What is CFOOD?
CFOOD stands for Collaborative for Food from Our Oceans Data and is a term we use to describe the loose network of scientists who work together to better understand the science of fisheries sustainability. The CFOODUW web site and associated Twitter and Facebook accounts are our e-media outreach.
The CFOOD network has been building and maintaining a range of data bases on the status of fish stocks. This began with a working group jointly led by Boris Worm of Dalhousie University and Ray Hilborn, who developed the RAM Legacy Stock Assessment Data Base (www.ramlegacy.org) , and a data base of scientific surveys of fish abundance. Since that time we have added data bases on how fisheries are managed, social and economic performance of fisheries and prices of fish. Expert fisheries scientists from around the world help identify data for the data bases and provide quality control on the data and publications. The RAM Legacy Stock Assessment Data Base has been used for about 50 publications in such journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature, Science, and Conservation Biology. It is a service to the fisheries science community.
In addition, new projects are adding new data bases and research into issues in fisheries sustainability. The most mature of these projects is the Trawling Best Practices project, (https://trawlingpractices.wordpress.com/ ) which is evaluating the impact of mobile bottom contact gear on benthic biota. It has collected data bases on trawl footprint, benthic habitat types, and time trends in trawl effort.
Who is in CFOOD?
A wide range of people have collaborated on building and analyzing the data bases. Two working groups at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis NCEAS (put link to NCEAS web site) have been central features of building the data bases and analyzing the data.
The original funding for the data bases came from NCEAS, and members of the working group research funding. After the initial NCEAS group was complete a grant of $500,000 from the National Science Foundation allowed us to continue to build and maintain it. In 2010 the Walton Family Foundation began supporting the project with total grants since then of $550,000 that have allowed us to host the web site at University of Washington. In 2011 a consortium of N.E. Pacific Fishing Companies began specifically funding the data base manager for the RAM Legacy project and that funding has reached a total of $547,000. In 2014 NCEAS agreed to fund another set of meetings around the status of fish stocks with a grant of $166,000. At UW we have also received grants from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Society for Conservation Biology, the European Commission, and Environmental Defense to support the research for a total of $250,000.
In late 2015 a coalition of international fishing companies agreed to support the program through the U.S. National Fish Institute and UW received a donation of $210,000 for this work. It has enabled us to hire two additional staff to build and maintain the data bases. The members of the network who contribute their time to building and maintaining the data bases are funded by their own agencies and in some cases universities. A rough estimate of the contributed costs would be 20 people at 2 weeks a year at $5,000 per month over the last 7 years, for a total of $350,000
The trawl impacts project has a stand-alone budget independent of the above funding for the RAM Legacy and other data bases. Initial funding came from the Walton and Packard Foundations of $225,000 each. They requested we raise funds from stakeholders and we have received $176,000 in donations from 10 fishing companies to support this work. In addition the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has contributed $120,000, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas $15,000, the US Government through NOAA $88,000 and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia (CSIRO a government institution) $250,000.
Where does the money go?
The major expenses for these projects are staff and student salaries to build and maintain data bases, and analyze the data. Some funds go for travel to meetings.
How is the money from the fishing industry used?
The money from the fishing industry has generally been given to UW as a donation instead of a grant or contract. This means there are no work products defined, no reports on how the money used are required. The money from the fishing industry is used almost exclusively to support staff and student salaries.
Ray Hilborn University of Washington, Seattle USA
Robert Arlinghaus Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin Germany
Kevern Cochrane FAO Retired, Cape Town, South Africa
Stephen Hall, World Fish Center, Penang, Malaysia
Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University
Michel Kaiser, Bangor University
Ana Parma CONICET Puerto Madryn Argentina
Nobuyuki Yagi, The University of Tokyo