Tony J. Pitcher

Last updated
Tony J Pitcher
Alma mater Oxford University
Known forFounding director: UBC Fisheries Centre
Founder: Fish and Fisheries
Founder: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
Fishing down the deep [1]
Awards2003: Beverton Medal
2005: Distinguished Service Award of the AFS [2]
Scientific career
Fields Marine biology, fisheries science
Institutions UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
University of British Columbia
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

Tony J Pitcher is a fisheries scientist, well known for his work on the impacts of fishing, the management appraisal of fisheries, and how shoaling behaviour impacts fisheries.


He is the founding director of the UBC Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia, where he is currently a professor of fisheries.


In 1989, Pitcher founded the journal Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. [3] In 2000, he founded another journal, the quarterly Fish and Fisheries. [4] This journal has the highest impact factor in its field fisheries. [5] [6]

In 2003 Pitcher was awarded the Beverton Medal by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles for his contributions to the understanding of fish and fisheries. [7] In 2005 he was given the Distinguished Service Award by the American Fisheries Society for his work as Chair of the Programme Committee of the 4th World Fisheries Congress. [8] In 2008 he was Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.

Pitcher has been a visiting Professor at the University of Concepcion, Chile and a member of the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Ploen.. He was the Senior Scientific Advisor and Chair of the Advisory Council of the FishSource initiative. [6] [9]


In October 2017 the NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries wrote an open letter to the journal Marine Policy [10] about a published paper co-authored by Pitcher which suggested the U.S. exports to Japan a significant amount of seafood products from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU). [11] The NOAA letter said it "strongly objects to the authors’ claims regarding U.S. seafood exports to Japan and doubts the validity of the methodology used to make such estimates." [10] In January 2019 it was reported that Marine Policy had retracted the study, [12] and the article was formally retracted by the editor of Marine Policy in September 2019. [13] The following month a revised version of the article was published in the same journal. [14] In the same issue Ray Hilborn et al. contested the credibility of the estimates in the revised paper, on the grounds that, "their estimates are not substantiated by any known facts from the fishery". [15] Pitcher et al. countered by saying that instead of relying solely on public information supplied by the fishery, they had used "necessarily confidential sources (over 120 interviews) [which described] the procedures being used in laundering 27 IUU fish products". [16]


Pitcher has authored or co-authored 17 books or edited volumes, 250 peer-reviewed research papers and 251 other published contributions. As of 22 January 2021, Google Scholar reports his H-factor is 78 and he has 28,870 citations to his work. [17]

Published books


  1. Morato T, Watson R, Pitcher TJ and Pauly D (2006) "Fishing down the deep" Fish and Fisheries7(1): 23-33.
  2. American Fisheries Society's Archived 2011-04-15 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries Fisheries magazine.
  4. Fish and Fisheries Journal home.
  5. ISI: Journal Citation Reports for 2006 to 2010.
  6. 1 2 Tony J Pitcher - personal web site.
  7. Fisheries Society of the British Isles
  8. American Fisheries Society Archived 2011-04-15 at the Wayback Machine
  9. FishSource
  10. 1 2 Han, Andrew (November 6, 2017). "Senior NOAA appointee calls for retraction of paper on illegal fishing". Retraction Watch. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  11. Pramod, G., Pitcher, T.J. and Mantha, G. (2017) "Estimates of illegal and unreported seafood imports to Japan". Marine Policy, 84: 42–51. doi : 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.06.032. (later revised)
  12. Fiorillo, John (January 10, 2019). "Controversial IUU science paper finally retracted". IntraFish. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  13. Pramod, Ganapathiraju; Pitcher, Tony J.; Mantha, Gopikrishna (2019). "Retraction Notice to "Estimates of illegal and unreported seafood imports to Japan"". Marine Policy. 107: 103574. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103574 .
  14. Ganapathiraju, P., Pitcher, T.J. and Mantha, G. (2019) "Estimates of illegal and unreported seafood imports to Japan". Marine Policy, 108: 103439. doi : 10.1016/j.marpol.2019.02.011.
  15. Hilborn, R., Anderson, C.M., Kruse, G.H., Punt, A.E., Sissenwine, M., Oliver, C., Ianelli, J.N., Trumble, R.J., Agnew, D.J. and Baker, N. (2019) "Pramod et al. methods to estimate IUU are not credible". Marine Policy, 108: 103632. doi : 10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103632.
  16. Pramod, G. and Pitcher, T.J. (2019) "In defence of seafood import analysis: Credulity bamboozled by supply chain laundering". Marine Policy, 108: 103651. doi : 10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103651
  17. Tony J Pitcher Google Scholar Profile. Retrieved 22 January 2021.

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