The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation grants $2.6 million to improve data on world fisheries

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Media Release August 20, 2014

fishing boat 770

The University of British Columbia’s Sea Around Us project has received $2.6 million (U.S.) from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to provide African and Asian countries with more accurate and comprehensive fisheries data to help them better analyze and support their ocean resources and local economies.

“This generous support will help UBC fisheries researchers work with countries to better understand the industry’s impact on marine ecosystems and its social and economic benefits,” UBC President Arvind Gupta said. “The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is giving our researchers an exceptional opportunity to work with global communities.”

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 nongovernmental organizations working with countries in West Africa, East Africa, the Arab world and South Asia.

Researchers will help countries use this data to address national policies related to four main problem areas:

Daniel Pauly

Daniel Pauly

  • Increased public transparency of access agreements for foreign vessels to fish in a country’s waters;
  • Improving inadequate methods for recording or estimating fish catches;
  • Improving poor policy and management environments for local small-scale fisheries; and
  • Illegal fishing by foreign fleets.

“This project is significant for the global fisheries community,” Pauly said. “The data collected will help governments make informed national policy decisions by balancing economic growth with resource preservation.”

Sea Around Us started this project June 1, 2014, and it will run to June 1, 2016. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s funding will also support FishBase, the Philippines-based research partner of Sea Around Us, which aims to create the largest and most extensively accessed online database about fishes on the web. 

BACKGROUND

About UBC’s Sea Around Us
The Sea Around Us was initiated in 1999, and aims to provide integrated analyses of the impacts of fisheries on marine ecosystems, and to devise policies that can mitigate and reverse harmful trends whilst ensuring the social and economic benefits of sustainable fisheries. The Sea Around Us 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.

About The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Launched by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $500 million to more than 1,500 non-profit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavours in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, advance scientific and technological discoveries, and provide economic relief amid the downturn. For more information, go to www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.

About UBC’s start an evolution campaign

This gift forms a part of UBC’s start an evolution campaign, the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian history with the twin goal of raising $1.5 billion and involving 50,000 alumni annually in the life of the university by 2015.

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