From January 1993 to July 2004, Professor Pitcher was the founding Director of the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, where he holds an appointment as Professor of Fisheries. Currently, he is a visiting Professor at the University of Concepcion, Chile, a member the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Ecology in Ploen, Germany, and External Examiner in the Ecology and Biodiversity Department at The University of Kong Kong. He formerly held appointments Marine Resources Assessment Group at Imperial College, London, UK; Bangor, Wales; Coleraine, Northern Ireland; and the Institut fur Meereskunde, Kiel, Germany. and has worked for a year as a Visting Expert at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. He carried out his bachelors and doctoral degrees at Oxford University. In 2003 he was awarded the Beverton medal for lifetime contributions to the field of fish and fisheries by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles. In 2005, he was awarded The Distinguished Service Award from the American Fisheries Society, for his work as Chair of the Programmme Committee of the 4th World Fisheries Congress.
Professor Pitcher's journal, 'Fish and Fisheries', founded in 2000 and published by Blackwells, was awarded the highest impact Factor (4.976: ISI) in its field in 2006. Previously, he founded the journal 'Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries'(Chapman and Hall) in 1989, and it achieved the highest impact factor (4.2) in the fisheries-related field in 1995.
Professor Pitcher's personal citation rate is over 200 per year and he has published over 330 items, including 14 books, His research analyzes fisheries in three ways: first, evaluation of the impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems with special emphasis on restoration ecology, where new quantitative ecosystem-based tools are being developed as part of a research agenda termed 'Back to the Future'. Projects are currently under way in Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Portugal, Mexico, Norway and India. Secondly, rapid appraisal techniques for evaluating the status of fisheries, which has involved case studies in Canada, Norway, Mexico, Africa, and Mexico and currently includes a major work for WWF in evaluating compliance of 33 countries with the FAO Code Of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Thirdly, the development of a predictive understanding of how fish shoaling behavior impacts fisheries which has included regular research cruises in the Norwegian Sea. Recently, he has directed projects on the west coast of Scotland, British Columbia's trawl fishery, on the inshore resources of Hong Kong and on marine reserves and artificial reefs as a way of rebuilding resources. He has been Chair the Steering Committee for the new Sea Around Us project, which aims to evaluate the impacts of fishing one ecosystems of the North Atlantic. He continues to work on African Lake fisheries such those in human-made lakes Nasser, Egypt and Kariba, Zimbabwe. His fisheries research, consultancies and training workshops have taken him throughout Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. Recent projects include a symposium and forthcoming book focused on Seamounts, a symposium/book recently pubished on the impacts and evaluation of Recreational Fisheries; a book on introduced species in African lakes; a symposium and book on Reinventing Fisheries Management; an interdisciplinary project on the ethics of fishing; and an innovative research agenda termed 'Back to the Future', that seeks to reconstruct and evaluate past marine ecosystems as candidate policy goals for fisheries management.