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Dialogue on fisheries

Dr. Ray Hilborn, University of Washington, will deliver the 2009 Dialogue on Advancing Global Sustainability.

By Kelly Foss

A specialist in natural resource management and conservation will be the 2009 guest lecturer for the Dialogue on Advancing Global Sustainability.

Dr. Ray Hilborn is a professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. His public lecture, titled Maintaining Fishing Communities – Harvest Strategies and Allocation Methods, will take place Sept. 17.

Dr. Hilborn argues that fisheries management agencies have historically emphasized the maintenance of fishing communities and jobs – often leading to excess fishing capacity and, ultimately, overfishing. In response, he feels many agencies now concentrate on maintaining biological productivity and economic profitability, often at the expense of communities and jobs. In his public lecture, he will explore how allocation methods and harvest strategies can be modified to achieve both biological and community sustainability.

Dr. Hilborn teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conservation, fisheries stock assessment and risk analysis and has served as an advisor to several international fisheries commissions and agencies. He co-authored Quantitative Fisheries Stock Assessment with Carl Walters in 1992, and The Ecological Detective: Confronting Models with Data with Marc Mangel, in 1997 and has published over 200 peer reviewed articles.

He serves on the editorial boards of seven journals including the board of reviewing editors of Science magazine. He has been a member of the ocean studies board of the National Research Council, and the scientific advisory panel for the Presidents Commission on Ocean Policy. He has received the American Fisheries Societies Award of Excellence, the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists Outstanding Achievement Award and the Volvo Environmental Prize. He is also a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada.

The Dialogue on Advancing Global Sustainability is an initiative of Memorial University which brings to the university outstanding figures able to communicate insight and understanding to diverse audiences on environmental issues. Past Dialogue lecturers have included Dr. Diana Liverman, Dr. Mark Jaccard and Dr. William Rees.

During his lectureship, Dr. Hilborn will also conduct a research seminar on the role of biocomplexity in sustaining fisheries on Wednesday Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. in C-2045, followed by a roundtable (The complexity of sustainable fisheries: bridging science and policy) at 2:15 p.m. in IIC-1004.

A synergy session with Dr. Hilborn titled Will the Cod Ever Come Back? Comparing the Grand Banks with New England and the North Sea, will be hosted by the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development on Sept. 17 at noon in the 4th Floor Boardroom, Spencer Hall, Memorial University. Register is required by emailing or calling 737-8405.

Dr. Hilborn will deliver the 2009 Dialogue on Advancing Global Sustainability public lecture on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Inco Innovation Centre, room IIC-2001. The lecture is free and open to the public with free parking available in Lot 18.

It will also be webcast live at A reception will follow the lecture in the lower concourse of the Inco Building.