Dr Joanna Murray

Senior Marine Ecologist

Joanna works as a senior scientist at Cefas, Lowestoft and is a team leader within the Fisheries Ecology and Management Advice group. She leads research which focuses on the international trade of marine species, from processed products derived from sharks and rays, to the collection of live reef fish and coral to supply public aquariums and the pet trade.

After obtaining her first degree in Marine Biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Joanna gained her PhD at Portsmouth University developing aquaculture alternatives to the wild collection of ornamental invertebrates for the marine aquarium trade. She joined Cefas in 2012 after post-doctoral research on the exploitation of invertebrate bait for the angling industry and has since developed a portfolio of projects on broad ranging aspects of legal and illegal trade of marine wildlife.

Joanna works with a variety of partners and stakeholders from local fishers to trade organisations and governments, with the aim of ensuring environmental and economic sustainability of marine wildlife trade for the future.

Her current and recent research includes: working with the Indonesian Government to build technical capacity to identify CITES-listed shark and ray species from products such as fins, skins and meat; assessing available methods for detecting the use of cyanide to illegally catch live reef fish supported by public aquaria and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA); and research in the Philippines with fishers, middlemen and exporters to better understand trade dynamics and governance structures.

Research publications: Google scholar, Research Gate

Selected Publications

Murray, J.M., Bersuder, P., Davis, S. and Losada, S., 2020. Detecting illegal cyanide fishing: Establishing the evidence base for a reliable, post-collection test. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 150, p.110770.

Pinnegar, J.K. and Murray, J.M., 2019. Understanding the United Kingdom marine aquarium trade–a mystery shopper study of species on sale. Journal of fish biology.

Murray, J.M. and Watson, G.J., 2014. A critical assessment of marine aquarist biodiversity data and commercial aquaculture: identifying gaps in culture initiatives to inform local fisheries managers. PloS one, 9(9), p.e105982.

Murray, J.M., Watson, G.J., Giangrande, A., Licciano, M. and Bentley, M.G., 2012. Managing the marine aquarium trade: revealing the data gaps using ornamental polychaetes. PloS one, 7(1), p.e29543.

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