Daniel Pauly is a French born biologist, well-known for his work in studying human impacts on global fisheries. He is a professor and the project leader of the Sea Around Us Project at the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia. He also served as Director of the Fisheries Centre from November 2003 to October 2008.
Pauly was born in Paris, France. He grew up, however, in Switzerland in what was called a strange "Dickensian" childhood where he was forced to stay as a live-in servant to a new family. Through the first 16 years of his life, Pauly lived an inward life as he was half-black in an all white town, finding solace in books/reading and model construction. At 16 he ran away and put himself through high school in Kiel Germany while working with disabled people at a local church. His work led to a scholarship to the University of Kiel.
It was at the University of Kiel where Pauly decided on fisheries biology. He said he wanted to work in the tropics because he felt that he would "fit in" better there. He also wanted to devote his life to an applied job where he could help people.