Ussif Rashid Sumaila
Director & Professor, Fisheries Economics Research Unit
University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre

Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila 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.


Currently, approximately 60% of the world’s population lives within 60 km of the coast, and this number is expected to reach 75% within the next few decades. The set of knowledge needed to understand and manage humans and their interactions with coastal environments are clearly out of the scope of any one discipline. I therefore begin my talk by illustrating how I integrate economics with other disciplines to study human-coastal environment systems. I proceed to address questions about the relationship between humans and the coastal environment using marine fisheries as example. Displaying fish catch and fishing effort data to set the stage, I employ a bioeconomic model and economic data to show that interactions between fishers and fish are currently not sustainable in many parts of the world, resulting in overfishing, economic losses, and food security problems. Next, I embark on an interdisciplinary analysis to show that by rebuilding global fisheries we will improve food security while increasing the profitability of the fishing sector. In the closing part of my talk, I present ideas for my future research; share my passion for teaching and the training of future leaders to take on challenges at the interface of human-coastal environment interactions; and demonstrate how I have communicated my research outcomes to policy-makers and the broader public. 

Sponsored in conjunction with Civi & Environmental Engineering and Environmental Earth Systems Science.