Rashid Sumaila

Ph.D., Economics

University of British Columbia

Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila is Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. He specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries.


Tittensor D.P., Walpole M., Hill S.M.L.L., Boyce D.G., Britten G.L., Burgess N.D., Butchart S.H.M., Leadley P.W., Regan E.C., Alkemade R., Baumung R., Bellard C., Bouwman L., Bowles-Newark N.J., Chenery M.A., Cheung W.W.L., Christensen V., Cooper H.D., Crowther A.R., Dixon M.J.R., Galli A., Gaveau V., Gregory R.D., Gutierrez N.L., Hirsch T.L., Höft R., Januchowski-Hartley S.R., Karmann M., Krug C.B., Leverington F.J., Loh J., Lojenga R.K., Malsch K., Marques A., Morgan D.H.W., Mumby P.J., Newbold T., Noonan-Mooney K., Pagad S.N., Parks B.C., Pereira H.M., Robertson T., Rondinini C., Santini L., Scharlemann Schindler S., Sumaila R., Teh L.S.L., van Kolck J., Visconti P., Ye Y., 2014, A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets., Biodiversity, Science, 346, 241-244, DOI 10.1126/science.1257484, link

Singh, G. G., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., Swartz, W., Cheung, W., Guy, J. A., Kenny, T. A., McOwen, C. J., Asch. R., Geffert, J. L., Wabnitz, C. C. C., Sumaila, U. R., Hanich, Q., Ota, Y., 2017, A rapid assessment of co-benefits and trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals, Marine Policy,, link

Miller, D. D., Ota, Y., Sumaila, U. R., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., Cheung, W. W. L., 2017, Adaptation strategies to climate change in marine systems, Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.13829, link

Sumaila, U.R., Tai, T.C., Lam, V.W., Cheung, W.W., Bailey, M., Cisneros-Montemayor, A.M., Chen, O.L. and Gulati, S.S. (2019). Benefits of the Paris Agreement to ocean life, economies, and peopleScience advances5(2), p.eaau3855 link

Sumaila R., Cheung W., 2015, Boom or bust: The future of fish in the South China Sea (Report), Fisheries, Economics, Fisheries Management, Biodiversity, Food Security, OceanAsia projectlink

Bailey M., Favaro B., Otto S., Charles A., Devillers R., Metaxas A., Tyedmers P., Ban N., Mason T., Hoover C., Duck T., Fanning L., Milley C., Cisneros-Montemayor A., Pauly D., Cheung W., Cullis-Suzuki S., Teh L., U. Sumaila R., 2016, Canada at a crossroad: The imperative for realigning ocean policy with ocean science, Fisheries Management, Governance, Policy, Marine Policy, Volume 63, Pages 53–60, link

Sumaila U.R., Cheung W.W.L., 2014, Climate change effects on the economics and management of marine fishes., Fisheries, Economics, Climate Change, Handbook on the Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity.

Alava, J.J., Cheung, W.W.L., Ross, P.S., Sumaila, U.R., 2017, Climate change-contaminant interactions in marine food webs: Towards a conceptual framework, Climate Change, Pollution, Bioaccumulation, Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.13667, link

Gattuso J.-P., Magnan A., Billé R., Cheung W. W. L., Howes E. L., Joos F., Allemand D., Bopp L., Cooley S. R., Eakin C. M., Hoegh-Guldberg O., Kelly R. P., Pörtner H.-O., Rogers A. D., Baxter J. M., Laffoley D., Osborn D., Rankovic A., Rochette J., Sumaila U. R., Treyer S., Turley C., 2015, Contrasting futures for ocean and society from different anthropogenic CO2 emissions scenarios, Marine Ecosystem, Climate Change, Science, Vol. 349 no. 6243, link

Sumaila U.R., Hotte N., Galli A., Lam V., Cisneros-Montemeyer A.M., Wackernagel M., 2015, Eco^2: a simple index of economic-ecological deficits, Economics, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Ser 530, pages 271-279, link

Cheung W. W. L., Sumaila U. R., 2015, Economic incentives and overfishing: A bioeconomic vulnerability index, Economics, Fisheries Management, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 530, 223–232, link

Cheung W.W.L., Sumaila R., 2014, “Economic incentives and overfishing: a bioeconomic vulnerability index”., Fisheries, Economics, Marine Ecology Progress Series, DOI 10.3354/meps11135

Cisneros-Montmayor A.M., Sumaila U.R., 2014, Economic rationale for shark conservation, Economics, Biodiversity, Sharks: conservation, governance and management, link

Swartz W., Sumaila U.R., 2013, Fisheries governance, subsidies and the World Trade Organization., Economics, Governance, The Ocean as a Global System: Economics and Governance of Fisheries and Energy Resources.

Sumaila R., Lam V., Le Manach F., Swartz W., Pauly D., 2016, Global fisheries subsidies: An updated estimate, Economics, Fisheries Management, Governance, Policy, Marine Policylink

Watson, R. A., Nichols, R., Lam, V. W. Y., Sumaila, U. R., 2017, Global seafood trade flows and developing economies: Insights from linking trade and production, Fisheries, Economics, Food Security, Marine Policy, 82, 41-49, link

Cheung W.W.L., Sumaila U.R., 2013, Managing multiple human stressors in the ocean: A case study in the Pacific Ocean., Fisheries, Economics, Climate Change, Managing Ocean Environments in a Changing Climate: Sustainability and Economic Perspectives.

Lam V.W.Y., Cheung W.W.L., Sumaila U.R., 2014, Marine capture fisheries in the Arctic: winners or losers under climate change and ocean acidification?, Marine Ecosystem, Fisheries, Climate Change, Fish and Fisheries, DOI 10.1111/faf.12106

Weatherdon L., Magnan A., Rogers A., Sumaila R., Cheung W., 2016, Observed and Projected Impacts of Climate Change on Marine Fisheries, Aquaculture, Coastal Tourism, and Human Health: An Update, Economics, Fisheries Management, Climate Change, Frontiers in Marine Science, Volume 3, link

Lam V., Cheung W., Reygondeau G., Sumaila U.R., 2016, Projected change in global fisheries revenues under climate change, Fisheries, Economics, Climate Change, Scientific Reportslink

Teh, L.S.L., Cheung, W.W.L, Sumaila, U., 2016, Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change, Fisheries Management, Regional Environmental Change, doi:10.1007/s10113-016-1081-5, (In press), link

Swartz, W., Schiller, L., U. Sumaila, R., Ota, Y., 2017, Searching for market-based sustainability pathways: Challenges and opportunities for seafood certification programs in Japan, Economics, Fisheries Management, Food Security, Marine Policy, 76, 185-191, link

Cisneros-Montemayor, A., Sanjurjo, E., Munro, G., Hernández-Trejo, V., Sumaila, U.R., 2016, Strategies and rationale for fishery subsidy reform, Fisheries Management, Governance, Marine Management, Marine Policy, Volume 69, Pages 229–236, link

Sumaila, U. R., Cisneros-Montemayor, A., Dyck, A. J., Khan, A. S., Lam, V. W. Y., Swartz, W., Teh, L. C. L., 2016, The Economics of Global Marine Fisheries, Fisheries, Economics, in Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries link

Cisneros-Montemayor A., Cheung W., Bodtker K., Teh L., Steiner N., Bailey M., Hoover C., Sumaila R., 2016, Towards an integrated database on Canadian ocean resources: benefits, current states, and research gaps, Oceanography, Fisheries, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Scienceslink

Cheung, W.W.L., Jones, M.C., Lam, V.W.Y., Miller, D.D., Ota, Y., Teh, L.S.L, Sumaila, U.R., 2016, Transform high seas management to build climate resilience in marine seafood supply, Food Security, Marine Management, Fish and Fisherieslink

Sumaila U.R., Lam V., Miller D., Teh L., Watson R., Cheung W., Cote I., Rogers A., Roberts C., Sala E., Pauly D., 2014, Winners and losers in a world where the high seas is closed to fishing., Economics, Fisheries Management, Transboundary Resources, Nature Scientific Report

Talloni-Álvarez, N.E., Sumaila, R., Le Billon, P. & Cheung, W.L. (2019). Climate change impact on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem: The current state of knowledge. Marine Policy, 104, 163-176.

Laffoley, D., Baxter, J.M., Amon, D.J., Currie, D.E.J., Downs, C.A., Hall-Spencer, J.M., Harden-Davies, H., Page, R., Reid, C.P., Roberts, C.M., Rogers, A., Thiele, T., Sheppard, C.R.C., Sumaila, R.U., & Woodall (2019). Eight urgent, fundamental and simultaneous steps needed to restore ocean health, and the consequences for humanity and the planet of inaction or delay. Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2019;1-15. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3182 link

Tai, T.C., Steiner, N.S., Hoover, C., Cheung, W.W.L. & Sumaila, U.R. (2019). Evaluating present and future potential of arctic fisheries in Canada. Marine Policy, 108, 103637. link

Sumaila, U.R., Ebrahim, N., Schuhbauer, A., Skerritt, D., Li, Y., Kim, H.S., Mallory, T.G., Lam, V.W.L., and Pauly, D. (2019). Updated estimates and analysis of global fisheries subsidies. Marine Policy, 109 (2019) 103695 link

Cisneros-Montemayor, A.M. & Sumaila U.R. (2019). Busting myths that hinder an agreement to end harmful fisheries subsidies. Marine Policy, 109: 103699. link

L. Thiault, C.Mora, J. E. Cinner,W. W. L. Cheung, N. A. J. Graham, F. A. Januchowski-Hartley, D. Mouillot, U. R. Sumaila, J. Claudet, Escaping the perfect storm of simultaneous climate change impacts on agriculture and marine fisheries. Sci. Adv. 5, eaaw9976 (2019). link

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

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.

March 14, 2016 | FisheriesEconomics

Press Release: Nereus Program members Rashid Sumaila, Vicky Lam, William Cheung, Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, Oai Li Chen, and co-authors published a study in Science Advances today, ‘Climate Target Could Net Additional Billions in Fisheries Revenue’. You can read the press release from UBC and access the article here.

February 27, 2019 | Climate ChangeFisheries

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

Nereus’s Vicky Lam, William Cheung, Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor and Oai Li Chen from University of British Columbia (UBC) are all co-authors on an article with Rashid Sumaila recently published in Science Advances, entitled ‘Benefits of the Paris Agreement to ocean life, economies, and people’. The authors investigated how implementing the Paris Agreement could protect top-revenue generating catch globally, impacting fishers’ revenues, seafood workers’ income and household seafood expenditure.

“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).

July 8, 2016 | Fisheries

“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.

Nereus director (science) William Cheung (UBC) and research associate Rashid Sumaila (UBC) are co-authors on an article recently published in the journal Marine Policy – ‘Climate change impact on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem: The current state of knowledge’. They conducted a literature review to investigate currently known and projected impacts of climate change on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem.

Gerald Singh (UBC) and Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (UBC) are both co-authors on the paper ‘Just Transformations in Sustainability’ in the journal Sustainability. The authors discuss social impacts that occur when changing social-ecological systems to become more sustainable, and how social justice considerations need to be central to these sustainability transformations.

July 17, 2019 | Social Responsibility

Nereus research fellow Harriet Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong/ANCORS) and Rashid Sumaila (UBC) are co-authors on a new paper published in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems that identifies necessary measures to restore ocean health for future generations.

Nereus Program director (science) William Cheung and Rashid Sumaila are co-authors on a new paper published in Marine Policy – ‘Evaluating present and future potential of arctic fisheries in Canada’.

October 11, 2019 | FisheriesIndigenous

Several Nereus Program participants are co-authors on a new paper just published in Nature Sustainability – “Towards a sustainable and equitable blue economy”. The authors recommend five priority areas to address to ensure a safe and just future global ocean economy.

Vicky Lam (UBC) is a co-author with Rashid Sumaila (UBC), Daniel Pauly (UBC) and others on a new study published in the journal Marine Policy – “Updated estimates and analysis of global fisheries subsidies”.

October 18, 2019 | FisheriesEconomics

Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (UBC) and U. Rashid Sumaila (UBC) are co-authors on a new paper in Marine Policy – “Busting myths that hinder an agreement to end harmful fisheries subsidies”. You can read an overview of the paper here, as well as access the original.

Director (science) William Cheung and Rashid Sumaila are co-authors on a recent study published in Science Advances, “Escaping the perfect storm of simultaneous climate change impacts on agriculture and marine fisheries.”

December 30, 2019 | Climate ChangeFisheries