Pristine Seas

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
National Geographic Society
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
Steven Gaines
Area/s of Research
Marine Conservation, Policy and Education

The vision of the Pristine Seas project launched by the National Geographic Society is to identify, survey and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. The Sustainable Fisheries Group at University of California, Santa Barbara, is launching a collaboration with Dr. Enric Sala of the Pristine Seas project and Dr. Rashid Sumaila of the University of British Columbia to analyze the economic impacts of closing different regions of the high seas to fishing. This collaboration will utilize global data synthezised by the Global Fishing Watch project, whose objective is to monitor international harvesting of marine resources using remote sensing technologies coupled with terrestrial antennae to track the location of fishing vessels.  This new technology platform provides unique data that opens the door to novel research such as models of fishing fleet behavior, global analysis of effort and catch, early identification of potentially illegal harvesting, and identification of priority areas for conservation. Using this platform, the UCSB-Pristine Seas-UBC team plans to estimate fishing effort, costs, and revenues in various regions of the world to inform a bio-economic model, optimizing marine spatial planning for fishing and conservation.