SA prof receives Japanese honour for saving bluefin tuna

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 22 May 2019

Emeritus professor Doug Butterworth has recently been awarded a prestigious honour for his work in marine conservation in Japan.

Butterworth is based at the University of Cape Town and is one of the world’s most influential fisheries scientists, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts organisation.

The prof received the Order of the Rising Son, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbons, a third-class honour for his contribution to sustaining Japan’s fisheries. The UCT professor has influenced the way South African fisheries are managed, taking that expertise abroad and to the east, where he helped Japan among other countries.

Butterworth helped Japan devise sustainable management systems for the bluefin tuna, which is an expensive and sought-after fish for gastronomic reasons, but is also vulnerable.

The professor is also proficient in applied mathematics, another department he belonged to at the University of Cape Town. He used this to develop management procedures for marine resources. He’s made valuable contributions to scientific committees who advise fisheries on the appropriate levels of catch for South Africa and Namibia. Globally, he has helped committees decide on appropriate guidelines for matters concerning whales, Antarctic krill and tuna.

Image: screenshot via Pew Charitable Trusts

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