CSIRO scientist wins highest global award for fisheries research

An Australian scientist has won the highest accolade in the world for ecological research, the prestigious Japan Prize.

Dr Keith Sainsbury, a CSIRO marine ecologist and mathematical modeller received the Prize for his international efforts to conserve fisheries and marine ecosystems.

The award relates to food production based on sustainable ecosystems, a concept that Dr Sainsbury and colleagues have championed in both theoretical and practical ways for more than 20 years.

The Japan Prize is awarded in several scientific disciplines, also recognised by the Nobel Prize. However, in the field of ecology there is no Nobel Prize awarded. Recent Japan prize winners include Drs Mandelbrot and Yorke for creation of the Chaos Theory, and Dr Berners-Lee the acknowledged as the father of the Internet.

"What this Award achieves is recognition that Australia has a great science base to guide fisheries sustainability and the integrated management of human impacts on marine ecosystems," said Dr Sainsbury.

"The Australian Government took the initiative in management of its own fisheries resources and is setting standards to ensure domestic sustainability while advocating the case at the United Nations for sustainable fisheries and biodiversity protection more generally and on the high seas.

"The marine ecosystems of the world are the last great frontier.

"Australia has been a global leader in its oceans and resource policy-making and its support for oceans science to ensure the seafood meal we have today is not at the expense of the seafood meal we may have tomorrow," he said.

Referring to the announcement CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Geoff Garrett stated "It's fantastic to see our scientists recognised internationally for their outstanding contributions to world science.

"Dr Sainsbury's Prize is a tribute not only to him and his research, but to the value placed upon such work in Australia. On behalf of CSIRO

Contact: Rosie Schmedding
CSIRO Australia

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