Excellence in Science
,
2015

Dr. Daniel Pauly

Dr. Daniel Pauly is a preeminent authority on global fisheries and has identified overfishing as a major threat to global food security. He is the founder and principal investigator at the “Sea Around Us Project” at the University of British Columbia, which analyzes the impact of the world’s fisheries on marine ecosystems. He has developed software and new ways to view complex ocean data that are used by marine experts to model and track the extent to which global fish stocks are exploited or depleted.

He is renowned for developing the concept of “Shifting Baselines”, which refers to a shift over time in the expectation of how abundant a fish species population was before human exploitation. He is also credited with defining the theory of “fishing down the food web” – a process whereby fisheries having fished out large predatory fish at the top of the food chain must turn to increasingly smaller species and invertebrates.

He has vigorously denounced the damage done by heavily subsidized industrial fishing fleets and their use of technology such as bottom trawling. He is also leading voice for taking corrective action by establishing and enforcing marine protected areas that allow fisheries and ecosystems to recover. A prolific writer and communicator with more than 500 peer-reviewed publications, several books and years of research based out of Germany, the Philippines and Canada, Dr. Pauly is widely respected by policymakers, the media, and his fellow scientists.