World Fisheries Project Received $2.6 Million Grant

The University of British Columbia’s “Sea Around Us” project
has received a $2.6 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in Seattle
to provide African and Asian countries with more accurate and comprehensive fisheries
The project, led by UBC Fisheries Centre Professors Daniel Pauly
and Dirk Zeller, will provide comprehensive catch data and data collection methods
to policy makers and non-governmental organizations working with countries in West
Africa, East Africa, the Arab world and South Asia.
The data is to be used to increase public transparency of access
agreements for foreign vessels to fish in a country’s waters, improved methods of
recording or estimating harvests, improve policy and management environments for
local small-scale fisheries, and illegal fishing by foreign fleets.

This “Sea Around Us” project began on June 1 and will run through
June 1, 2016. Funding from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation will also support
FishBase, the Philippines-based research partner of “Sea Around Us,” whose aim is
to create the most extensively accessed online database about fishes on the web.

The “Sea Around Us” was initiated in 1999 to provide integrated
analyses of the impacts of fisheries on marine ecosystems, and to devise policies
that can mitigate and reverse harmful trends, while ensuring social and economic
benefits of sustainable fisheries. The program has assembled global databases of
catches, distribution of commercial marine species, countries’ fishing access agreements,
ex-vessel prices, marine protected areas and other data, all available online.