Fish paper published


in Daily updates, The environment, Writing

Bridge near The Perch, Oxford

After two years of being reworked, assessed, shortened, updated, and assessed again, the eternal fish paper has been published. They didn’t print my acknowledgments, so I shall list them here:

Many thanks to Dr. Ian Townsend-Gault, who has helped a great deal throughout the entire process. In particular, his assistance with the international legal components of the paper is much appreciated. I also want to thank Dr. Daniel Pauly, Dr. Jacqueline Alder, and Dr. Rashid Sumaila of the UBC Fisheries Centre and Sea Around Us Project. They are the ones who helped me find and understand much of the scientific material that supports the paper. Finally, I want to thank the editors of the MIT International Review for their comments, as well as for formatting the final version so nicely. The efforts of Solomon Hsiang are particularly appreciated.

Anyone who wants the version with more than 100 footnotes should email me. Like Foreign Affairs, this journal has a policy of not including them.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom May 16, 2007 at 3:19 am

Congratulations on getting it published.

R.K. May 16, 2007 at 1:19 am

Excellent. That said, the PDF looks more like a magazine than an academic journal.

Ben May 16, 2007 at 9:20 am

Congratulations. If only more journals refused to print footnotes, writing and revising papers wouldn’t take so long!

Brett May 16, 2007 at 10:51 am

impressive indeed.
interesting thing is it seems my undergrad work was my best do you feel likewise?

Milan May 16, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Aside from the thesis, the M.Phil doesn’t offer much opportunity to write potentially publishable work. The paper topics are generally selected from a list of fairly generic options that are intended to make you engage with a particular part of the literature. You are unlikely to generate anything new or original.

Milan May 17, 2007 at 12:13 am
Anon July 24, 2007 at 2:25 pm
Anon July 24, 2007 at 2:27 pm

“Having all but abandoned their mandate to protect fisheries resources, national governments are content that individuals do what they can to save fisheries — the nations’ leaders have more important things to discuss. But the liability in accepting consumerism rather than citizenship as the predominant form of fisheries conservation shows a dearth of results.”

Milan December 16, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Subsidies and the Africa problem
Billions of taxpayer dollars are helping destroy African waters
Posted by Andrew Sharpless at 4:03 PM on 16 Dec 2007

After exhausting commercial seafood stocks off their own shores decades ago, wealthy nations turned their bows toward the pristine populations off the coast of Africa. In the 1990s, the European Union took more than a million pounds of fish out of African waters annually; the former Soviet states took about 2.5 million pounds. The result has been predictable: a steep decline in biomass along the African coast.

Milan December 16, 2007 at 4:25 pm

The BBC recently produced an excellent photo essay about the conflict between local fishermen and foreign ships in Mozambique.

Anon January 15, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Europe’s Appetite for Seafood Propels Illegal Trade

LONDON — Walking at the Brixton market among the parrotfish, doctorfish and butterfish, Effa Edusie is surrounded by pieces of her childhood in Ghana. Caught the day before far off the coast of West Africa, they have been airfreighted to London for dinner.

Anon January 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm

“If cost is an indication, fish are poised to become Europe’s most precious contraband. Prices have doubled and tripled in response to surging demand, scarcity and recent fishing quotas imposed by the European Union in a desperate effort to save native species. In London, a kilogram of lowly cod, the traditional ingredient of fish and chips, now costs up to £30, or close to $60, up from £6 four years ago.”

Milan June 19, 2008 at 12:40 pm
Milan January 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm

My fish paper got a citation in:

Tull, Denis. “China in Africa: European Perceptions and Responses to the Chinese Challenge.” SAIS Working Papers in African Studies. <> (accessed 5 January 2008).

HTML version

. February 9, 2009 at 10:44 am

Africa’s fisheries least able to adapt to climate change (02/06/2009)

Lauren Morello, E&E reporter

African nations’ fisheries will be hardest hit by climate change, according to a report released yesterday that attempts to determine which countries are most vulnerable to effects ranging from damage to coral reefs to changing river flows and stronger coastal storms.

The report by the WorldFish Center identifies 33 countries whose economies are “highly vulnerable” to climate change because they rely heavily on fisheries to supply food and income.

“We asked a simple question, which is ‘Where in the world does it matter most if climate change affects fisheries?'” said Edward Allison, the report’s lead author.

The answer, in large part, was Africa. There, where fish accounts for half of the animal protein consumed each day, 21 countries made the list.

That was surprising, Allison said, because the environmental effects of climate change are projected to be greatest at high latitudes. “We know that because of poverty and natural resource dependence, many [African] countries are vulnerable to climate change more generally,” he said. “But what many people didn’t realize is just how important fisheries are to Africa.”

. September 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm

“It is essential that we do so as quickly as possible because the consequences of an end to fish are frightful. To some Western nations, an end to fish might simply seem like a culinary catastrophe, but for 400 million people in developing nations, particularly in poor African and South Asian countries, fish are the main source of animal protein. What’s more, fisheries are a major source of livelihood for hundreds of million of people. A recent World Bank report found that the income of the world’s 30 million small-scale fisheries is shrinking. The decrease in catch has also dealt a blow to a prime source of foreign-exchange earnings, on which impoverished countries, ranging from Senegal in West Africa to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, rely to support their imports of staples such as rice.”

. June 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

Web chat: Illegal fishing in Sierra Leone

This Friday we’re joined by campaigners at the Environmental Justice Foundation who are fighting illegal fishing off the coast of West Africa.

Max Schmid and Victor Cole on EJF’s oceans team will be chatting live online from Sierra Leone between 1 and 2pm on 8 June on their efforts to stop the illegal and unregulated fishing in the region by foreign vessels. Their work with coastal communities reporting such fishing was recently recognised when they won an Energy Globe Award.

Want to know more about the scale of the problem in Sierra Leone, and how it can be tackled? Want to know how it compares to other West African countries, such as Senegal, which recently revoked licenses for foreign fishing trawlers? Or do you have a more general questions about illegal fishing, and the state of our oceans?

. May 1, 2017 at 6:46 pm

China’s Appetite Pushes Fisheries to the Brink

APRIL 30, 2017

Asia Pacific

JOAL, Senegal — Once upon a time, the seas teemed with mackerel, squid and sardines, and life was good. But now, on opposite sides of the globe, sun-creased fishermen lament as they reel in their nearly empty nets.

“Your net would be so full of fish, you could barely heave it onto the boat,” said Mamadou So, 52, a fisherman in Senegal, gesturing to the meager assortment of tiny fish flapping in his wooden canoe.

A world away in eastern China, Zhu Delong, 75, also shook his head as his net dredged up a disappointing array of pinkie-size shrimp and fledgling yellow croakers. “When I was a kid, you could cast a line out your back door and hook huge yellow croakers,” he said. “Now the sea is empty.”

Overfishing is depleting oceans across the globe, with 90 percent of the world’s fisheries fully exploited or facing collapse, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. From Russian king crab fishermen in the west Bering Sea to Mexican ships that poach red snapper off the coast of Florida, unsustainable fishing practices threaten the well-being of millions of people in the developing world who depend on the sea for income and food, experts say.

. June 4, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Analyzing the Tragedy of Illegal Fishing on the West African Coastal Region
International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition Engineering, 2019

The West African coastal region has long been regarded as one of the most fertile fishing regions in the globe. For that, in many of the region’s coastal communities, fishery stands out as a vital component of the surrounding ecosystem central to economic activities among citizens. However, recurrent overfishing by illegal foreign vessels is not only impeding sources of revenue and food security in the area. During the last several years, the widespread plunder of local fisheries by foreign trawlers engaged in illegal fishing continues unabated with indelible marks on communities. Considering the implications, the ongoing fishery crisis which has now reached monumental proportions is fast becoming a regional tragedy which must be dealt with it, if not, prosperity in West Africa could be elusive. While this comes at the expense of locals whose coastal waters are repeatedly encroached upon by illegal foreign trawlers. Such activities trigger depletion and biodiversity disappearance, loss of income and exposure to poverty due to many elements such as weak institutions, ineffective laws, absence of regional action plan and size of the West African fishing zone. Notwithstanding the lingering dilemmas, the fascination of mainstream literature all those years focused solely on fishery crisis elsewhere with little on West Africa. Thus, this paper will fill that void by examining the tragedy of over fishing using a mix scale approach of descriptive statistics and GIS with emphasis on the issues, trends, factors and impacts. From the temporal-spatial analysis, the result shows vast potentials based on the output as well as growing depletion, losses from illegal activities and impacts prompted by a host of socioeconomic and physical factors. The paper offered solutions ranging from the promulgation of stricter regulations, legal actions by West Africa, the repatriation of funds, regional cooperation and effective monitoring.

Doi: 10.5923/
Publication Date: 2019
Publication Name: International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition Engineering

. September 16, 2019 at 1:37 pm

The Odyssey of Daniel Pauly

The world’s top fishery scientist is no ‘gloomie.’ But his life and career taught him we won’t save our stocks without a fight. A Tyee profile.

. March 11, 2021 at 7:45 pm

EU accused of ‘neocolonial’ plundering of tuna in Indian Ocean | Environment | The Guardian

. October 5, 2021 at 5:08 pm

Tuna bounce back, but sharks in ‘desperate’ decline – BBC News

. February 25, 2022 at 7:35 pm

Europe’s fishing industry to battle with conservationists over bottom trawling | Environment | The Guardian

. April 11, 2022 at 11:19 pm

Even some fisherfolk were alarmed. Around the world, including along the west African coast, China is buying fleets and building ports to help satisfy its own demand for fish. “They are creating a closed loop for their own supply chains,” says Whitley Saumweber of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, an American think-tank. The impact is evident in west African waters, which are among the most overfished in the world. Chinese boats account for three-quarters of Sierra Leone’s modern fishing fleet. Reports abound that they catch more fish than they are legally allowed to. Locals who depend on fish for protein cannot compete. A single high-tech trawler can catch five times as much in a day as a small village fleet can in a year. Controlling ports, or having preferential access to them, makes it easier to bypass international restrictions on overfishing.

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