Public Lecture: The Impacts of Fisheries and Climate Change on Marine Ecosystems

Date: March 20, 2018 (Tuesday)
Time: 5:30 pm (light refreshments from 5 pm)
Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, HKU
Medium: English
Speaker: Professor Daniel Pauly
University Killam Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada


Click here to enlarge the poster

  • Public Lecture: The Impacts of Fisheries and Climate Change on Marine Ecosystems


Since the early 1950s, the fishing effort deployed by the world’s marine fisheries increased dramatically. At first, this increased catches; however, crashes due to overfishing began to be reflected in global catch trends in the 1970s, and intensified in the 1980s and 1990s. In response, the industrialized countries of the Northern Hemisphere (where overfishing-induced catch declines appeared first) moved their fleets toward deeper waters, and toward the south, i.e. to the coasts off developing countries, and beyond into the southern hemisphere, all the way to Antarctica. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, the global expansion of fisheries is completed, and the real global catch, which is much higher than officially reported, peaked in the mid-1960s and is now rapidly declining. In parallel, the collateral damage to marine ecosystems and biodiversity continues to increase. Several factors act to prevent the public in developed countries from realizing the depth of the crisis fisheries are in, notably the increased imports by developed countries of seafood from developing countries. In some countries, notably the US, stocks are being rebuilt, and there is also a global movement toward creating large, no-take marine reserves, if mainly around uninhabited islands. Most countries, however, still fail to respond creatively to these clear trends, which bodes ill for the next decades. Indeed, the effects of global warming (productivity declines in the tropics, widespread disruptions at high latitudes), which have been increasingly felt in the last decades, will strongly impact fisheries and global seafood supply. 

About the speaker

Daniel Pauly is University Killam Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He studied fisheries science in Germany, but spent much of his career in the tropics. Since 1999, he has been directing the “Sea Around Us” (, devoting to document the impact of fisheries on the world’s marine ecosystems. The concepts, methods and software he developed are presented in over 1,000 widely-cited publications, and have led to his receiving multiple awards.  

Location Map