Apr 12 2016

Professor Ray Hilborn wins 2016 International Fisheries Science Prize

April 11, 2016 — SAVING SEAFOOD — Professor Ray Hilborn, of the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, was recognized by the World Council of Fisheries Societies for his contributions to fishery management science.

“Professor Hilborn has had an extremely impressive career of highly diversified research and publication in support of global fisheries science and conservation. Throughout his 40-year career, Ray has been a model of dynamic and innovative science, and in the application of this work to the ever-changing problems of fisheries management and conservation in both marine and freshwater ecosystems. Professor Hilborn’s Prize will be awarded at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea in late May.”

In recent years, Professor Hilborn has been one of the organizers of the Ram legacy Database at the University of Washington, which is the most complete global database on fish stocks, biomass surveys and catch history ever assembled.  The resulting analysis and modeling from this database have not only united many fisheries scientists around the world who had been portrayed by the media as opposing each other in terms of fisheries conservation issues, but the database has also served to highlight a road map for fisheries conservation efforts over the next twenty years.

As a result of these efforts, Hilborn has been instrumental in changing the perception that fish stocks were being fished to extinction and instead has shown that when fisheries management principles are properly applied, strong stock recoveries take place.

Frustrated by the public misperception about the actual state of major fisheries, Hilborn and other colleagues have created cfood a website scientists use to communicate with journalists and the general public about fisheries science issues.  The database, and website, have been particularly helpful in countering organizations who use distorted or outdated fisheries science to alarm regulators and the public.

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This story originally appeared on Seafoodnews.com, a subscription site. It is reprinted with permission.

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