Will There be Plenty More Fish in the Sea?
The scale of loss of life on Earth is unprecedented: the current extinction rate is more than ten times greater than previously observed in the fossil record.
As Canada Research Chair in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Dr. Nick Dulvy plans to address this challenge through a better understanding of marine biodiversity change and sustainable resource use.
In the last fifty years, technology has enabled the ocean-wide overexploitation of marine resources. Fishing has caused a massive decline in the biomass of large predatory fishes, but, so far, few marine species have been driven to extinction.
Taking full advantage of this opportunity to prevent biodiversity loss, Dulvy’s research will examine how species richness depends on energy flow through food webs; which biological factors increase vulnerability to extinction in sharks and rays; how the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems and human societies relates to the sustainability coral reef fisheries; and how climate change affects ocean fisheries productivity and the vulnerability of fishing nations.
He will also develop indicators of the effect of climate change on fish communities and of the threat status of fish within ecosystems. Finally, Dulvy will develop new methods of assessing threat and extinction risk in fishes and reconciling threat criteria with fisheries management reference points.
Dulvy’s research will make fundamental contributions to the understanding and management of aquatic biodiversity change, to the development of sustainable management practices and to the training of Canada’s next generation of marine scientists and managers.