Rashid Sumaila

Canada Research Chair (Tier 1, Interdisciplinary Ocean and Fisheries Economics)

Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Fisheries Economics Research Unit
OceanCanada Partnership

Contact Information

Email: r.sumaila@oceans.ubc.ca
Office phone: 604-822-0224
Publications: view
Website: Fisheries Economics Research Unit, OceanCanada Partnership

Research Interests

Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila is Professor and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. He specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries. Sumaila has experience working in fisheries and natural resource projects in Norway, Canada and the North Atlantic region, Namibia and the Southern African region, Ghana and the West African region and Hong Kong and the South China Sea. He has published articles in several journals including, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Bioeconomics, Land Economics, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Environmental and Resource Economics and Ecological Economics. Sumaila’s work has generated a great deal of interest, and has been cited by, among others, the Economist, the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune, and the Vancouver Sun.

Awards and Honours

  • 2017 Volvo Environment Prize
  • 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Science
  • 2016: Named as a Hokkaido University Ambassador (2016-2019)
  • 2016: Won UBC’s Killam Faculty Research Prize for “outstanding research and scholarly contributions”
  • 2013 Excellence in Public Outreach Award from the American Fisheries Society
  • 2013: Received the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies International Roundtable Award
  • 2012: Named Johan Hjort Chair by the Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change (NorMER).
  • 2009: Named Leopold Leadership Fellow
  • 2008: Named Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation
  • 2007: Named Senior Early Career Scholar by UBC’s Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
  • 2007: Project member of the Coasts Under Stress project, which won the 2007 Craigdarroch Award for Societal Contribution from the University of Victoria
  • 2006: one of the authors of the “Millennium Ecosystem Assessment”, which won the Zayed International Prize for the Environment
  • 2004: Named Dr. W.F. James Chair of Studies in the Pure and Applied Sciences by St. Francis Xavier University


  • Environmental Economics (Undergraduate, 2003, UBC);
  • Land and Forestry Economics (Graduate, 2002, UBC);
  • Critical Issues in Fisheries (Graduate, 2002, UBC);
  • Fisheries Economics (Graduate, 2002, UBC);
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (Graduate, 1999-2001, University of Tromsø);
  • Natural Resource Economics (Undergraduate, 1999-present, University of Namibia);
  • Applied Game Theory (Graduate, 2000, UBC).

Selected Publications (short list)

1. Sumaila, U.R.,  Cisneros-Montemayor, A.M., Dyck, A., Huang, L., Cheung, W.W.L., Jacquet, J., Kleisner, K., Lam, V.W.Y., McCrea-Strub, A., Swartz, W., Watson, R., Zeller, D., and Pauly, D. (2012). Impact of the Deepwater Horizon well blowout on the Economics of U.S. Gulf fisheries. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 69: 499-510. PDF 

2. Sumaila, U.R. and Huang, L. (2012). Managing Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Policy, 36: 502–511. PDF

3. Collette, B.B., U.R. Sumaila and others (2011). High Value and Long Life—Double Jeopardy for Tunas and Billfishes. Science, 333: 291-292. PDF

4. Pereira, H. M., Leadley, P.W., Sumaila, U.R., and others (2010). Scenarios for Global Biodiversity in the 21st Century. Science, 330(6010): 1496-1501. Read article 

5. Sumaila, U.R., Cheung, W.W.L., Dyck, A., Gueye, K., Huang, L., Lam, V.W.Y., Pauly, D., Srinivasan, T., Swartz, W., Pauly, D., and Zeller, D. (2012). Benefits of rebuilding global marine fisheries outweigh costs. PLoS ONE 7(7), e40542, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040542. PDF 

6. Sumaila, U.R. (2012). Seas, Oceans and Fisheries: A Challenge for Good Governance. The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs 101(2), 157-166. PDF

7. Swartz, W., Sumaila, U.R., and Watson, R. (2012). Global Ex-Vessel Fish Price Database revisited: a new approach for estimating ‘missing’ prices. Journal of Environmental and Resource Economics, DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9611-1. PDF

8. Srinivasan, T., Watson, R., Sumaila, U.R. (2012). Global Fisheries Losses at the Exclusive Economic Zone Level, 1950 to Present. Marine Policy, 36, 544-549. PDF

9. Halpern, B.S., Longo, C., Hardy, D., McLeod, K.L., Samhouri, J.F., Katona, S.K., Kleisner, K., Lester, S.E., O’Leary, J., Ranelletti, M., Rosenberg, A.A., Scarborough, C., Selig, E.R., Best, B.D., Brumbaugh, D.R., Chapin, F.S., Crowder, L.B., Daly, K.L., Doney, S.C., Elfes, C., Fogarty, M.J., Gaines, S.D., Jacobsen, K.I., Karrer, L.B., Leslie, H.M., Neeley, E., Pauly, D., Polasky, S., Ris, B., St. Martin, K., Stone, G.S., Sumaila, U.R., and Zeller, D. (2012). An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean. Nature, 488: 615-620. PDF

10. Ishimura, G., Herrick, S. and Sumaila, U.R. (2012). Fishing games under climate variability: transboundary management of Pacific sardine in the California Current System. Environmental Economics and Policy, DOI: 10.1007/s10018-012-0048-0. PDF 

11. Sumaila U.R., Cheung W.W.L., Lam, V.W.Y., Pauly, D., Herrick S (2011). Climate change impacts on the biophysics and economics of world fisheries. Nature Climate Change, 1: 449-456. PDF

12. Lam, V.W.Y., Sumaila, U.R., Dyck, A., Pauly, D., and Watson, R. (2011). Construction and first applications of a global cost of fishing database. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68(9): 1996-2004. PDF 

13. Sumaila, U.R., Khan, A., Dyck, A., Watson, R., Munro, G., Tyedmers, P., and Pauly, D. (2010). A bottom up re-estimation of global fisheries subsidies. Journal of Bioeconomics, 12: 201–225. PDF 

14. Sumaila, U.R. (2010). A cautionary note on individual transferable quotas. Ecology and Society, 15(3): 36. PDF

15. Dyck, A. and Sumaila, U.R. (2010) Economic impact of ocean fish populations in the global fishery. Journal of Bioeconomics, 12: 227–243. PDF


Please see Dr. Sumaila’s Curriculum vitae for more information. Also see the more extensive list of publications below.