Ray Hilborn

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Ray Hilborn
Ray Hilborn.JPG
Born 1947
Residence Washington
Known for His critiques of Daniel Pauly
Awards Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Volvo Environment Prize (2006)
Scientific career
Fields Marine biology, fisheries science
Institutions University of Washington

Ray Hilborn (born 1947) is a marine biologist and fisheries scientist, known for his work on conservation and natural resource management in the context of fisheries. He is currently professor of aquatic and fishery science at the University of Washington. He focuses on conservation, natural resource management, fisheries stock assessment and risk analysis, and advises several international fisheries commissions and agencies.[1][2]


Ray Hilborn has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and several books.

In 1992, Hilborn coauthored Quantitative fisheries stock assessment with Carl Walters. In 1997, he coauthored The Ecological Detective: Confronting Models with Data with Marc Mangel. In 2012, he coauthored Overfishing: what everyone needs to know with Ulrike Hilborn.

With Carl Walters, he jointly received the Wildlife Society award for best paper in fish ecology and management: Walters, C.J. and Hilborn R. 1976. "Adaptive control of fishing systems", Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, 33(1): 145-159.

In 2006, he shared the Volvo Environment Prize with Daniel Pauly and Carl Walters.[3] He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.[4]

In 2011, he received the Ecological Society of America's Sustainability Science Award for a 2009 paper with Boris Worm and others entitled Rebuilding global fisheries, Science 325:578-585.

His major areas of current and past research interest include "Bayesian analysis of decision making in natural resources, adaptive management of renewable resources, the dynamics of the Serengeti ecosystem in east Africa, the role of hatcheries in management of Pacific salmon, the ability of institutions to learn from experience, statistical methods in testing dynamic ecological hypotheses, the analysis of migration and dispersal from mark–recapture data, and the ecological dynamics of fishing fleets."[1]

Research in Fisheries Management[edit]

In their research, Hilborn and Walters investigated how dynamic statistical models can be used to manage fisheries in order to maintain states of optimum equilibrium. In their paper,[5] they examined the effectiveness of using the Ricker and Beverton-Holt models in estimating the potential yield of future generations by using data taken from prior generations. They addressed the problem that, in regards to fisheries, the parameters of the control system are often either varied or uncertain and the use of historical data becomes progressively more unreliable as it gets older. Influenced by control theory, Hilborn and Walters modified the original models with various new formulae to create alternative models, in order to achieve more exact predictions. They then identified “a series of alternative harvesting experiments… each of which would be reasonably certain to discriminate between the alternative models…”[6] Their work has been invaluable in assessing the sustainability of fisheries in order to set quotas and develop effective and management strategies.



  1. ^ a b Ray Hilborn
  2. ^ Hilborn, Ray 1947- WorldCat Identities. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  3. ^ http://www.environment-prize.com/
  4. ^ http://www.rsc.ca/index.php
  5. ^ Walters CJ, Hilborn R. 1976. Adaptive control of fishing systems. J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 33(1): 145-159
  6. ^ Hilborne et Walters


External links[edit]