Peter A. Larkin Award

The Peter A. Larkin Award recognizes a leading fisheries researcher who is committed to research excellence, inspiring education, and innovative societal engagement.

Peter Larkin, University of British Columbia Archives, UBC 18.1/2-1

Peter Larkin
University of British Columbia Archives, UBC 18.1/2-1
Full obituary

This Award honours the memory of Dr. Peter Larkin, an eminent fisheries biologist and emeritus professor who was known for his expertise in conservation, resource management, and environmental impact assessment. He was also an exceptionally engaging speaker and highly sought after graduate supervisor due in large part to his contagious enthusiasm for science and learning. Colleagues, family, and friends established an endowment to honour Dr. Peter Larkin when he retired from the University of British Columbia (UBC), and later when he passed away in 1996.

In recognition of Dr. Larkin’s excellence as a speaker, champion for students, and innovative researcher, the aims of the award are to:

  • recognize significant contributions to healthy and sustainable marine and freshwater systems through excellent research, inspirational education, and innovative societal engagement;
  • bring world-leading researchers to UBC to share their passion for fisheries science with the IOF community and beyond (e.g., researchers, practitioners, knowledge-holders);
  • give students and early-career scholars the opportunity to interact directly with international leaders in marine and aquatic systems to grow their networks; and
  • provide an interactive and engaging lecture to the IOF community and beyond.

The recipient will be presented with the Peter A. Larkin Award at a ceremony to be held at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), likely in the spring or the fall after candidate selection. After the ceremony, the recipient will give a public lecture that is followed by an evening reception. A student-organized panel discussion on the lecture will take place the next day. Manuscripts stemming from the lecture are expected to be submitted to the academic journal Fish and Fisheries, subject to the normal refereeing process.

2024 Peter A. Larkin Award Lecture

Marine fish on the move: challenges and prospects for fisheries adaptation

Dr. Malin Pinsky by Danielle Quinto

October 3, 2024
Time: Evening event (TBA)
Location: TBA
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Malin Pinsky
Associate Professor
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

University of California Santa Cruz

Speaker Bio:
Malin Pinsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, is a biologist with expertise in the adaptation of ocean life to climate change, including ocean conservation. His more than 100 publications have appeared in Science, Nature, and other journals, and his research has been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BBC, among others. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Earth Leadership Fellow, and an Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He was named one of Science News’ ten scientists to watch in 2019. Pinsky serves on advisory boards for the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the non-profit Oceana, and the Chewonki Foundation. He has a Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University and an A.B. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Williams College. He grew up exploring tidepools and mountains in Maine.

About the Peter A. Larkin Award Lectures
The Peter A. Larkin Award Lecture is a free public lecture given by the winner of the Peter A Larkin Award. This Award honours leading oceans or fisheries researchers from around the globe, and was created in memory of Dr. Peter Larkin, an eminent fisheries biologist and emeritus professor who was known for his expertise in conservation, resource management and environmental impact assessment.

Nomination Information

Nominations for 2025 will begin shortly.

Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  1. Nominees should be engaged in regional, national, or global fisheries and oceans research through academic or non-academic institutions and organizations.
  2. Nominees shall be making, or have made, an outstanding contribution to healthy and sustainable marine and freshwater systems through excellent research, inspirational education, and innovative societal engagement.
  3. Nominees shall have a demonstrated record of effective communication to both experts and non-experts through talks and publications.
  4. Nominees should be excellent mentors with demonstrated enthusiasm for engaging with students and early-career scholars.
  5. Nominees must not hold a current appointment at UBC (paid or honorary).

Interested researchers can self-nominate or be nominated by others.

The award ceremony and lecture will occur in the fall or spring following recipient selection, with the selected nominee's travel to the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and accommodation costs reimbursed up to $5,000.

A maximum of one (1) award will be bestowed each year. Nominations will be considered approximately annually, but the award will only be presented when recognition is merited in accordance with stated criteria.

The nomination package should include:

  • A cover letter of not more than 2 pages explaining the nominee’s most significant contributions that qualify them for this award. The letter should include:
    • A suggested title for a public lecture.
    • A statement addressing the nominee's ability as an engaging public speaker. It is also strongly recommended to add a link to a video presentation of the speaker delivering a talk (e.g., YouTube format, and set to publicly viewable). The intent is to give the selection committee a sense of the nominee's presentation style.
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae of not more than three pages, and/or brief biographical sketch.
  • A list of invited talks the nominee has given on their research.
  • Names of three to five suggested references, at least one of which must be a past or current trainee.

Nominations should be submitted as a single .pdf document to and must be received by October 31, 2024.

Nominations received will be adjudicated by a selection committee consisting of IOF, UBC, and Larkin family representatives.

Past Larkin Lectures

Critical Freshwater Fish Futures: using interdisciplinary and arts-based research approaches to engage relationships between Indigenous sovereignty and freshwater fish well-being

This talk provided an overview of the relationships between Indigenous sovereignty and freshwater fish futures in Canada, with an explicit focus on ongoing community-driven interdisciplinary research partnerships in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Drawing on decades of scholarship in the discipline of Critical Indigenous Studies that centres Indigenous sovereignty to elucidate relationships between Indigenous peoples and colonial nation-states and entities in Canada, this talk examines how an unambiguous engagement with Indigenous sovereignty, as understood through Indigenous legal orders and legal-ethical practices in Canada and internationally, can strengthen efforts to protect at-risk aquatic species and watersheds across the country. The use of arts-based research-creation approaches will be examined to help illustrate dynamic cross-disciplinary and pluralistic approaches to documenting, engaging, and upholding plural governance principles grounded in Indigenous sovereignties across many different homelands.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Zoe Todd (she/they) (Red River Métis) is a practice-led artist-researcher who studies the relationships between Indigenous sovereignty and freshwater fish futures in Canada. As a Métis anthropologist and researcher-artist, Dr. Todd combines dynamic social science and humanities research and research-creation approaches – including ethnography, archival research, oral testimony, and experimental artistic research practices – within a framework of Indigenous philosophy to elucidate new ways to study and support the complex relationships between Indigenous sovereignty and freshwater fish well-being in Canada today. They are a co-founder of the Institute for Freshwater Fish Futures (2018), which is a collaborative Indigenous-led initiative that is 'restor(y)ing fish futures, together' across three continents. They are also a co-founder of the Indigenous Environmental Knowledge Institute (IEKI) at Carleton University (2021). They were a 2018 Yale Presidential Visiting Fellow, and in 2020 they were elected to the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars.

Trials and Tribulations of Ecosystem Based Management

Dr. Beth Fulton, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO Australia)

Ecosystem based management has been held up as the ideal for more than 20 years. The concept has influenced management approaches in a number of countries around the world without being 100% successfully implemented. It has broadened the view of a number of regulatory bodies beyond just worrying about the most valuable or charismatic species in our ecosystems. However people still debate whether this is sufficient operationally, whether it is enough to shoehorn ecosystem considerations into institutional, governance and regulatory structures that are built around management targeted at individual species. Model based explorations of options have shown that it’s a decent start but that the more effort you can put into EBFM the better the pay off. So what are the data light extensions that will allow us to make this work regardless of the government budget?

Fish and Fisheries article: Opportunities to improve ecosystem-based fisheries management by recognizing and overcoming path dependency and cognitive bias

Climate contributions to hard times in US West Coast salmon fisheries

Dr. Nate Mantua, NOAA NMFS, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

The "warm blob" of 2014-2016 was the latest, and perhaps most dramatic, case of climate extremes that had severe negative impacts on west coast salmon fisheries. U.S. west coast Chinook salmon catch-es in 2016 were the 5th lowest since 1971, harvest quotas were not met, and spawning escapements to the Klamath and Sacramento River basins were very low. Salmon fisheries were sharply restricted from southern Oregon to southern California in 2017, and salmon fisheries are again sharply restricted in 2018. Sustained hard times for modern US west coast salmon fisheries arguably began in the early 1990s, with 11 of the past 25 years marked by federal disaster declarations. In this talk, Dr. Mantua will use an integrated framework to link nature, law, and economy to evaluate the role that climate extremes, resource management policies, and the evolving salmon production system played in federal fishery disaster determinations for US west coast Chinook salmon fisheries since the early 1980s. He will also evaluate the role of climate change in recent Northeast Pacific climate trends and extremes, and what future climate projections suggest for the future of the west coast salmon fisheries.

What the past tells us about the future of fisheries and oceans research in British Columbia

Dr. Richard Beamish, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

In the 1960s and 1970s, Pacific salmon dominated the fishery and captured the attention of science and management in BC. Pacific herring were recovering from a collapse, the groundfish fishery was getting started, shellfish were important, but received little attention and aquaculture was mostly a dream. All this changed beginning in the 1980s. At the same time, there were undetected changes in the ocean that ultimately affected the dynamics of many species. Science now recognizes the impacts of climate and ocean ecosystem changes on seafood production in British Columbia, but the associated research remains generally fragmented. The new Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia can provide the focus and leadership that will be essential for the stewardship of our ocean ecosystems and the production of seafood in a future that will be full of surprises.

Fish and Fisheries article: What the past tells us about the future of Pacific salmon research

The little brown fish in your pizza and an ecosystem based view of the world

Dr. Patricia Majluf, Center for Environmental Sustainability, Cayetano Heredia University, Peru
A native of Peru, Majluf earned her PhD in zoology at the University of Cambridge and served as a scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society for almost 20 years. She also served as Perus Vice Minister of Fisheries and most recently directed the Center for Environmental Sustainability at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima. In addition, she has received awards and fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fundación BBVA, and others. Her work has focused on the Peruvian anchoveta fishery.

Fish and Fisheries article: The little fish that can feed the world

Is fisheries policy pertinent? Some doubts from the academy

Dr. Daniel W. Bromley, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Humboldt University, Berlin
An evolutionary account of the emergence of industrial fisheries, and he will show how that evolutionary process gives rise to a final stage of apologetics and entitlement. He will link this evolutionary process to the emergence of specialized academic disciplines that both enable that evolutionary trajectory, and become captured by it. In this end game, the academic enterprise becomes indistinguishable from the economic interests of the industry. Promoting a suite of preferred policies, elaborately justified by reference to bogus concepts, becomes the primary activity of the academy. Dissenters are seen as the enemy, and their concerns are considered politically dangerous.

Sustainability in small-scale fisheries: No recipes but one -- play with the full deck

Dr. Ana Parma, Centro Nacional Patagonico, Conicet, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
The assessment and management approaches commonly used for industrial fisheries are remarkably similar worldwide. The dominant paradigm has emphasized the estimation of stock size using data-rich methods as a means for setting global or regional quotas in top-down, centralized systems. The fact that this paradigm does not work for small-scale fisheries is now well-recognized, as the latter are, generally, data-poor, geographically heterogeneous and institutionally weak. This has prompted a search for alternatives. In this lecture I will illustrate a variety of approaches by contrasting some commercial diving fisheries from Chile and Argentina.

Learning from fisheries successes: Managing fish is managing people

Dr. Ray Hilborn, Richard C. and Lois M. Worthington Professor of Fisheries Management, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington 
Dr. Hilborn specializes in natural resource management and conservation. He  teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in environmental science, conservation and quantitative population dynamics. He authored several books including Overfishing: what everyone needs to know, Quantitative fisheries stock assessment and The Ecological Detective: confronting models with data. He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles. Hilborn serves on the Editorial Boards of 7 journals including the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science Magazine.

Fish and Fisheries article: Managing fisheries is managing people: what has been learned?

Blue water crime and conservation: Controlling the pirates in marine fisheries

Dr. Jon Sutinen, Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island
Dr Sutinen's primary research interests are fisheries management and regulation with an emphasis on compliance and enforcement. He has extensive experience in international fisheries, including Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Most of this experience involved conducting research and supplying advice on fisheries policy. His current research focuses on several bioeconomic aspects of New England marine fisheries and the Northeast Large Marine Ecosystem. Dr. Sutinen was the founding editor of the journal Marine Resource Economics and served in that role for over a decade. He is a member of the NRC's Ocean Studies Board.

Trouble on the reef: Tackling a vulnerable and undervalued fishery

Dr. Yvonne Sadovy, Department of Ecology and Biodiversity, The University of Hong Kong
Reef fish fisheries provide food and livelihoods for millions of people throughout the tropics. Like most small-scale fisheries, they are more efficient, less wasteful of bycatch and fuel and more productive, per tonne of fish produced, than industrial-scale fisheries. This paper explores why management is so poorly developed for most tropical reef fisheries, the relevance of conventional stock assessment approaches to their management, and the prognosis for the current situation to change. It is argued that reef fish fisheries are particularly susceptible to overexploitation and that one of the major factors impeding progress in their management is due to the low social and economic values ascribed them. A generally poor understanding of the worth and vulnerability of such resources, combined with lack of management capacity, is creating serious problems for reef fish fisheries.

Fish and Fisheries article: Trouble on the reef: the imperative for managing vulnerable and valuable fisheries

The good, the bad and the ugly: Factors influencing the scope and quality of fisheries science and management decisions

 Dr. Lee Alverson, Natural Resources Consultants
The paper begins with a short history of global fisheries developments and various events leading to the contemporary view of the status of marine fishery resources and the environment. This is followed by discussion of factors which contributed to significant level of overfishing during the 1960 through 1990 period, including institutional paralysis, uncertainty in science, the rapidity of fishery and technological developments and the inability of national and international fisheries management entities to monitor and enforce fishery regulations.

Fish and Fisheries article: Factors influencing the scope and quality of science and management decisions (The good, the bad and the ugly)

MSY reborn with a new identity. Is it necessary? Is it sufficient?

Dr. Pamela M. Mace, NMFS, Woods Hole
This paper draws on examples from several fisheries, but specifically focuses on the recent U.S. experience illustrating the practical difficulties of reducing fishing mortality to levels below those corresponding to MSY. However, several studies suggest that even more substantial reductions in fishing mortality may be necessary if ecosystem considerations such as multispecies interactions, maintenance of biodiversity and genetic diversity, and reduction of bycatch and waste are taken into account. The pros and cons of moving beyond single species assessment and management are discussed. A U.S. plan for improving stock assessments indicates that even a 'simple' objective such as 'adequate baseline monitoring of all managed species' may be extremely costly.

Fish and Fisheries article: A new role for MSY in single‐species and ecosystem approaches to fisheries stock assessment and management

Reconciling sustainability, economic efficiency and equity in fisheries: The one that got away?

Dr. Kevern Cochrane, FAO, Rome
Concern about the global state of fisheries and fish resources has highlighted the three primary considerations in fisheries management: sustainable utilisation; economic efficiency; and equity in access to resources. We appear to be failing in pursuit of all three goals. Living marine resources are particularly threatened by overfishing, leading to many of the world's fish stocks being heavily, fully or over exploited. Similarly, the economic diagnosis is that costs of fishing exceeded the value of the world's catch by about $US 40 billion at the beginning of the decade. Statistics on equity are less available but the necessary spread of limited access to fisheries frequently has the greatest impact on the small scale, traditional fisher. The paper considers the reasons underlying the general failure of fisheries management and the solutions that are being proposed. Factors contributing to the problems include high biological uncertainty, conflict between the constraint of sustainability and social and economic priorities, poorly defined objectives, and institutional failures related to access rights and participation in management by the users. These issues point to the real complexity of fisheries management.

Fish and Fisheries article: Reconciling sustainability, economic efficiency and equity in fisheries: the one that got away?

Fisheries management after 2000: will new paradigms apply?

Dr. John Caddy, FAO, Rome
Disturbing trends in FAO's global statistics show the majority of fishery resources fully exploited; seriously overcapitalised fleets; demand and prices increasing; and growing impacts on marine ecosystems from human populations. An urgent search for improved management frameworks is needed. This requires a better understanding of the axioms underlying current approaches, and how we may better reflect local situations. We should deal with ecosystem considerations, environmental fluctuations, socio-economic factors, and the dangers of open access to marine resources throughout their life history and geographical range. Institutions could help by promoting inter-disciplinary teamwork with fisheries stakeholders, and by breaking down excessive specialisation and regionalization. On the management side, success requires consultative frameworks that explicitly incorporate watchdog functions and precautionary approaches. Given high uncertainty in natural systems, we need fail-safe management, with redundancy in measures of fishery performance and in the instruments applied.

Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries article: Fisheries management in the twenty-first century: Will new paradigms apply?

Fish, fact and fantasy: A long view

Dr. Ray Beverton, Cardiff, Wales
This paper suggests ways forward from the widely-perceived present failures of fishery assessment and management. A history of fishery yield modelling is presented from the carefree days of the 1950s to the depressing series of stock collapses and depletions of the 1980s. Underlying this gruesome story has been the failure of management by quotas to arrest overcapacity in fishing power, the lack of robust and informative reference points and the inadequacy of methods dealing with some multispecies fisheries. The paper refines the use of the concept of Fext, defined as the minimum value of F in a self-regenerating yield model that leads to eventual extinction in a family of yield curves generated with a range of stock recruitment curves. Model reconstructions for North Sea cod and Icelandic herring make evident calamitous losses in catches forgone as result of the failure of rational management.

Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries article: Fish, Fact and Fantasy: a Long View