Amanda Vincent named Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Originally posted by UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries

Dr. Amanda Vincent has been named as one of The Royal Society of Canada (RSC)’s newest Fellows.

The fellowship of the RSC comprises over 2000 Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field. These are distinguished men and women who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.

Dr. Vincent has dedicated her career to ocean conservation, anchored in her specialty of seahorses. She was the first biologist to study seahorses underwater, uncovering their extensive global trade and establishing projects for their conservation around the world. In 1996, Dr. Vincent co-founded and still directs Project Seahorse, an international team committed to conservation and sustainable use of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems. Project Seahorse undertakes biological and social research, empowers local communities, establishes marine protected areas, manages small-scale fisheries, restructures international trade, promotes integrated policy, and advances environmental understanding.

Dr. Vincent has led on marine conservation initiatives all over the world, from community-based local projects to global policy ventures. Project Seahorse is notable for linking research and management in tight feedback, actively applying new knowledge promptly. Her team has catalysed creation of 35 new marine reserves, where no fishing is allowed, and promoted new fisheries and trade regulations. In 2002, she was instrumental in persuading the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to embark on regulating exports in marine fishes, with milestone legislation to limit global seahorse exports to sustainable levels and legally sourcing. This work has led the way for the addition of other marine fishes to CITES, creating policies to control fish exports all over the world.

“I’m truly delighted to be recognized as one of Canada’s notable scientists – a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. It’s a wonderful seal of approval for my team’s work in ocean conservation, using seahorses to find solutions that address threats to marine life. Such recognition validates our approach of generating and applying knowledge in quick succession, always working actively to improve global support for ocean species and spaces.”

Dr. Vincent recently became the first marine conservationist to win the world’s top award in animal conservation, the Indianapolis Prize, for her trailblazing work to protect seahorses and other marine life. She is Chair of the IUCN SSC Marine Conservation Committee and Chair of the IUCN SSC Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group. In these capacities, she is involved in diverse support for colleagues working on marine species and spaces around the world.

Dr. Vincent and her Project Seahorse team are now focused on bringing an end to bottom trawling, the single biggest threat to seahorses. Bottom trawling is a highly destructive form of fishing where nets are dragged across the ocean floor, removing everything in their paths and damaging vital habitats in the process.

UBC’s announcement
RSC announcement