Ussif Rashid Sumaila, Ph.D.


Ussif Rashid Sumaila is a professor at the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia. Sumaila used his Pew fellowship to document the financial factors contributing to unsustainable commercial fishing and depletion of ocean resources around the world. His project was focused on developing a global database of official national discount rates and a global database of private discount rates present in key fisheries around the world. These databases, together with life history and ecological characteristics, are now used to compute and map conservation indices for species, ecosystems, country exclusive economic zones (EEZs), and the high seas. Effective marine conservation policy cannot be designed without a better understanding of the underlying social and economic drivers of overfishing as well as deeper knowledge about its impact on marine conservation and society. Through his fellowship, Sumaila gathered extensive information from around the world on each of these factors. He also developed a global database of the cost of fishing for different gear types operating in different countries. Subsequently this database was used to estimate the total cost of fishing by the global fishing fleet. The project was able to show that in most cases countries do not gain economically from the fishing going on in their EEZs. To learn more about Sumaila, visit his bio online.

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