New research on future of oceans

date: 2011-04-22


Over-exploitation of the world’s fish resources has caused serious decline in fish populations. The Nereus Program has been developed to address the issue of future seafood production through simulations, capacity building and public awareness. In the next nine years Nereus will bring together international experts in fisheries, climate change, environmental policy, geospatial modeling, marine ecology and socio-economics.

Combining real-time and projected data and 3D simulation and visualization technology, researchers will be able to show scientists, policymakers, fisheries managers and members of the public how different conservation and management scenarios could affect the ocean environment and people who depend on fisheries.

Simulating future ocean

A major limitation in current global fisheries analysis is that the available coupled atmosphere-oceans tools do not include the coastal environment. It will be a major initiative of the Nereus Program to fill this void, and for the first time provide scientifically sound analysis of how the world’s coastal zones will be able to contribute to food security in the future. To this end, Nereus will cooperate with the Global NEWS group and GLOBIO partner PBL-Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. They developed a spatially-explicit model that describes the nutrient loading to more than 6000 rivers and watersheds globally.

Biodiversity is one of the key aspects that will be included in the ecosystem simulations, resulting in ocean wide projections, complementary to the terrestrial GLOBIO results. The UBC group behind the Nereus program has cooperated with GLOBIO-partner PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency since 2006 on development of the EcoOcean global ocean model, which will serve as a foundation for the Nereus Program.


The Nippon Foundation is an international non-profit organization, engaged in a wide variety of activities around the world, including fields such as ocean affairs, education, social welfare and public health.

The University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre undertakes research to restore fisheries, conserve aquatic life and rebuild ecosystems. It promotes multidisciplinary study of aquatic ecosystems and broad-based collaboration with maritime communities, governments, NGOs and other partners.

 More information:

News archive