Vera Telemo

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Student awards

Former centre Master’s student wins Swedish award for best Master's science theses in the marine sciences

Vera Telemo awarded the 2018 Dyrssen award for her M.Sc. thesis “Discarding the Landing Obligation? Swedish Fishers’ Commitment to the EU Discard Ban”


The Swedish Society for Marine Sciences (SHF) have selected Vera Telemo’s M.Sc. thesis as winner of their annual Dyrssen award. The award is given to the author of the best Swedish bachelor and master science theses in the marine sciences. It consists of a price sum of 15000 Swedish Crowns and an invitation to present at the Swedish Marine Science conference to be held in Göteborg 6-7 November.

Committed but sceptical

Telemo’s thesis investigates the commitment and willingness of Swedish fishers to uphold the landing obligation. This new regulation is recently introduced to halt the widespread practice of discarding dead fish. The Landing Obligation (LO) forces fishers to land all catch and requires monitoring at sea rather than on land. Monitoring at sea is particularly difficult to enforce. Based on this, the perceived legitimacy of the policy among fishers is believed to be of greatest importance to ensure successful implementation.

Telemo concludes that Swedish fishers express a dual commitment towards upholding the LO. On the one hand, they are committed to avoiding bycatch, which is shown by a positive attitude towards the use and development of selective gear. On the other hand, they are also skeptical about the practical implementation of the LO, which they perceive at times as incoherent and overtly complex.

“Not only do I find that Vera has written a methodologically sound and theoretically deep thesis, she also makes a highly original and relevant contribution to the interdisciplinary field of marine science and the quest for sustainable fisheries”

Supervisor Wijnand Boonstra in his nomination letter to the Dryssen award committee.

Future projects: resilient mill towns

On the basis of her work, Vera Telemo suggests to improve sustainability in fisheries through redirecting attention from an exclusive focus on compliance with regulation to fishers’ commitment to policies.

Currently, she is setting up her own company and project focused on investigating what a future resilient “mill town” could look like. The project aims to explore questions on how life on the countryside can be lived within the planetary boundaries and how the polarization between urban and rural and within rural citizens can be addressed.

Related info

The award was initiated by the SHF in honor of David Dyrssen (1922 - 2011), emeritus professor of analytical chemistry at the University of Gothenburg. As one of the founding members of the Swedish Society for Marine Sciences, he spent his career being an active proponent for the promotion of trans-disciplinary research for the marine sciences.

Read more about the award here


Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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