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Three Presentations on the Conservation Field

February 1, 2016

Last summer I had the pleasure to co-teach an undergraduate study abroad course on conservation in Madagascar. As part of my teaching, I delivered a few lectures on what I’ve personally come to learn about the conservation field, as well as a guided discussion on causes for optimism and pessimism in conservation. In case you’re interested, these three presentations I embed here.

As ever, these perspectives remain works in progress.



Captains of Spaceship Earth

June 24, 2015

Captains of Spaceship Earth from Leonardo Dalessandri on Vimeo.

It’s amazing to see that it’s been over two months since I last posted. On one hand, that’s a much longer period of time than I like to be silent on my blog. On the other, it’s been a truly engaging time since I last wrote. Indeed, since that time I have finished my first year of PhD work, led an undergraduate study abroad trip to Madagascar, and toured Bosnia and Croatia. I’ve also been doing my best to keep things moving for my summer research, and to see the submission of a revised project proposal to the EWCL Board.

Since I leave this Saturday for two-months research on Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast (on the issue of fishers’ internalized “compliance models”), I really don’t expect myself to end the blogging hiatus. This may change as I get enthused about a few other side projects, or find material to share, but in the worst case, you can expect new posts later in the fall.

In the meantime, I highly recommend this video which is performed by Jason Silva, host of National Geographic’s BrainGames and creator of Shots of Awe (worth checking out). Yes, he comes across as though he may be a bit intoxicated, but his enthusiasm and words are quite spot on.  In fact, I’ve often wondered why there isn’t a children’s book called “Space Ship Earth”. It’s a great way to conceive of our roles on the planet.



Illegal Fishing and the Law of the Sea

April 9, 2015


International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), an intergovernmental body with the power to settle disputes related to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has put forward a very important legal opinion.

The Advisory Opinion was issued on April 2 in regards to a question on how the West African Sub Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) – comprised of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone – might respond to illegal fishing vessels.  This is quite important as, by one estimate, illegal fishing accounts for 37% of total catches in West Africa.

While you can read legalese to your heart’s content (see here), this is one of the special times when the importance of the decision can be put in pretty simple terms: Read more…

Intelligence-led Policing in Fisheries (RBC part V)

March 23, 2015
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Use of AFMA domestic compliance intelligence

In the most recent post in this series on Risk-based Compliance (RBC) programs for fisheries, I looked at how such programs set the groundwork for a specific type of “risk treatment”, one which fits the description of what is known in mainstream law enforcement as “problem-oriented policing”. In this post, I conclude the series by considering a final “big idea” for fisheries management. Specifically, I argue that fisheries management agencies should prioritize the collection and management of compliance data. Read more…

Seafood Fraud and Federal Action

March 20, 2015


There’s a nice piece over at The Atlantic on seafood fraud and the recent Presidential initiative to tackle it.  Read more…

Reflections on a Career in Fisheries and Marine Science

March 19, 2015


Brian J. Rothschild has an intriguing article in the ICES Journal of Marine Science in which he reflects on a long and successful career in fisheries and marine research. I think the concluding paragraphs are worth a read by anyone entering into the marine science field, if not academic research more broadly. It speaks to the difficulty of predicting what ideas will “gain currency” and potential flaws in how ideas are spread. Read more…

Corruption in Fisheries Management

March 18, 2015


There’s a great new article out from Aksel Sundrström at Global Environmental Change. It’s particularly interesting as it provides theoretical development to Ostrom’s commonpool resource work (specifically how CPRs can be managed in corrupt environments) and, amazingly, a strong empirical look at fisheries corruption in South Africa. Below are a few choice excerpts. Read more…


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