Canadians Daniel Pauly and Rashid Sumaila have been awarded the 2023 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for their scientific work to end overfishing.
Pauly, an ecologist, and Sumaila, an economist, are longtime colleagues at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
The two said they wanted to use the Tyler Prize to spread an urgent and evidence-based message: all fishing on the high seas should be banned.
According to Sumaila, who is the Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Ocean and Fisheries Economics at UBC:
“Creating no-take marine reserves is something we must do. Banning fishing in the high seas, which is the area outside the 200-nautical-mile zones of maritime countries, will create a critically-needed ‘fish bank’ for the world.”
Pauly, who is the founder and principal investigator of the UBC “Sea Around Us” research initiative, added:
“If we don’t stop overfishing, we will lose marine stocks essential for food security and biodiversity, and the ocean’s ability to effectively regulate global temperatures.”
Julia Marton-Lefèvre, chair of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, said 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the prize:
“Our lives and livelihoods depend on the ocean, which covers more than 70 percent of Earth. The Tyler Prize Executive Committee recognizes Professors Pauly’s and Sumaila’s outstanding individual and complementary achievements towards the conservation of this global life-source.
“By pioneering analytical approaches and knowledge platforms to assess the global state of world fisheries, they have discovered viable solutions, offering policymakers a realistic pathway towards the sustainable management of ocean fisheries.”
On April 27, 2023, Pauly and Sumaila will deliver a public presentation on their work at the University of Southern California. The following day, they will be presented with the prize (US$250,000/~€235,275 to be shared equally).
The University of Southern California administers the Tyler Prize.