UBC fisheries scientists were involved in two of the ten best ocean stories of 2012 by Smithsonian magazine’s Surprising Science blog.
UBC researchers Kristin Kleisner, Dirk Zeller, Rashid Sumaila and Daniel Pauly with the Sea Around Us project were part of an international team that undertook the first global comprehensive assessment of ocean health – and gave it a passing grade of 60 out of 100.
The Ocean Health Index considered ten ways the ocean supports people, including economies, biodiversity and recreation. Canada is among the top performers with a score of 70 while the U.S. received 63 and the U.K. received 62. The uninhabited Jarvis Island took home an 86, the top grade of the 171 rated countries. For more information, visit http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/?p=59727.
Pauly, Reg Watson and Sumaila also contributed to the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force publications that show small, schooling fish that are gulped down by predators should be left in the ocean for larger fish, marine mammals and birds to eat.
Anchovies, herring and sardines are forage fish that make up 37 per cent of the world’s catch, but only 10 per cent are consumed by people. The task force urged governments to protect them from overfishing as they may be worth more in the ocean as wild fish food than being processed into farmed fish and livestock feed.
For more information and the complete top 10 list, visit http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/12/the-ten-best-ocean-stories-of-2012/. For more information on UBC Fisheries Centre research, visit fisheries.ubc.ca.