2018 Summer Series

This summer, the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries presents a series of special lectures by leading ocean and fisheries experts from around the world.

A brief history of Canada’s iconic Northern cod: decline, recovery and what comes next

April 27, 2018
11:00 am

Dr. George Rose

After working as a biologist in East Africa and operating a fishing outfitter business in northern Canada, George Rose completed doctoral research on the Labrador Straits Atlantic cod fisheries (McGill, 1988). He then returned to Newfoundland as groundfish research scientist with DFO. From 1996 to 2015 when he retired, he was at Memorial University, first as NSERC Senior Industry Chair in Fisheries Conservation and then as founding Director of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research. His scientific activities include over 150 manuscripts on the North Atlantic (and other) fisheries, with a book entitled “Cod: The Ecological History of the North Atlantic Fisheries” published in 2007 winning the international Independent Publisher Gold Medal for non-fiction and being a finalist for the Winterset Award for excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing (all categories). He was the first winner of the Wilfred Templeman Award for fisheries research in Newfoundland and Labrador and co-authored the section on “Marine ecosystems and their services in the Arctic” in the Nobel Prize winning IPCC report on Climate Change in 2007. He is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Fisheries Research. Dr. Rose has been adviser to fisheries science and management in Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Tanzania, and formerly headed the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council of Canada resource assessment team for Newfoundland and Labrador groundfish stocks.

Dr. George Rose (Memorial University – retired) will describe the decline of the Northern cod stock from the 1960s onward and recent rebuilding that has occurred during the last decade, after almost two decades of decline and low productivity. Since 2007, when dispersing coastal fish likely spurred recovery in the formerly dominant adjacent offshore region, stock growth approached 30% per annum. These increases were paralleled by increases in capelin, their chief prey, and warming waters, which assisted individual growth, and highly restricted fisheries. Within the past 5 years, redistribution of spawning groups to populate former spawning regions to the north has been evident. Since 2015, however, capelin has declined, waters have cooled, cod growth has declined, but fishing effort and resultant catches tripled. Stock assessment in 2016 gave optimistic projections of continued stock growth, despite evidence suggesting latent declines in productivity and increasing catches. The next assessment in 2018 suggested a 30% decline, with near 100 000t in losses from the previous year, attributed mostly to natural mortality. These results are being used by proponents of sustaining or increasing fisheries despite the stock remaining in the critical zone.


Invasive Asian carp: how did they get here and how do we stop them?

May 11, 2018
11:00 am

Dr. Peter Sorensen

Peter Sorensen is a visiting professor at UBC from the University of Minnesota where he has a position in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. His expertise is in fish behavioral ecology and physiology but he has a long standing interest in fisheries conservation. Peter is presently working on the concept of freshwater protected areas which he will address in this talk.

He earned his PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island for discovering that migratory eels find fresh water from the ocean using the scent of freshwater microbes. He then completed a postdoc at the University of Alberta where he discovered that most sex pheromones used by fish are derived from hormones. At Minnesota, he has deployed this understanding of fish biochemistry and molecular biology to develop new means of controlling fish behavior, especially invasive fish, and censusing them.He worked for 16 years on sea lamprey control in the Great Lakes where he identified and implemented the first migratory pheromone identified in a fish. He founded the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in 2011 and presently works on invasive common carp and Asian carp behavior (and control) but wonders if protecting the Mississippi River would not have been a much better way to go.

In the early 1970s, in a well intentioned effort to reduce reliance on algaecides and herbicides in ponds, several species of carp from Asia were introduced to the U.S. These large fish escaped within just a few years and entered the Mississippi River where they now breed and comprise over half the biomass of many waters and disrupt food webs while their spectacular jumping activity has reduced boating. They are now within about 100km of the Great Lakes and Canada but already cover about a quarter of the US. Various schemes including harvest for food, electrical barriers, sonic deterrents, genetic engineering, poisoned food, and pheromones and being considered for their control.

Dr. Peter Sorensen (University of Minnesota) will address the biology and range of this fascinating group of invasive species, the ecological threat they pose to North American waters, their economic impact, and what solutions are being explored to deal with them.

Discovering global biodiversity: species richness, latitude, depth, and endemicity – insights from biodiversity informatics and marine reserves

May 25, 2018
11:00 am

Dr. Mark Costello

University of Auckland

10,000 years after Neolithisation, the shift from fisheries to aquaculture on a global scale: consequences, and possible solutions

June 29, 2018
11:00 am

Dr. Fabrice Teletchea

Dr. Fabrice Teletchea has studied fish for the past 15 years. He first worked on fish taxonomy and then moved to the study of fish domestication in aquaculture in the past ten years. Prof. Teletchea has also developed a comparative framework of the reproductive strategies of European freshwater fish species in order better understand the different trade-offs observed at the early life stages of fish, to help domesticating them more efficiently

Dr. Teletchea is appearing as part of the 2018 French Scholars Lecture Series sponsored by the Consulate General of France in Vancouver, and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.