Dr. Rainer Froese. Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR

Ocean Award for Dr. Rainer Froese

GEOMAR researcher is honoured for his work on stock assessment of data-limited fish stocks

08 May 2020/Kiel, London. For more than 30 years, Dr. Rainer Froese has been researching the state of fish stocks worldwide and developing concepts for sustainable fisheries management. Today, the UK-based marine conservation organization "Blue Marine Foundation" announced that the GEOMAR researcher will be awarded the Ocean Award 2020 in the category "Most influential scientist for the conservation of the ocean 2020". According to the foundation's statement, he is receiving the award mainly for his recent work on the assessment of data-poor fish stocks. “I am very happy about this award and I am pleased that it once again draws attention to the need for a sustainable fisheries policy,” says the laureate.

For three quarters of all fish stocks worldwide only few data are available. So far, this has made it difficult to assess whether they are healthy or not. The new methods developed under the direction of Dr. Rainer Froese require only a fraction of the data otherwise needed to estimate stock size and exploitation rates.
The new methods resulted in the first ever stock assessment for many stocks. Many of these stocks are not doing well and urgently need to be managed sustainably. “Thanks to our methods, there is no longer any excuse for not managing fisheries in such a way that healthy stocks produce healthy catches,” emphasizes Dr. Froese.

The world's largest scientific database for fishes, FishBase, also plays an important role in stock assessments. Rainer Froese set it up in the late 1980s together with his colleague Danial Pauly (University of British Columbia). Today FishBase records information on more than 34,000 species.
Dr. Froese originally studied at the University of Kiel and received his PhD in biology from the University of Hamburg. Subsequently he spent 10 years in the Philippines as coordinator of FishBase. Back in Germany he worked at the Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM) in Kiel, at IFM-GEOMAR and finally at GEOMAR on marine biodiversity research, biogeographic mapping of species and the study of population dynamics of fish and large marine ecosystems. Dr. Rainer Froese has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific publications and he is one of the most cited marine scientists.

 Dr. Rainer Froese. Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR
Dr. Rainer Froese. Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR