University of Stirling, Institute of Aquaculture
Dr. Francis Murray is a research Fellow in the Sustainable Aquaculture Group at the University of Stirling (UK) with over 25 years of experience linked to aquaculture and fisheries, straddling industry and development. He has worked for multi-national co-corporations, international research and development organisations including the WorldFish Center and Care International. He specializes in the coordination of highly-collaborative interdisciplinary research projects linked to aquatic food-security and sustainability. Projects in Asia and Africa have focused on increasing water productivity in drought-prone areas through integration of aquaculture in community-managed irrigation systems, dealing with complex interacting biological, hydrological, economic and property-rights systems. More recently he has worked on the sustainability of international seafood trade between Asia and Europe coordinating the EU Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade project (www.SEATglobal.eu). A common theme in all his work is the application farming systems analysis and with action-research in order to deal with real-world problems of small businesses and marginalized communities.
Development of an integrated strategic-positioning framework for assessment of aquaculture and fisheries business competitiveness in European seafood markets.
The ‘Sherbro Oyster Project’ (http://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/project/21013/) was established to support the recently established Sherbro Marine Protected Area, Sierra Leone through development of alternative livelihoods based on extensive culture and value-added marketing of native mangrove oysters for local women. Sierra Leone, the world’s fourth poorest country (IFPRI World-Food-Hunger-Index) retains a skewed gender-ratio following a brutal civil-war. This, rising population and lack of formal employment has increased female dependence on oyster-gathering, processing and marketing as a seasonal livelihood option. Exploitation of this open-access resource depends on gendered-mobility attributes and shared access to canoes with males prioritising fishing and transport uses. After delays due to the Ebola-crisis, taking a ‘do-no-harm’ ethos the research-team collated evidence to challenge a native oyster depletion problem and market interventions on which the project was predicated. This study details a responsive inter-disciplinary problem-(re)framing approach with lessons for data-deficient and production-oriented aquaculture development interventions with a history of failure across sub-Saharan Africa.