is where the fishing boats—fishing sustainably, of course—come to unload at the seafood processing centers that take in both wild captured fish and the products from integrated mariculture, where multiple species are grown, simulating an ecosystem. This is the vision for the Blue Economy fostered by the World Bank, the UN, and some of the largest global financial and conservation foundations.
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.
Fellowships provided by the Nippon Foundation have been a life-changing opportunity for thousands, opening up new frontiers of personal and professional development. Another lasting positive impact of the fellowship programs is the networks that develop among participants.
Developing scenarios — projections of the future — may help individuals, communities, corporations, and nations develop a capacity for dealing with the future. Scenarios are an important tool for proactively thinking about, and acting in a way that anticipates, things to come.
By Robert Blasiak, Nereus Program Fellow at Stockholm Resilience Centre
Fachidiot! This wonderfully direct word from the German language describes a person who knows their subject (Fach), and nothing else. It was on my mind recently as I read articles in a new special issue of the journal Ecology & Society on “Reconciling Art and Science for Sustainability”. The issue is filled with contributions from scientists and artists who have in some sense travelled into unknown and unfamiliar territory, and discovered along the way that this was feeding innovation and adding value to their work.
Scientists with the VaquitaCPR conservation project recently caught a live vaquita in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Vaquita are the smallest marine mammal in the world and are dangerously close to extinction. The captured vaquita was about six months old; since it was so young, it was quickly released.
Women working in natural resource extraction face many challenges, which hinders countries in efforts towards sustainable development and from achieving gender equality. This is especially true in the context of small-scale fishing communities.
“The intersectoral and interdisciplinary nature of the ISIMIP approach meant that topics were very broad and spanned both land and sea, natural science, social science, economics, human health, and policy,” said Tyler Eddy. “This perspective was very interesting to consider big ideas and issues at broad scales, however as a result of this broad approach, detailed ocean processes weren’t covered as much.”
When the European Space Agency (ESA) launched a satellite into orbit on Oct. 13, it did so despite opposition from Inuit leaders in Canada and Greenland over its potential to contaminate an important Arctic area.
By Julia Mason, Nereus Program fellow at Stanford University
There’s a tendency among conservation scientists to attribute the world’s environmental crises to the growing global population. Fisheries science is no exception—the issue of overfishing is often condensed to one of “too many fishers chasing too few fish,” leading to inevitable fisheries declines.
By Julia Mason, Nereus Fellow at Stanford University
I got to spend a few weeks this August doing my very favorite activity: playing field assistant for a friend in a beautiful place. The closest I get to fieldwork for my own research is interviewing fishermen—fun and exciting in its own way, but it’s still a treat to put on my ecologist hat (or rather, mask) and jump in the water.
By Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, Nereus Program Fellow at Duke University
Due to their wide-ranging swimming behaviors, migratory fish, marine mammal, seabird and sea turtle species experience a variety, and an increasing amount, of anthropogenic pressures over the course of their lives. These threats, including climate change, overfishing, and marine pollution, combined with conservation strategies that largely fail to consider spatial connectivity over the life cycle, are resulting in declining populations worldwide.
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.
Nereus Director of Science William Cheung has won the Prix d’Excellence Award by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The ??????????Prix d’Excellence is awarded every three years for a high level of achievement in marine sciences work through research, scientific leadership and scientific policy leadership.
Nereus Alumnus Natasha Henschke (Princeton University) and current UBC postdoc with Evgeny Pakhomov is at sea on the RV Investigator, sailing off the East Australian coast. She is working as the deputy chief scientist, helping to collect data that will allow, for the first time, the relationship between open ocean production and coastal fisheries off south eastern Australia to be established. The voyage will be used to study the Tasman Sea ecosystem and examine the link between plankton and fisheries in the region.
It’s fairly common knowledge that tuna is high in methylmercury, a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in marine food webs. This means that methylmercury magnifies further up the food web – tuna eat smaller fish that eat even smaller fish or plankton — all of which could contain the contaminant.
As part of the 2016 International Marine Conservation Congress, in St John’s, Newfoundland, new Nereus Fellow at Stanford Julia Mason shared her story about beginning her career in science and the realizations she had. She discusses the disconnect between fisheries science and the management of the fisheries on the ground and the importance of building relationships.
Hanson Hosein discusses creative outputs and content and how they’re changing in the year 2017 at a CreativeMornings talk in Seattle on September 8. He was the September speaker on the topic of “compassion”.
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.”
Climate change is expected to have many impacts on the oceans; one of them is where fish are located in the ocean. Ocean warming is expected to cause fish to shift to different locations that are cooler — generally toward the poles and into deeper waters. But not all fish are moving in the same directions and at the same speeds. This is changing what fish are eating and who are eating them.
Research supported by the Nereus program was featured prominently at the symposium “Marine Species on the Move” at the annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Tampa, Florida from August 20 to 24, 2017. The symposium brought together researchers to discuss and identify information gaps and potential adaptation strategies for the shifting spatial distributions of US fish stocks due to changing ocean conditions and climate change.
The authors looked at how food production on land and in the sea will be threatened by climate change and what the future effects on biodiversity, livelihoods and food security will be. They adopted the human development index (HDI) — a global index of life expectancy, education and per capita income. They found that all of the low human development index countries will face declines in both agriculture and fisheries production by 2050.
The rapid development of fisheries in the 1950’s facilitated declines in predator biomass, overexploitation, collapse of fish stocks, and degradation of marine habitats. A new PLOS ONE paper investigates past changes in trophic functioning of marine ecosystems cause by human-induced changes in species assemblages by applying an ecosystem approach to fisheries.
By Robert Blasiak, Nereus Program Fellow at Stockholm University
Let’s turn the clock back 113 years. The prominent German zoologist Franz Doflein is about to embark on a two-year journey with the dream of becoming one of the first scientists to study the marine flora and fauna of the deep-sea trenches off the coast of Japan. Reports that the Japanese and Russian empires have just declared war on each other are troubling, yet months of preparation cannot be abandoned, and in the summer of 1904, he boards the Prince Heinrich, a steamship bound for East Asia.
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.
The mesopelagic zone of the ocean, which includes the 200 to 1000 m below the ocean surface, is poorly understood. Our limited scope of understanding for these areas may become increasingly problematic, as they may be vulnerable to global issues such as climate warming, deoxygenation, acidification, commercial fishing, and seabed mining.
Compared to historical times, there has been an increase in the frequency of reportings of jellyfish sightings in coastal waters. Based on a few regional case studies, many have gathered that jellyfish population sizes are exploding due to warming waters. However, there are not a lot of datasets to support this. Natasha Henschke addressed this topic in her research completed during her fellowship with the Nereus Program.
The high seas — also called international waters — comprise 64% of the world’s oceans and 45% of the earth’s surface. They are shared by the world but governed by no one country. That means that the incredible biodiversity of the high seas, from seaweeds to fish to sharks, is not currently protected.
Pacific bluefin tuna are in trouble — they’re at just 2.6% of historic, pre-fishing levels. They have been overfished and this overfishing is still continuing. Due to this dire situation, proper management of the stocks is increasingly important, yet information of the fish’s life history and migration patterns is limited.
Nereus Program Fellow Phil Underwood (Cambridge-WCMC) attended the Advances in Marine Ecosystem Modelling Research (AMEMR) Conference, which took place between July 3 and July 6, 2017 at the Roland Levinsky Building of the University of Plymouth.
Nereus Program Director of Policy Yoshi Ota (University of Washington) attended the Association of Pacific Rim Universities’ (APRU) Annual Meeting, where he delivered a keystone speech on the interrelationships between oceans, climate change, and social equity, with an emphasis on their importance in contributing to sustainable development.
A new paper, ‘A rapid assessment of co-benefits and trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals‘, has been published in Marine Policy and includes contributions from various Nereus affiliates. This study highlights how achieving SDG 14: Life Below Water targets contributes to the accomplishment of other SDGs
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.
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.
Nereus Program fellow Jessica Spijkers attended the 2017 EAT Stockholm Food Forum, hosted between June 12 and 13, 2017. At the conference, 500 of the world’s leading experts from the science, business, politics, and civil society fields gathered to collaborate on transforming the food system to solve the interconnected challenges of climate, sustainable development, and health.
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.
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.
Due to the expansion of fishing practices, fish catches have become stagnant at best while global fishing efforts continue to grow, ultimately creating major stresses on marine resources. Fisheries impacts on both coastal and deep-sea ecosystems are well understood and documented; however, the biological and ecological impacts of fishing on open-ocean systems are not well studied or documented.
Human activities degrade and convert coastal ecosystems through infrastructure development, resource extraction, and tourism, among other anthropogenic activities. There is an urgency to gain a comprehensive understanding of how human activities/stressors impact coastal ecosystems and the ecosystems services they provide us.
The third day of the UN Ocean Conference continued with plenary discussions between member state representatives on making fisheries sustainable and increasing benefits to small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs).
Continuing on the tone set during the first day of the UN Ocean Conference, day two showed the engagement and commitment of many nation states, NGOs, businesses and other stakeholders to achieving SDG 14 ‘Life Below Water’. It featured two important plenary meetings and partnership dialogues addressing targets 14.2 and 14.3: managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems, and minimizing and addressing ocean acidification. During those meetings, the need for enhanced international cooperation to address the common challenges were emphasized; with, for example countries such as the Soloman Islands, Israel, Tuvalu and Estonia expressing commitments to minimize ocean acidification.
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…
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.
Indigenous seafood consumption study featured in the Washington Post, CBC, and Metro News.
The study “Biogeochemical regions of the Mediterranean Sea: an objective multidimensional and multivariate environmental approach” was recently published in Progress in Oceanography with Nereus Fellow Gabriel Reygondeau (UBC) as the lead author.
Coastal Indigenous people eat, on average, 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous people in the same country, finds a Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published today in PLOS ONE.
Traditionally, Indigenous people have resisted research, especially quantitative research that has fed into the imposition of discriminatory socio-economic and political policies to the detriment of Indigenous communities. However, having access to a global database that quantifies fish consumption specifically by Coastal Indigenous peoples around the world, is a critical contribution to Indigenous struggle on a number of fronts.
“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.
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.
Madingley is a global computational model. To a broad approximation, the Madingley model represents all (most) forms of life.
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.
This information sheet looks at Japanese seafood imports and locations of forced and child labour.
For the past ten years, Sea Around Us has been constructing a more accurate view of world fishery catches, finding, among other things, that 30% of catch goes unreported.
Spatial differentiation of marine eutrophication damage indicators based on species density” was recently published in Ecological Indicators, co-authored by Nereus Alumnus Miranda Jones (UNEP-WCMC) and Nereus Director of Science William Cheung.
“Emptying seas, mounting tensions in fish-hungry Asia” was published yesterday by Nikkei Asian Review. It discusses the state and future of oceans and fisheries in Asia, with increasing demand yet overfished stocks, and features insights by Nereus Director of Policy Yoshitaka Ota.
Mexico recently released its budget for 2017, and among the top five largest cuts were environmental protection (down by 37%), culture (-30%), and education (-11%). Political rhetoric aside, these cuts reflect a continuing view of these issues as minor, long-term, or otherwise less important or pressing.
In his newly published chapter “Wilderness protection in Estonia“, Richard Caddell, Nereus Fellow at Utrecht University, uses Estonia as a case study for European wilderness management.
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”.
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.
“After climate change, fishing is the biggest impact humans will have on the oceans. But we have very a limited understanding of what happens beyond the horizon.
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.
Nereus Fellow at Duke University Daniel Dunn attended the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations and Regional Fisheries Bodies on Accelerating Progress Towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which took place September 26-29th, 2016 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
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.
Nereus Fellow at Utrecht Richard Caddell acted as the keynote speaker at a fisheries law workshop on September 23 at Tromsø University, Tromsø, Norway.
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.
‘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”.
We know the oceans are quickly changing; we are at a point in time where very different future oceans could be laid out in front of us.
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.
Nereus Program research featured in Wired, NEWS 1130, The Ubyssey, and Conservation magazine.
Nereus Principal Investigator at Utrecht University Erik Molenaar and the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) hosted a seminar on fishing in the polar regions on September 12 at Utrecht University.
Nereus Fellow at UBC Mathieu Colléter participated in the Day of the Thousandth Fisheries Scientist conference, which took place at Agrocampus Ouest in Rennes, France, on September 16.
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.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature‘s World Conservation Congress took place in Honolulu, Hawaii, from September 1 to 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.
Gerald Singh is a Nereus Fellow working with Yoshitaka Ota and Andres Cisneros-Montemayor and collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme. Gerald is characterizing the contribution of a sustainable ocean to achieving broad sustainable development goals.
Nereus Director of Science William Cheung was a plenary speaker at the ‘International Conference on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Support of Decision-Making.’
Nereus Program research featured in Global News, CBC Radio Canada, Metro News, and CKNW AM 980.
Global fisheries could lose approximately $10 billion of annual revenues by 2050 if climate change continues at current rates, and countries most dependent on fisheries for food and livelihoods will feel more of the effects, finds new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program research published today in Scientific Reports.
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.
Jessica Spijkers is a PhD student at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (Sweden) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Australia).
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.
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.
Marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction contain ecosystems with marine resources and biodiversity of significant ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural importance. These areas and their resources are subject to increasing impacts from ongoing human activities and global climate change and their associated cumulative and combined effects.
A new source of publicly accessible data on fishing vessel activity is providing unprecedented insight into the scope of fishing in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) and governance gaps therein.
Up until the 1960s, the open-ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) was one of the last frontiers of fisheries exploitation.
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.
Biomass is the mass of organisms in an ecosystem or community; it is thought of in terms of energy for the next trophic level – the higher chain in the food web. For example, the biomass of plankton, which may be eaten by herring, which may be eaten by tuna.
This blog explores the collaborative process I followed as a Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program consulting artist. I was commissioned to create 17 illustrations celebrating the beauty and complexity of our planet’s oceans and fisheries.
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.
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.
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”.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) ‘Final Research Coordination Meeting on Ocean Acidification and the Economic Impact on Fisheries and Coastal Society’ took place from July 18 to 22 in Monaco. The meeting, organized by Nereus Alumni Marc Metian, included Nereus Director of Science William Cheung as an invited expert.
Nereus Director of Policy Yoshitaka Ota acted as moderator at the International Symposium on Capacity Building for Sustainable Oceans from July 19 to 20 in Tokyo, Japan.
Nereus Director of Science William Cheung participated in a lecture at the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV) in Merida, Mexico, from July 25 to 26.
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.
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.
Nereus Alumni and Research Fellow at Duke University Andre Boustany attended the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) plenary meeting in Sapporo, Japan, from July 13th to July 18th.
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.
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.
It’s important to address the activities of transnational corporations in global fishery reform, argues a new letter co-authored by Nereus Program Principal Investigator Henrik Österblom, Stockholm Resilience Centre, and published in PNAS.
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.
“Towards an integrated database on Canadian ocean resources: benefits, current states, and research gaps” was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, authored by Nereus Fellow Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (UBC), Director of Science William Cheung, and OceanCanada Director Rashid Sumaila (Nereus Honorary Research Associate).
Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic species, is gradually becoming an important aspect of solving the challenge of global food security. The supply of seafood from fisheries is declining; fish stocks can only be increased if we reduce our fishing pressures, yet governments continue to subsidize the fishing industry for us to fish more. Hence, the open window we have is aquaculture.
n the lead up to last week’s referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union, immigration often seemed to be at the forefront at the debate. But the fishing industry was also a hot topic, even leading to demonstrations and bitter exchanges on the impact of EU membership, including from boats on the Thames.
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.
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.”
“I wanted to look at contemporary species distributions, arguing that we have so little data and know so little about the distribution of a lot of species that the logical first step is to look at the contemporary distribution,” says Laurens Geffert, Nereus Fellow at Cambridge/UNEP-WCMC.
Nereus Fellow at Princeton University Natasha Henschke attended the 5th International Jellyfish Bloom Symposium from May 30 to June 3 in Barcelona, Spain.
Nereus Alumni Thomas Fröelicher (ETH Zurich) gave a joint seminar at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Hungary, on June 8th.
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.
Nereus Program research and interviews in Vice, the Globe and Mail, and Radio Canada International.
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.
The Nereus Program presented at the Global Fishing Watch Research Workshop on June 6th and 7th at Google’s offices in San Francisco, California, United States.
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.
Nereus Fellow Andres Cisneros-Montemayor (UBC) attended the OceanCanada Partnership Meeting, in Vancouver, BC, Canada, from May 24 to 27.
In our current eco-friendly world, where climate change makes front-page news and the killing of a lion launches thousands of Facebook posts, how can a porpoise be nearing extinction and most of the world not even know of its existence?
Nereus Director of Science William-Cheung gave a plenary keynote presentation at the 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, held in Hobart, Australia, on Friday, May 6.
Nereus Fellow Daniel Dunn (Duke) attended the Convention on Biological Diversity’s twentieth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice on April 30th in Montreal.
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.
Nereus Fellow Phil Underwood (Cambridge/UNEP-WCMC) gave a presentation at the Friends of Madingley Symposium on May 6th at the David Attenborough Building at the University of Cambridge, which aimed to bring together the community of researchers working on the Madingley Model and to discuss the latest advancements.
Nereus Senior Research Fellow Daniel Dunn (Duke University) attended the workshop “A Conservation Agenda for Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction” hosted by the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy, and Natural Resource Governance at the University of Cambridge from May 10 to 11.
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.
Nereus Program Fellow at Princeton University Natasha Henschke attended the ICES/PICES 6th Zooplankton Production Symposium “New Challenges in a Changing Ocean” from May 9-13 2016, in Bergen, Norway.
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.
Japanese call it shun (?), the seasonality of food. It refers to the time of year when a specific type of food is at its peak, either in terms of harvest or flavour. It is not unique to Japanese culture, as The Byrds reminded us in the mid-1960s with their, now classic, rendition of “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season).”
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.
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.
Andre Boustany, Nereus Alumnus (Duke University), attended the ICCAT Advisory Committee Meeting and the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel Meeting in March. Boustany sits on the advisory panel for both.
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.
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.
Nereus Program research and interviews featured in Vox, Deutschlandfunk, and Toronto Star.
OceanCanada Research Director Rashid Sumaila and his collaborators from the UBC Global Fisheries Cluster (Sea Around Us and the Nereus Program) have published an updated estimate of global fisheries subsidies in the international journal Marine Policy. The researchers found that the global fishing industry is being supported by $35 billion yearly in government subsidies, the majority of these, upwards of $20 billion annually, promote increased capacity that can lead to harmful impacts such as overfishing.
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.
My mother is an abstract expressionist painter who creates art using oil paints, acrylics, watercolors, and pen and ink. My father has a Masters degree in physics and spent most of his career working as a software engineer. As a result, I have born witness to many conversations about the intersection between art and science throughout my life.
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.
Recently published in Fisheries Oceanography,by Nereus Alumnus Andre Boustany (Duke University) and Principal Investigator Patrick Halpin (Duke University), was the study “Tuna and swordfish catch in the U.S. northwest Atlantic longline fishery in relation to mesoscale eddies”.
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.
Nereus Director (Science) William Cheung was invited as a “resource person” at the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Methodological Assessment of Scenarios and Modelling of Biodiversity and Ecosystem services, in De Bilt, The Netherlands, from January 25 to 27.
For three days from January 18th to 20th, Monterey, California, has become an aggregation hotspot for more than 100 of the world’s foremost experts on the conservation and management of the three bluefin tuna species that inhabit our global ocean.
A new Nereus Program study, funded by the Nippon Foundation, finds that dynamic ocean management, which changes in real time in response to the nature of the ocean and its users, can reduce bycatch — fish and marine species caught accidentally while catching targeted species — without additional costs to fishers.
Countries drastically underreport the number of fish caught worldwide, and the numbers obscure a significant decline in the total catch.
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.
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.
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.
Gabriel Reygondeau, Nereus Fellow (UBC), has co-authored a paper entitled “Reliability of spatial and temporal patterns of C. finmarchicus inferred from the CPR survey” in the Journal of Marine Systems.
The fourth Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) IMBIZO (a Zulu word meaning ‘meeting or gathering’) workshop took place at the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia and Geofisica (OGS) in Trieste, Italy, from October 26 to 30th, 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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.