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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 11, May/June 2002 Power, Melanie; Sea Around Us Project May 31, 2002

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Sea Around UsThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 11 – May/June 2002Although still young -it started in July1999 - the SeaAround Us Project (SAUP) isnow having a strongimpact on the fisheriesscience and marineconservation communities.During the first two yearsof the project, wedeveloped a method formapping global fisheriescatches, which was meantto allow the visualisation ofcatch trends in a mannerradically different from anyprevious attempt, and at amuch larger scale (Paulyand Pitcher 2000). It washoped that this mapping,combined with otherinnovative analyses offisheries, would not onlyallow to gain new insightsabout their impact of theunderlying ecosystems, butalso allow communicatingthe resulting insights to awide range of audiences.Mapping global fisheriesinitially was a vision,outlined in the proposalthat led to the creation ofthe project. Then it becamea plan. In November 2001,it became reality when wepublished the first paperbased exclusively on thatmethodology, entitled“Systematic distortions inworld fisheries catchtrends” (Watson and Pauly2001). This study had ahuge scientific and mediaimpact (including e.g., aneditorial in the New YorkTimes), though opinionsdiffer on how to interpretits key finding, i.e., thatChina over-reports itsmarine fisheries catchessufficiently for world catchtrends to be distorted(going up in the 1990s,rather than down, as theydid in reality). We haveactively participated in thisdebate and we willcontinue to do so;interested readers mightwant to visit our web site(www.fisheries.ubc.ca/projects/saup) for adocumentation in mediasuch as television, radio,newspaper and magazines.In the fall of 2001, we wereinformed, as well, that aproposal had beenapproved that we hadsubmitted to the AmericanAssociations for theAdvancement of Science(AAAS), suggesting that wehold a symposium devotedto ‘Fisheries-inducedchanges in marineecosystems’ during theAAAS meeting held inBoston in mid-February2002. As well, AAAS offeredto organise a much-coveted ‘press briefing’ onour behalf (see article byReg Watson, this issue).Jointly with a well-attended press briefing,this symposium generatedyet another mediaoutburst, this time aboutthe status of the NorthAtlantic, whose fishbiomass we showed tohave been declining for thelast fifty years. This finding,beautifully mapped in thepresentation by VillyChristensen, wassupported by other studiesinitiated by the SAUP,documenting declines inthe fuel efficiency of thefishing fleets, massive levelof subsidisation and otherpathologies.The strong evidence wepresented, combined withthe excellent collaborationwith COMPASS(CommunicationPartnership for Science andthe Sea), notably Ms. Nancy					Continued on page 2 -SAUP ActivitiesThe Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  FisheriesCentre at the Univer-sity of British Co-lumbia. Includedwith the FisheriesCentre’s newsletterFishBytes,six is-sues of this news-letter are publishedannually. Subscrip-tions are free of charge.Our mailing address is: UBC Fisheries Cen-tre, 2204 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Co-lumbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4. Our fax number is(604) 822-8934, and our email address isSeaNotes@fisheries.ubc.ca. All queries (in-cluding reprint requests), subscription re-quests, and address changes should be ad-dressed to Melanie Power, Sea Around UsNewsletter Editor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat www.fisheries.ubc.ca/projects/saup, andcontains up-to-date information on theproject.The Sea Around Us project is a Fisheries Centre partner-ship with the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia,USA. The Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areas ofculture, education, the environment, health and human serv-ices, public policy and religion. Based in Philadelphia, the Trustsmake strategic investments to help organisations and citizensdevelop practical solutions to difficult problems. In 2000, withapproximately $4.8 billion in assets, the Trusts committed over$235 million to 302 nonprofit organisations.Baron, led a number ofjournalists, e.g., from TheEconomist, to pick up what theysaw as a good story; thus, weeven ‘made’ the cover page ofthe Boston Globe (see ourwebpage and FishBytes 8(3)(May/June 2002) for adocumentation of the extensivecoverage of these events). Inaddition to this broaderoutreach, much energy wasdevoted to targeted briefing ofdecision makers, notably thePew Ocean Commission, theU.S. Ocean Commission and, onApril 12, the US House ofRepresentatives’ Ocean Caucus.Other outreach activitiesinclude the start of work on acontribution to appear inScientific American and otherwidely read magazines, and thecompletion and submission of acommissioned review of globalfisheries to Nature, where itshould appear as part of an‘insight’ section devoted toissues of sustainability and foodsecurity. Also, the SAUP willparticipate in the work of theMillennium EcosystemAssessment (MA), as this authorhas been invited to becomeone of the MA’s ‘Co-ordinatingLead Authors.’Our analytic work on the NorthAtlantic, however, is graduallyentering a new, calmer phase,where the contributionsdocumenting our work andincluded in Fisheries CentreResearch Reports (all of whichcan be downloaded from ourwebsite) are gradually turnedinto submissions for primaryjournals. Also a book entitled Ina Perfect Ocean: Fisheries andEcosystems in the NorthAtlantic by Daniel Pauly and JayMaclean has been submittedfor publication by Island Press.At the same time, project staffhave begun working on the restof the Atlantic, notably theCaribbean (see article by DirkZeller and ElizabethMohammed, this issue) and inWest Africa, where aninternational symposiuminvolving a number of Africanand European partners andinitiated by the SAUP will beheld in late June (see the SAUPwebsite and FishBytes 8(3)(May/June 2002) for details).Though the third year of theSAUP is not yet completed, wecan already see that this will belater viewed as the year inwhich we metamorphosedfrom a drab, caterpillar-likeresearch project, peacefullymunching on the rich growth ofmarine fisheries data, into whatI frankly think is a ratherstunning butterfly, withbeautiful colour maps on itswings.References cited:Pauly, D. and T.J. Pitcher. 2000.Assessment and mitigation offisheries impacts on marineecosystems: amultidisciplinary approach forbasin-scale inferences,applied to the North Atlantic.p. 1-12 In: Pauly, D. and T.J.Pitcher (eds.). Methods forEvaluating the Impacts ofFisheries on North AtlanticEcosystems. Fisheries CentreResearch Reports 8(2).Watson, R. and D. Pauly. 2001.Systematic distortions inworld fisheries catch trends.Nature 414: 534-536.SAUP Activities -Continued from page 1...a ratherstunningbutterfly,withbeautifulcolour mapson itswings... On February 16th of thisyear, the Sea Around UsProject (SAUP)organised a symposium at theannual American Associationfor the Advancement of Sciencein Boston. As part of the overalltheme of ‘Science in aconnected world,’ the SAUPsymposium focused on‘Fisheries-induced changes inmarine ecosystems.’Contributors came from aroundthe North Atlantic, with most,however, having strong linkswith the Project. Thesymposium presented evidenceof impacts of fishing on marineecosystems as well as themeans to mitigate theseimpacts, and to rebuild thesesystems. One of the overall aimswas to identify managementpolicies that reconcile theextraction of living resources forfood with the conservation ofbiodiversity and themaintenance of ecosystemservices. The symposiumpresented multidisciplinaryscientific results on how toreturn marine ecosystems tohealthy states which is vital toachieving sustainability in theglobal economy.Daniel Pauly was the convener,and hence introduced thesymposium and its contributors.The first talk was by RegWatson, on “A rule-basedapproach to construction offisheries catch distributionmaps”. This was illustrated with anumber of maps showingchanges in catches in the NorthAtlantic since 1900. Reg alsopresented a figure showingchanges reductions in theamount of seafood per capitafor the North Atlantic regionsince 1950 to the present(Figure 1, overleaf ), a trendearlier demonstrated to occuron a global scale (Figure 2,overleaf ). Reg also presenteddata from Peter Tyedmers’ work(formerly at UBC and now atDalhousie University in Halifax)showing reductions in theenergy extracted fromharvested seafood, comparedto that required to harvestthem. Reg also summarized keyresults of work by RashidSumaila and Gordon Munroshowing the extent of subsidiesin North Atlantic and explainedhow we allow failing fisheries tocontinue.Alida Bundy from Canada’sDepartment of Fisheries andOceans’ Bedford Institute ofOceanography presented “Theecosystem of northern cod: preand post collapse”. This includedinsights into changes in theecosystems and diets of fisheswhich may explain this majorfishery failure, a fact noted in asubsequent write-up by TheEconomist (21st February),which also commented on theissue of subsidies raisedaddressed in Rashid Sumaila’swork.Hreidar Thor Valtysson from theUniversity of Akureyri in Iceland,a former student of Carl Waltersat the Fisheries Centre,presented “A century of changeof Icelandic fisheries andecosystems”. This talkdemonstrated the wealth ofdata that Iceland has collectedfor more than a century butrevealed that there are nowproblems with their importantcod fishery, notably a cleartrend of declining trophic levels,indicating that Iceland is notimmune to ‘fishing downmarine food webs’.Villy Christensen presented“Long-term fisheries-inducedchanges in vertebrate biomassin the North Atlantic”. This talk,based on integrated ecosystemstudies and modelling,presented graphic evidence ofbiomass changes in highertrophic level fishes in the NorthAtlantic since the 1900s, butalso showed a huge increase infishing mortality over the sametime period.Rashid Sumaila presented a talkon the “Economics ofoverfishing and rebuildingNorth Atlantic ecosystems”. Heintroduced a novel and veryimportant insight into howdiscounting calculations canexplicitly consider futuregenerations when developmentand mitigation plans areevaluated.Andy Rosenberg from theUniversity of New Hampshiresummarised most of the issuespresented earlier in his“Ecosystem rebuilding:prospects for regional andnational fisheries managementplans”. Andy was able to use hisexperience as a former seniormanager with the U.S. National			Continued on page 4 -AAAS Symposium[there was]...considerablemediainterest inthe findingsof thesymposium.Figure 2. Global seafood per person since 1970 based on population projections by the U.S. Census Bureau and changesin fish landings (with Peruvian anchoveta) presented in Watson and Pauly in Nature (November, 2001). This graph waspart of the press release prepared by COMPASS in November 2001 to highlight the results in that contribution.Marine and Fisheries Service toput changes in North Atlanticfisheries into perspective. Hestressed that, unfortunately,some recent improvements inthe status of a few stocks in theNortheastern US appear quitesmall compared to the longtime decline that has precededthem.Daniel Pauly then led a livelydiscussion period. Following thesymposium Daniel, Andy andReg attended a packed pressbriefing, expressingconsiderable media interest inthe findings of the symposium.See the SAUP website for theresulting media coverage.Figure 1. Supply of tablefish (finfish of trophic level 3.75 or higher) since1950 for the North Atlantic basin based on FAO catch statistics andpopulation projections from the U.S. Bureau of Census. These are the mostsought after fish species and include cod, saithe, haddock, hake and tuna(This graph was part of the material distributed at the SAUP press briefingheld February 16, 2001, during the AAAS Meeting).AAAS Symposium -Continued from page 3 			 !		"	#$%%&&The Sea Around Us projecthas now entered, amongmany other things, the hotwaters of the Caribbean (‘hot’compared to the generallyfrigid waters of the NorthAtlantic). With a background intropical marine ecology andcoral reef fisheries research DirkZeller is again feeling ‘at home’,coordinating the project’sefforts in the Central WesternAtlantic region (FAO Area 31)with the able assistance ofShawn Booth. Hailing fromsunny Trinidad, ElizabethMohammed is pursuingresearch toward a PhD thesis onthe history of the fisheries ofthe island chain of thesoutheastern Caribbean,including St Lucia, St Vincentand the Grenadines, Grenada,Barbados, and Trinidad andTobago. Other countries in theregion feature also prominentlyin the Caribbean area, amongthem Cuba, Venezuela,Columbia, Belize, the Turks &Caicos Islands, and Bermuda.Several key collaborators in theregion are associated with theproject. In Cuba, Julio Baisre, theDirector of FisheriesManagement, Ministry ofFisheries, has beeninstrumental, by providing andassisting with the analysis of theoutstanding long-term series ofCuban fisheries catches whichhave also formed thefoundation for his FAO reportchronicling Cuban fisheriescatches from 1935-1995 (Baisre2000). Furthermore, theexcellent documentation on the‘Ecology of the Marine Fishes ofCuba’ in Claro et al. (2001), hasgiven us the opportunity toimprove our accounting ofshrimp fisheries by-catch. Weare also exchanging ideas anddata with Ian Joyce of DouglasCollege, Greater Vancouver, B.C.,who works on the history andperformance of the Cuban shelffisheries (Joyce 1997, 1999). InVenezuela, we are workingclosely with Jeremy Mendoza,from the Universidad deOriente, a long term Ecopathcollaborator. Jeremy, having co-authored a volume on fisheriesresources and catches inVenezuela (Novoa et al. 1998), iscollaborating with us on thereconstruction and spatialallocation of Venezuelanfisheries catches. While theperiod since 1985 is welldocumented, we are in theprocess of extracting earliertime periods from local libraryand database sources. CamiloGarcia in Columbia hasobtained independent nationalfunding to reconstructColumbian catch time series,and we are collaborating withhis group in this endeavour.Murray Rudd, formerly of UBCand now working for theCanadian Department ofFisheries and Oceans, isauthoring a report on fisheriesin the Turks & Caicos Islands.Even Bermuda, located at thenorthernmost margin of bothcoral reef distribution and ofFAO Area 31, presents aninteresting case. BrianLuckhurst, from the BermudaFisheries Division, is providingus with interesting time seriesof catches going back to the1970s.Liz Mohammed is focusing herresearch on reconstructingfisheries catches and fishingeffort for the island chain of theSoutheastern Caribbean, from1950 to the present. Using thereconstructed data the impactsof fishing on both the inshore(reef and shelf ) and offshore(large migratory pelagic)resources are quantified. Whilethe time coverage of availablecatch data is different for therespective islands, thereconstructed catches turn outto be very useful as input andvalidation time series to amarine ecosystem model forthe region.The primary data sources arethe Fisheries Departments ofthe respective islands, and alarge number of people arecollaborating with Liz, e.g., AnnMarie Jobity (Director ofFisheries) and Christine Chan-A-Shing (Fisheries Officer) inTrinidad; Arthur Potts (Directorof Fisheries) and AlexanderThomas (Data Collector) inTobago; Stephen Willoughby(Ag. Director of Fisheries) andChristopher Parker (FisheriesOfficer) in Barbados; JamesFinlay (Director of Fisheries) andJustin Rennie (Fisheries Officer)in Grenada; Leslie Straker(Fisheries Officer) and CherylJardine (Data Manager) in StVincent; Vaugh Charles (ChiefFisheries Officer) and WillianaJoseph (Fisheries Officer) in StLucia. General fisheriesinformation useful forinterpreting observed trends inreconstructed data was alsoavailable from FisheriesDepartments, and additionallyfrom people at various nationaland regional organisations andContinued on page 6 - Hot Water'institutions: The Organisation ofEastern Caribbean States in StLucia, Resource ManagementUnit: Peter Murray, DataManager; The CARICOMFisheries Resource Assessmentand Management Program:Susan Singh-Renton, CARICOMBiologist, based in St Vincent;The University of the WestIndies St Augustine andBarbados campus libraries; TheNational Archives of St Lucia, StVincent and Trinidad; and thelibrary of the Bellairs ResearchInstitute in Barbados: BruceDowney, Director. Specificindividuals who have beenhelpful in providing informationand direction to otherinformation sources were BorisFabres (former Fisheries Officer,Trinidad, now with the FishBaseproject, at ICLARM, and anothercollaborator); Keverne Cochrane(FAO, responsible for Area 31);Bissessar Chakallal (FAORegional Fisheries Officer forthe Caribbean, Barbados) andRobin Mahon, (Fisheries andEnvironmental Consultant,Barbados).However, despite all this newactivity in the Central WesternAtlantic, much work from theprevious phase is still ongoing.Many collaborations arecontinuing, and the output, inthe form of papers and reportsis gathering pace. Dirk Zellerand Daniel Pauly havepublished a paper on thevisualization of life historypatterns of fishes in the journal‘Fish and Fisheries’ (Zeller andPauly 2001), based on themethodology developed for theSea Around Us project duringits initial phase (Zeller and Pauly2000). Dirk also collaboratedwith a team led by Jackie Alder,resulting in a publication onmanagement evaluation ofmarine protected areas (Alderet al. 2002). A major componentof the documentation of thework done during the first yearsof the project is presented inthe 250 page Fisheries CentreResearch Report documentingcatch, effort and regionaldatasets (Zeller et al. 2001). Theecosystem models built duringthat phase of the project havealso been documented, withreports on the Faroe Islands(Zeller and Freire 2002),Norwegian Sea (Dommasnes etal. 2001), as well as WestGreenland waters (Pedersenand Zeller 2001) now beingavailable.As the reader can see, thechallenge continues, hot wateror not.References cited:Alder, J., Sumaila, U.R., Zeller, D.and Pitcher, T.J. 2002. Amethod for evaluating MarineProtected AreasManagement. CoastalManagement 30(2): 121-131.Baisre, J.A. 2000. Chronicle ofCuban marine fisheries (1935-1995): Trend analysis andfisheries potential. FAOFisheries Technical Paper 394,Rome, FAO, 26 p.Claro, R., Lindeman, K.C. andRarenti, L.R. (eds) 2001.Ecology of the Marine Fishesof Cuba. SmithsonianInstitution Press, Washington,253 p.Dommasnes, A., Christensen, V.,Ellertsen, B., Kvamme, C.,Melle, W., Nøttestad, L.,Pedersen, T. Tjelmeland, S. andZeller, D. 2001. An Ecopathmodel for the Norwegian Seaand the Barents Sea. In:Guénette, S., Christensen, V.and Pauly D. (eds) FisheriesImpacts on North AtlanticEcosystems: Models andanalyses. Fisheries CentreResearch Reports 9(4).Joyce, I.T. 1997. The spiny-lobster fishery in Cuba. TheGeographical Review87(4):484-503.Joyce, I.T. 1999. Socialism andthe fishery: A case study ofthe Cuban shrimp fishery. TheCanadian Geographer43(1):53-69.Novoa, D.R., Mendoza, J.H. andCárdenas, J.J. 1998. El AtlasPesquero Marítimo DeVenezuela. MAC-SARPA yVECEP, Caracas, 197 p.Pauly, D. 1998. Rationale forreconstructing catch timeseries. EC FisheriesCooperation Bulletin. Vol.11(2):4-7 [also in French, p. 8-10].Pedersen,S. and Zeller, D. 2001. Amass balance model for theWest Greenland marineecosystem. In Guénette, S.,Christensen, V. and Pauly D.(eds) Fisheries Impacts onNorth Atlantic Ecosystems:Models and analyses.Fisheries Centre ResearchReports 9(4).Zeller D. and Pauly D. 2000. Howlife history patterns anddepth zone analysis can helpfisheries policy. In Pauly D.and Pitcher TJ (eds) Methodsfor assessing the impact offisheries on marineecosystems of the NorthAtlantic. Fisheries CentreResearch Reports 8(2): 54-63.Zeller D. and Pauly D. 2001.Visualisation of standardisedlife-history patterns. Fish andFisheries 2(4): 344-355.Zeller D., Watson R. and Pauly D.(editors) 2001. FisheriesImpacts on North AtlanticEcosystems: Catches, effortand national/regional datasets. Fisheries CentreResearch Reports 9(3), 254 pp.Zeller D. and Freire K. 2002. Apreliminary North-EastAtlantic Marine EcosystemModel: Faroe Islands and ICESArea Vb. Fisheries CentreResearch Reports 10(2):39-45.Hot Water - Continued from page 5Manycollaborationsarecontinuing,and theoutput... isgatheringpace.


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