Seafood industry funders re-enlist overfishing denier Ray Hilborn for latest study

April 3, 2017

Washington, DC - Following the release of a study by Ray Hilborn and other scientists on the relationships between populations of forage fish and the predators that depend on them for food, Greenpeace Oceans Director John Hocevar said:

“This study asks an important question, and more data and analysis on the degree to which the impact of fisheries can extend beyond target species is welcome. As is often the case with Dr. Hilborn’s work, the scientific publication is carefully written and somewhat measured in its conclusions, but his public commentary is sweeping and disconnected from — or even in contradiction with — his own paper.

“It was eye-opening to see Hilborn disclose the fact that he and two of his co-authors at UW were supported by ‘27 fishing groups and fishing companies in the United States.’ Unfortunately, disclosure of his conflicts of interest have been inconsistently, if not selectively, disclosed by Dr. Hilborn in recent years. It is easy to draw a connection between the millions of dollars in industry funding and Hilborn’s many attacks on scientists and environmentalists who have raised concerns about the impacts of commercial fishing on the health of our oceans.”

Following a review of documents obtained through a public records request, Greenpeace determined that Dr. Hilborn has for many years taken large amounts of money from the fishing industry and other corporate interests. He has received both research funds ($3.56 million) and numerous outside consultancies. Dr. Hilborn has not fully disclosed this financial connection with the fishing industry, including in publications where he has accused his opponents of being influenced by their funders.


Contact: Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace Global Seafood Communications and Outreach Manager, P: 301-675-8766

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