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 data.
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.