Alaric McCarthy

Alaric McCarthy

Socio-ecological Scientist

Role at Cawthron

Alaric is a marine scientist and socio-ecological researcher and is passionate about the sustainable management of marine resources and food systems, enhancing food security and social resilience. He often works at the interface between biophysical sciences (fisheries, aquaculture, biosecurity) and social sciences (understanding values, behaviour change, capacity building) for improved scientific, management and cooperative outcomes. He is currently co-leading a project aimed at improved integration of Pacific Island food systems to enhance food security and community wellbeing.

Alaric has played a central role in cross-cultural, interdisciplinary research projects aimed at sustained enhancement of mahinga kai and customary fishing practices (Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai, guarding the customary food gathering areas), and investigations of sustainable fishing alternatives (Ka Hao te Rangatahi: revolutionary potting technologies and aquaculture for scampi) through application of mātauranga and science.

Alaric is of Kiribati descent and acts as Pacific liaison under Cawthron’s Pacific Kete Program.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Socio-ecological research: the interface between environmental sciences and social values, including an understanding of socio-ecological resilience.
  • Incorporating ‘participatory-research’ techniques to facilitate collaborations among stakeholders and community groups.
  • Use of surveys, interviews, and focus groups to understand stakeholder values and attitudes.
  • Development of tools and guidelines to assist community based fisheries management.
  • Fisheries science: analysis of stock data for insights into biological and environmental drivers of fisheries distributions.
  • Co-development of kaimoana management plans.


  • PhD, University of Auckland, 2021

  • MSc (awarded with Distinction, Marine Science), University of Otago, 2010

Alaric McCarthy