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Sea Around Us project newsletter, issue 32, November/December 2005 Forrest, Robyn; Sea Around Us Project Nov 30, 2005

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SSSS Seeee e aaaa a     AAAA Arrrr r ouououou ounnnn ndddd d     UUUU Ussss sThe Sea Around Us Project NewsletterIssue 32 – November/December 2005An Ethic for Marine Science:thoughts on receiving theInternational Cosmos Prizeby Daniel PaulyIn October 2005, Daniel Pauly travelled to Japan with his wife Sandra to receive, onOctober 18th, the 13th International Cosmos Prize from the Expo ‘90 Foundation in Osaka(see FishBytes 11-3).  The prize is awarded for research work that has achieved excellenceand is recognised as contributing to a significant understanding of the relationships amongliving organisms, the interdependence of life and the global environment. Also, Dr Paulygave several seminars in three cities on “Trends in Global Fisheries” and participated in twosymposia, in Osaka and Tokyo.  We are very pleased to be able to publish Dr Pauly’sacceptance speech and some images from this very special occasion.Ladies and Gentlemen,I would like to express inJapanese my thanks to theInternational Cosmos Prizecommittee and the Expo’90 Foundation for havingme here, but I have to do soin English – a foreignlanguage to you, but also tome.Receiving an award such asthe Cosmos InternationalPrize invites seriousreflection, and I will sharewith you some of thethoughts that I have hadsince that glorious day inearly July, when traveling inFrance, I was informed that Iwould be this year’s prizerecipient.People have good reasonsto be worried about the fateof life in the ocean, as wenow engage our wholeindustrial might in chasingand catching, for our food,the top predators of marineecosystems.Increasingly,thesepredatorsare beingdepleted,and wenow turnto theirprey,smallerfishes andinvertebrates, some highlyvaluable. This phenomenonis now known as ‘fishingdown marine food webs’,and it explains a vastnumber of observations,which before remainedunconnected. Fisherieshave been able to moveeasily from larger to smallertargets, aided by hightechnology – such asecholocation and GlobalPositioning Systems – andabetted by a processingtechnology which can turneven the most improbablesea creatures into tastymorsels.Life in the ocean, though,was not designed to beground up by a transoceanicfood production machine. Infact, it was not designed atall, but evolved over theeons, and its ability toproduce a surplus that wecan share, year for year, is anemergent property ofmarine ecosystems,contingent on theircontinued existence ascomplex entities. If thespecies we target aredepleted, and theecosystems in which theyContinued on page 2 - CosmosPage 2Sea Around Us – November/December 2005The 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. ISSN 1713-5214   Sea Around Us (ONLINE)The Sea Around Us project newsletter ispublished by the  Fisheries Centre at theUniversity of British Columbia. Included withthe Fisheries Centre’s newsletter FishBytes,sixissues of this newsletter are published an-nually. Subscriptions arefree of charge.Our mailing ad-dress is: UBC Fish-eries Centre, LowerMall Research Sta-tion, 2259 LowerMall, Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada, V6T 1Z4. Ourfax 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 Robyn Forrest, Sea Around UsNewsletter Editor.The Sea Around Us website may be foundat saup.fisheries.ubc.ca and contains up-to-date information on the project.are embedded are drasticallysimplified, this surplus isreduced, and eventuallyvanishes. This is the situation wehave now in many parts of theworld ocean. I wish toemphasize this: global catchesfrom marine fisheries aredeclining, in spite of, or ratherbecause of, increasing fishingeffort.There are those who believethat the problems of fisheries donot justify speaking of a crisis,and that various technologicalfixes will suffice for solvingthese problems. Among thesefixes are updated versions of ourtraditional managementschemes, jazzed up to includeexplicit laying out of the costsand benefits of various optionson fishing levels, and thepresumed risk attached to each.This would enable ‘managers’ tomake rational choices under agiven set of economic andpolitical constraints. Presently,this approach, which sees thislaying out of options as all thatscientists can do, and whichtherefore limits our role to thatof vending machines, is verypopular in fisheries sciences.However, our inability to tackleanother, much bigger problem –global warming – indicates thatwe are, as a species, usuallyunable to make rationaldecisions to avert long-termharm to ourselves, even if therisks can be estimated, especiallyif these decisions involve short-term sacrifices. The recenttsunami in South and SoutheastAsia, and the even more recentflooding of New Orleans,underline this. In both cases,planning for an eventualcatastrophe and working withnature, not against her, wouldhave saved thousands of lives,and avoided immense materialdamage. Yet, the managers hadno plans, and the populationsconcerned, when they couldvote, elected politicians who atbest had other priorities, and atworst actively campaignedagainst such investment for thepublic good.This has been similar in all thegreat collapses of fisheries,where after the catastrophe, invirtually all cases, the voice ofprudence - usually that ofscientists - was shown to havebeen ignored by the managers,in favor of the voices of short-term interests. Where does this putme – one single person – amidst acacophony of voices? I understandthe award of this wonderful prize tobe a vindication, and anencouragement to raise the stakes.And the stakes must be raised. Wescientists working on environment-related issues have been too meekwhen managers, lobbyists andpoliticians have twisted the resultsof our work to fit their agenda. Themain tool they have used to silenceus, and to reduce us to vendingmachines, is the notion that anengagement for the environmentwould compromise our scientificobjectivity.  Yet this argument isnever evoked in medicine. Indeed,passionate engagement for thepatients, against disease-causingagents is not only the norm, but alsoan essential element of doctors’professional ethics.This is not the case forenvironmental scientists, probablybecause many of us work forgovernments, and can be easilysilenced, or even made to serve ashort-term political agenda.Universities, however, are lessconstrained, and we should expectuniversity researchers to makethemselves heard when science isnot put to use for the public good.And the public good it must be,because science is a collectiveventure, ultimately funded by thepublic, our ultimate master.There is, presently, in a number ofWestern countries, an intense publicdebate about the compatibility ofCosmos - Continued from page 1Continued on page 4 - Cosmos I wish toemphasizethis: globalcatchesfrom marinefisheries aredeclining, inspite of, orratherbecause of,increasingfishingeffortPage 3 Sea Around Us – November/December 200513th International CosmosPrize award ceremonyPhotographs clockwise from top left: Sandra andDaniel Pauly with Mr Hajime Toyokura, theFoundation president (L) and Mr Takashi Imai, theFoundation chairperson (R); Daniel Pauly receivingthe Cosmos Prize; Daniel Pauly meeting Dr TatuoKira, 1995 Cosmos Prize winner; the Cosmos Prizecertificate and medal; a commemorative musicperformance; Daniel with the French consulgeneral in Osaka; and Daniel thanking theFoundation.Photos by Tsuneo KanoI understandthe award ofthis wonderfulprize to be avindication,and anencouragementto raise thestakes. Andthe stakesmust be raisedPage 4Sea Around Us – November/December 2005science and religion. I believethese to be incompatible, butthis a minority view: mostpeople, including manyscientists, believe not only thatthe two can co-exist – both inone’s head, and in the publicdiscourse – but that this co-existence can be mutuallyenriching. If this is so, why isthere so much resistance againstthe co-existence - in the headsof environmental scientists andin their discourse - of twoeminently compatible modes ofrelating to nature, i.e., a‘scientific mode’, whichdescribes nature, and a‘conservation mode’, whichstrives to maintain it?We must learn to combinescientific integrity with takingfirm positions, not only on theconservation of the plants andanimals about which we haveexpertise, but also for thecontinued existence of theecosystems of which they areparts. Humans have become themajor ecological force on earth,but we can secure continuedservices from these plants,animals and ecosystems only ifwe give them the space theyneed, and the time they need.Most people don’t know that. Itis the job of scientists workingon ecosystems, and on wild floraand fauna to remind politiciansand the public of that, and beingsilent when this is not taken intoaccount is unethical.As the magazine Science sees it,my award of a major scientificprize by one of the mostimportant fishing nations onearth has put squarely in themainstream the notion thatover-fishing is, regrettably, ourdominant mode of interactionwith ocean life. What is not yetin the mainstream is that thesimplest, and most effectiveapproach to re-establish somesemblance of abundances past isfor humans to withdraw fromparts of the ocean, and to letnature, there at least, heal thewounds we have inflicted. Thus,Cosmos - Continued from page 2 to be more specific, I will work forthe establishment, throughout theworld, of more marine protectedareas, and similar zones of reducedhuman impacts. Right now, theycumulatively cover less than 1 % ofthe world ocean, with about only atenth of that effectively protected.And not enough new ones aredeclared for the goals we have setfor ourselves to be reached, e.g.,protecting 10% of the world oceanby 2010.I must come to an end. The bestway to thank you for thisunforgettable afternoon, to thankthe International Cosmos Prizecommittee and the Expo ’90Foundation for this wonderfulprize, and to thank the manypeople- foremost His Highness TheCrown Prince - who havewelcomed me and my wife in yourbeautiful country is to continue,with renewed  vigor, the researchand public speaking for which I wasawarded the Cosmos InternationalPrize for 2005.And so I will.  Thank you.U. Rashid Sumaila, Lisa Suatoni (2006) Economic Benefits of Rebuilding U.S. Ocean Fish Populations.Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-04.J. Alder,  . Hopkins,  W. W. L. Cheung and U. Rashid Sumaila (2006) Valuing US Marine Habitats:  Fantasy orFact? Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2006-03.D. Pauly,  S. Booth,  V. Christensen,  W.L. Cheung,  C. Close,  A. Kitchingman,  M.L.D. Palomares,  R. Watson,and D.  Zeller (2005) On the Exploitation of Elasmobranchs, with Emphasis on Cowtail StingrayPastinachus sephen (Family Dasyatidae). Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2005-07.Matthew Berman and U. Rashid Sumaila (2005) Discounting, Amenity Values and Marine EcosystemRestoration. Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2005-06.Dirk Zeller,  Shawn Booth and Daniel Pauly (2005) Fisheries Contributions to GDP: UnderestimatingSmall-scale Fisheries in the Pacific. Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2005-05.A.C.J.  Vincent, A.D. Marsden and U. Rashid Sumaila (2005) Possible Contributions of Globalization inCreating and Addressing Seahorse Conservation Problems.  Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2005-04.Maria Lourdes D. Palomares, Elizabeth Mohammed and Daniel Pauly (2005) European Expeditions as aSource of Historic Abundance Data on Marine Organisms. Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2005-03.U.Rashid Sumaila, Jackie Alder, and Heather Keith (2005) Global Scope and Economics of Illegal Fishing.Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2005-02.U. Rashid Sumaila,  Dale Marsden,  Reg Watson, and Daniel Pauly (2005) Global Ex-Vessel Fish PriceDatabase: Construction, Spatial and Temporal Applications. Fisheries Centre Working Paper #2005-01.Sea Around Us working papersAvailable at www.fisheries.ubc.ca/publications/working/We mustlearn tocombinescientificintegritywith takingfirmpositions


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