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World fisheries expert visits New Zealand

10 August 2004

World fisheries expert visits New Zealand

Outspoken and world-renowned fisheries scientist Dr Daniel Pauly visits New Zealand next week to promote marine conservation.

Named one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world, Professor Pauly heads the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre and is famous for his big picture research on the state of global fisheries and as an advocate for marine protection to safeguard the future of fisheries resources.

At the invitation of the Department of Conservation, he will visit Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from 17-22 August to share the results of his research on world-wide fisheries trends and participate in discussions on the steps needed to protect the oceans.

Dr Pauly is a world authority on declining fish stocks and their response to environmental pressures, ecosystem fluctuations and commercial fishing.

Says Pauly: "If commercial fishing is not heavily regulated, there will be little left to harvest in the seas outside of the lowest levels of the food chain. So you don't need to worry about these problems as long as your children like plankton stew."

Credited with coining the concept of "shifting baselines", Pauly argues that each generation accepts the current state of fish stocks and diversity of marine life because they can't quantify stories about past bounties of the seas. That results in an ever-shrinking expectation of what to expect from a fishery, he says.

According to Pauly and his colleagues, the problem can only be remedied by a reduction in global fishing effort and the creation of significant no-take zones where fish can grow large, breed and replenish and ecosystems flourish.

This is a rare opportunity to hear Dr Pauly and find out why he claims the oceans are in such trouble. Free public talks:

Tuesday, 17 August, 7.30-9.30pm, Auckland Girls Grammar School Auditorium, Howe Street, Auckland.

Thursday, 19 August, 6.30-7.30pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Rutherford House, Victoria University, Wellington.

Friday, 20 August, 7.30-9.30pm, Christchurch, venue to be announced.


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