UCL Department of Geography


Stephen Long

Research Title

Sustainable fishing in Greenland: impact of deep-sea trawling on benthic ecosystems

More about Stephen


  • PhD Student, London NERC DTP PhD Studentship, Institute of Zoology and University College London
  • 2013 – 2014: MSc Conservation and Biodiversity, University of Exeter
  • 2009 - 2012: BSc (Hons) 2:1 Biology, University of Durham

Selected Employment

  • 2018 - 2021: Consultant to SEED Madagascar's Darwin Initiative Project 
  • 2014 - 2017: Database Manager and Lecturer, Operation Wallacea
  • 2015 - 2016: Marine Research Co-ordinator, SEED Madagascar
  • 2013: Field Ecologist, Thompson Ecology Ltd
  • 2012: Research Intern, Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR)



  • Skinner, F., Burtenshaw-deVries, A., Long, S., Randrianantenaina, S. and Ellis, E. (2016) Phase two project for community lobster fishery management in the village of Sainte Luce (Project Oratsimba): Final report. FAO-SmartFish Programme of the Indian Ocean Commission, Ebene, Mauritius.
Research Interests

Stephen’s interests lie in ensuring the sustainable management and exploitation of natural resources, particularly in marine environments. His research has addressed fishery management in the UK, Madagascar and now Greenland.

PhD project - Sustainable fishing in Greenland: impact of deep-sea trawling on benthic ecosystems

The entrance of Greenland’s fisheries to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification scheme has highlighted the paucity of knowledge on the impacts of bottom-trawling on deep-sea benthic ecosystems in the Arctic. This collaborative project will develop an understanding of benthic communities and the impacts of trawling in the Greenland halibut fishery, using photographic, video, bycatch and environmental data. Further, the project will allow a critical evaluation of the role of the MSC certification scheme in fishery governance, with wider applications to the management of deep-sea fisheries and those engaged in the MSC certification scheme.

This contributes to a wider project exploring benthic ecosystems and fishing impacts in west Greenland, a collaboration between the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR).

Community-based lobster fishery management in Southeast Madagascar

SEED Madagascar's Project Oratsimba began in 2013 and aimed to establish community-based lobster fishery management, including the introduction of periodic No Take Zones, in Sainte Luce, southeast Madagascar. This led to Sainte Luce being established as a locally managed marine area (LMMA), with local fishers now being active contributors to MIHARI – Madagascar’s LMMA network.  Findings from participatory fisheries monitoring, established in 2015, have been used to inform local management with applications to small-scale fisheries across the Western Indian Ocean.

With funding from the Darwin Initiative, the project has now entered a refinement and scale-up phase. Stephen continues to provide ongoing technical support to the participatory fisheries monitoring programme now scaled up to three communities. Further, in collaboration with UCL, the Sainte Luce LMMA has now been subject to a critical governance analysis, employing the Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG) framework.

Past Projects

The Marine Protected Area Governance (MPAG) framework was developed to offer an empirical tool for critically analysing the governance of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Building on previous work in Madagascar, recent research has seen the novel application of this framework to a community-managed small-scale crab fishery and LMMA in northwest Madagascar.

The Fal oyster fishery, Cornwall, has been in operation since Roman times and is the last remaining commercial sailing fleet in Europe.  Fishers continue to employ traditional methods, deploying hand-hauled dredges and sailing boats and rowing punts.  This offers a stark counterfactual to the increasing power and mechanisation of commercial fisheries in the last 100 years. Working with collaborators at the University of Exeter, data from GPS loggers on boats and fisheries monitoring data were combined to gain insights into this unique fishery.

Ongoing involvement in a long-term terrestrial ecological monitoring project in the dry forest and mangroves of the Mahamavo watershed, northwest Madagascar.  The project combines multi-taxa survey data with remote sensing to understand long-term trends and inform conservation. This is achieved through collaboration between the University of Oxford, Operation Wallacea, Development and Biodiversity Conservation Action Madagascar (DBCAM) and the community of Mariarano.

Research Grants, Prizes and Awards
  • 2019: Royal Society of Biology, New Researcher Outreach and Engagement Award
  • 2019: ICES, ECS travel grant
  • 2019: UCL Geography Department Postgraduate Fund, travel grant
  • 2019: Frank Carter Travel Award, travel grant
  • 2018: Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI), travel grant
  • 2018: Mead Travel fund, travel grant
  • 2017: Daisy Balogh Fund, research grant
  • 2015: J Willson Charitable Trust, travel and research grant
  • 2014: Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust, bursary for MSc
  • 2009-2012: Deloitte Scholar Scheme, annual bursary throughout BSc