Research conducted by the MARINA Lab relates to interactions between humans and marine and freshwater resources and services. Our work generally falls into four research themes:
Photo: Lift-net fishing platforms in Tonle Sap, Cambodia by Eddie Allison.
Since the global food price shocks of 2007-8 addressing food security has returned to the top of the international development agenda. Increased awareness of the ‘hidden hunger’ of micronutrient deficiencies and the importance of fish as a source of essential micronutrients have combined to make fisheries and aquaculture a key area of consideration for public health policy. Environmental and ethical concerns for the way we harvest produce, distribute and consume our food are also reflected in a proliferation of consumer guidelines and seafood labeling schemes.
The broad research questions our group is pursing under this theme are:
Supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust and SESYNC this large collaboration bridges the fields o f nutritional epidemiology, fisheries science, conservation biology, global change science and resource economics to quantify, for the first time, the importance of fisheries for different populations around the world. Our three primary objectives are:
To achieve these aims we are modeling shifts in diets based on changes in access to fisheries, estimating per capita changes in fish consumption and calculating changes in the prevalence of risk for a number of micronutrient deficiencies. Using this modeling approach, we can estimate shifts in burdens of disease for particular populations associated with either increased or decreased access to seafood in the diet. Emerging from this effort will be an analytic framework and architecture that will allow decision-makers to calculate the health implications of different marine management strategies at a variety of scales from local to global.
Team members include those below (along with many others!):
With funding from UW’s Population Health Initiative, this project aims to explore the potential for underutilized U.S. West Coast fisheries to support human health and nutrition. Oily fishes, such as mackerel, herring and sardines, contain high levels of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids that are unique to marine species, but are not targeted by West Coast fisheries due to consumer taste preferences and economic incentives to catch a few popular species, like halibut and rockfish. While the smaller, more "fishy" tasting fish are generally turned into fish meal for animal and aquaculture feed or discarded as bycatch, they could provide an inexpensive source of valuable nutrients.
The aims of our project are to:
Zach Koehn (PhD, SAFS) – Nutritional value of fisheries
Kathleen Mifflin (MSc, Dalhousie University) – Food waste in the fisheries sector. (Committee Chair: Peter Tyedmers)
Brittany Flittner, Kadie McShirley, Henry Peterson, and Emily Rhoades (MMA Capstone, SMEA) – Mapping Seattle’s sustainable seafood landscape
Thao Huynh (MMA, SMEA) – Effects of high temperature on sablefish reproduction and implications for net-pen aquaculture
Lily Zhao (MMA, SMEA) – Tracking the trade of octopus across East Africa and onto the global market
John Cheney (MMA, SMEA) – Health risks of oyster consumption in Washington State
Raye Evrard (MMA, SMEA) – The carbon footprint of shellfish aquaculture
Hannah Russell (MMA, SMEA) – Changing role of fish in nutrition, Ghana
Teressa Pucylowski (MMA, SMEA) – Life cycle analysis of oyster farming in the PNW
Cinner, J. E., Adger, W. N., Allison, E. H., Barnes, M. L., Brown, K., Cohen, P. J., … Morrison, T. H. (2018). Building adaptive capacity to climate change in tropical coastal communities. Nature Climate Change, 8(2), 117–123.
Golden, C. D., Seto, K. L., Dey, M. M., Chen, O. L., Gephart, J. A., Myers, S. S., ... & Allison, E. H. (2017). Does Aquaculture Support the Needs of Nutritionally Vulnerable Nations?. Frontiers in Marine Science 4, #159.
Golden, C.D., Allison, E.H., Cheung, W.W.L., Dey, M.M., Halpern, B.S., McCauley, D.J., Smith, M. and Vaitla, B. (2016). Nutrition: Fall in fish catch threatens human health. Nature, 534, 317–320.
Thilsted, S.H., Thorne-Lyman, A., Webb, P., Bogard, J.R., Subasinghe, R., Phillips, M.J. and Allison, E.H., 2016. Sustaining healthy diets: The role of capture fisheries and aquaculture for improving nutrition in the post-2015 era. Food Policy, 61, pp.126-131.
Bell, J.D., V. Allain, E.H. Allison, S. Andréfouët, N.L. Andrew, M.J. Batty, M. Blanc, J.M. Dambacher, J. Hampton, Q. Hanich, et al. (2015). Diversifying the use of tuna to improve food security and public health in Pacific Island countries and territories. Marine Policy, 51: 584-591
McClanahan, T., E.H. Allison and J.E. Cinner (2015). Managing fisheries for human and food security. Fish and Fisheries, 16(1): 78-103.
Hall, S.J., R. Hilborn, N.L. Andrew and E.H. Allison (2013). Innovations in capture fisheries are an imperative for nutrition security in the developing world. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(21): 8393-8398
Hughes, S., Yau, A. Max, L., Petrovic, N., Davenport, F., Marshall, M, McClanahan, T.J., Allison, E.H. and Cinner, J. (2012). A framework to assess national level vulnerability from the perspective of food security: the case of coral reef fisheries. Environmental Science & Policy 23: 95-108.
Allison, E.H. (2011). Fisheries, aquaculture, poverty and food security. WorldFish Center Working Papers 2011-65, Penang, Malaysia.
Béné, C., M. Phillips and E.H. Allison (2011). The forgotten service: Food as an ecosystem service from estuarine and coastal zones. In: Wolanski E. and McLusky D.S. (eds) Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, Vol 12, Waltham, MA: Academic Press, 147-180.
Photo: Atlantic and sockeye salmon by Jack Cheney.
Coastal and maritime societies and ecologies are sites of great dynamism. Global environmental change, globalization of trade, migration, urbanization and changing utilization of ocean spaces pose challenges to people whose lives are linked to the sea and to the governance of coastal zones and oceans. Our group is interested in multi-scale research to elucidate pathways of change and societal responses to them. Some of the question we pursue include:
Myriam Khalfallah (PhD, University of British Columbia, Fisheries Centre) - Artisanal Fisheries in North Africa and the Middle East (Committee Chair: Professor Daniel Pauly)
Alison McNaughton (PhD, University of Victoria, Department of Geography) – Arapaima conservation and Amazonian Livelihoods
Merrill Rudd (PhD, SAFS) – Stock assessment in data-poor coral reef fisheries (Committee member; Advisors: Ray Hilborn and Trevor Branch)
Clare Shelton (PhD, UEA) – Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in fishing communities in the Western Pacific
Two NSF-funded Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training (IGERT) team projects – (1) climate change impacts and adaptation in US cities, and (2) adaptation of Quinalt Nation to climate change impacts on their razor clam fishery (Advisory panel)
Cinner, J. E., Huchery, C., MacNeil, M. A., Graham, N. A., McClanahan, T. R., Maina, J., ... & Allison, E. H. (2016). Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs. Nature, 535(7612), 416-419.
Allison, E.H. and H.R. Bassett (2015). Climate change in the oceans: Human impacts and responses. Science, 350(6262): 778-782.
Cinner, J.E., Huchery, C., Hicks, C.C., Daw, T.M., Marshall, N., Wamukota, A. and Allison, E.H. (2015) Changes in adaptive capacity through time and among different segments of Kenyan fishing communities. Nature Climate Change, 5(9), 872-876.
Barange, M., G. Merino, J. L. Blanchard, J. Scholtens, J. Harle, E. H. Allison, J. I. Allen, J. Holt & S. Jennings (2014). Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystem production in societies dependent on fisheries. Nature Climate Change, 4: 211–216
Merino, G., Barange, M., Blanchard, J., Harle, J., Holmes, R., Allen, I., Allison, E.H., Badjeck, M-C., Dulvy, N.K., Holt, J., Jennings, S., Mullon, C., and Rodwell, L.D (2012). Can marine fisheries and aquaculture meet fish demand from a growing human population in a changing climate? Global Environmental Change, 22(4): 795-806.
Badjeck, M-C., E.H. Allison, A.S. Halls and N.K. Dulvy (2010). Impacts of climate variability and change on fishing-based livelihoods. Marine Policy, 34(3): 375-383
Allison, E.H., A. Perry, M-C. Badjeck, W.N. Adger, N.L. Andrew, K. Brown, D. Conway, A. Halls, G.M Pilling, J.D. Reynolds, and N.K. Dulvy (2009) Vulnerability of national economies to potential impacts of climate change on fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 10: 173-196.
Photo: A man by his boat at low tide in a village on stilts in Bangladesh by Nathan Bennett.
Within SMEA’s Human-Natural systems perspectives, we work largely on the human. Our group is very interested in the people who live in, work on or visit coastal areas. We have a particular focus on people who produce, process, trade and consume fish but recognize that coastal livelihoods may be diverse and include non-natural resource sectors too. While we are interested in the impact of humans on biogeochemical and ecological processes, we go beyond characterizing the impact of humans on ‘nature’ and are interested in the broader set of relationships between people and the sea, and so we study what people are thinking, feeling and deciding, and not just what impact their activities are having on marine environments. In particular, we recognize that any analysis of ‘human dimensions’ has to recognize gender, ethnicity, class and other elements of identity and difference.
Our research is concerned with the study of actors and agency and relations between different groups of people using ocean and coastal spaces. We collaborate extensively with anthropologists, economists, human geographers and sociologists and would like to work more with political scientists, social psychologists, historians and others in the social sciences and humanities. Some of the ideas and conceptual frameworks we work with include sustainable livelihoods, resilience, wellbeing, human rights, occupational and place attachment, and institutional analysis and development.
Hannah Bassett (PhD, SAFS) - Dive fisheries effects on human health and well-being
Carole White (PhD, UEA) – What keeps people fishing in a declining fishery?
Liliana Bastian (MMA, SMEA) – Gender in international conservation with development programs
Jillian Lyles (MMA, SMEA) – Restoring traditional fish ponds in Hawai’i
Laura Deighan (MMA, SMEA) – Implementation of Fisheries Improvement Programs, Gulf of Mexico Snapper Fishery (Committee Chair: Kiki Jenkins)
Claire Dawson (MMA, SMEA) – Financial inclusion for smallholder aquaculture farmers, Banda Aceh
Bennett, N. J., Whitty, T. S., Finkbeiner, E., Pittman, J., Bassett, H.R., Gelcich, S., & Allison, E. H. (2018). Environmental Stewardship: A Conceptual Review and Analytical Framework. Environmental Management, 1-18.
Barratt, C. and Allison, E.H. (2014). Does people’s vulnerability undermine the sustainability of community-managed natural resources? Evidence from two fishing communities on Lake Victoria, Uganda. Development Studies Research, 1(1): 16-27.
Weeratunge, N., C. Béné, R. Siriwardane, A. Charles, D. Johnson, E.H. Allison, P.K. Kumar Nayah and M.-C. Badjeck (2014). Small-scale fisheries through the wellbeing looking glass. Fish and Fisheries, 15(2): 255–279.
Ratner, B. D., P. Cohen, B. Barman, K. Mam, J. Nagoli, and E. H. Allison (2013). Governance of aquatic agricultural systems: analyzing representation, power, and accountability. Ecology and Society, 18(4): 59.
Allison, E.H., Ratner, B.D., Asgard, B.A., Willmann, R., Pomeroy, R.D., and Kurien, J. (2012). Rights-based fisheries governance: from fishing rights to human rights. Fish and Fisheries, 13(1): 14-29.
Armitage, D., Béné, C, Charles, A., Johnson, D. and Allison, E.H. (2012). The interplay of wellbeing and resilience in applying a social-ecological perspective. Ecology & Society, 17(4): 15.
Evans, L. S., K. Brown and E. H. Allison. (2011). Factors influencing adaptive marine governance in a developing country context: a case study of southern Kenya. Ecology and Society, 16 (2): 21.
Kissling, E., E.H. Allison, J.A. Seeley, S. Russell, M. Bachmann, S.D. Musgrave and S. Heck (2005). Fisherfolk are among groups most at risk of HIV: cross-country analysis of prevalence and numbers infected. AIDS, 19(17): 1939-1946.
Allison, E.H., and F. Ellis (2001). The livelihoods approach and management of small-scale fisheries. Marine Policy, 25 (5) 377-388.
The schism between traditional ‘wilderness conservation’ and the utilitarian ‘new conservation’ has its analogues in the sea, where large marine protected areas and marine spatial planning represent wilderness and resource management viewpoints on ocean governance. Debates on the relative roles of communal, state and private control of coastal and ocean spaces and resources are shaping investments in fisheries governance reform, the creation of large marine protected areas and marine spatial planning.
Current research is centered on examining the processes and outcomes of fisheries governance reforms and integrated conservation and development programmes. We are interested in applying discourse analysis, the study of policy diffusion, and of networks of influence in marine affairs. Our approach is informed by political ecology and political economy analysis.
Rebecca Singleton (PhD, University of British Columbia, Fisheries Centre) - Human Rights, Fisheries Development and NGOs in Madagascar’s Marine Conservation and Fisheries Sector (Committee Chair: Professor Rashid Sumaila)
Karen Villeda (MMA, SMEA) - Towards an inclusive FIP model: bringing FIPs to scale
Emily Crigler (MMA, SMEA) - Sub-contracting on the sea: charter arrangements in the Western and Central Pacific
Wataru Tanoue (MMA, SMEA) – Catch share programs for Japanese fisheries
Christopher Giordano (MMA, SMEA) – Equity outcomes of ITQ fisheries
Alexander Tanz (MMA, SMEA) – Institutional barriers to ecosystem-based fisheries management in the US
Kittinger, J. N., Teh, L. C., Allison, E. H., Bennett, N. J., Crowder, L. B., Finkbeiner, E. M., ... & Young, J. (2017). Committing to socially responsible seafood. Science, 356(6341), 912-913.
Allison, E.H. and H.R. Bassett (2015). Climate change in the oceans: Human impacts and responses. Science, 350(6262): 778-782.
Ratner, B.D., Åsgård, B., Allison, E.H. (2014). Fishing for justice: human rights, development, and fisheries sector reform. Global Environmental Change, 27: 120-13
Ratner, B.D and Allison, E.H. (2012). Wealth, rights, and resilience: An agenda for governance reform in small-scale fisheries. Development Policy Review, 30(4): 371-398
Béné, C., B. Hersoug, and E. H. Allison (2010). Not by rent alone: analyzing the pro-poor functions of small-scale fisheries in developing countries. Development Policy Review, 28(3): 325-358
The WorldFish Center is an international, non-profit, research organization that works to reduce poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in developing countries by making fish more readily available for food and income. The Center provides the sound scientific knowledge needed to increase fish production, guide the management of fisheries and aquatic ecosystems, reverse habitat degradation, and influence policies involving fish and the people who depend on them. Since 1992, WorldFish has been one of 15 independent Future Harvest centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Too Big To Ignore is a research network and knowledge mobilization partnership established to elevate the profile of small-scale fisheries (SSF), to argue against their marginalization in national and international policies, and to develop research and governance capacity to address global fisheries challenges.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies undertakes integrated research for sustainable use and management of coral reefs. The ARC Centre is headquartered at James Cook University (JCU) and is a partnership of several Australian institutions. Within the ARC Centre, the Cinner Group focuses on the interface between social science and ecology to develop solutions for a wide range of issues facing coral reefs and the millions of people who depend on them. They integrate theories and methods from geography, economics, political science, ecology, and modeling to explore issues at the forefront of applied conservation.
The School of International Development at UEA is a leading global center of excellence in research and teaching in international development. They are committed to making a real difference in the world and their academics regularly advise on policy on major global challenges such as poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. Research themes range from Behavioral and Experimental Economics to Global Environmental Justice to Life Course, Migration, and Well-being.
IMBER is an international project that aims to investigate the sensitivity of marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems to global change, on time scales ranging from years to decades. IMBER aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of, and accurate predictive capacity for ocean responses to accelerating global change and the consequent effects on the Earth System and human society.