South Sudan gained its independence from Muslim (North) Sudan in 2011 after decades of hot and cold Civil War.  The world rejoiced.  The Arab North would no longer be oppressing the non-Arab, non-Muslim South.  Unfortunately the regions and tribes of the newly independent country had been united mostly by their opposition to the North.  The new country, unfortunately, is still riven by tribal and other sub-national rivalries, some  older than the bloody conflict with the North.  Other questions arose.  How would the new country define itself?  How could it reconcile its jealous components?  How could it redirect its peoples’ energies in a manner consistent with the modern world?

Traditionally in South Sudan, cattle provide the only means of employment. But cattle raising all too frequently includes cattle raiding – and the casualties can be massive.  A USAID project targeted 220 youth in the Sobat Corridor of South Sudan with a relevant and sustainable livelihood alternative to cattle-raiding.  What were the obstacles to success? Were there quantifiable, sustainable successes that could be built upon?

The Speakers

Patrick MurphyFormer “fisheries expert” for the USAID project in South Sudan under the direction of AECOM
Patrick Murphy, who holds two degrees from the University of Washington, was the “fisheries expert” for the USAID project in South Sudan under the direction of AECOM. He spent seven months in the field, from November 2011 through May 2012 traveling on and between four rivers. There were dangers and adventures aplenty.

Murphy’s fascination with fishing began at 15 when a friend’s dad took Patrick aboard a 75’ commercial fishing trawler with a crew of three Norwegian-speaking deckhands. Later, fishing in Alaska for salmon, herring, halibut and crab led to becoming a salmon buyer and processor, who marketed fish in Japan. His company, Walrus Island Fisheries, Inc., used small airplanes to buy fish from remote villages throughout Alaska and large planes to deliver the fish to distant markets. When flying ceased to make economic sense, his company (by then Ocean Pacific Fisheries) bought a 180’ processing ship to freeze salmon and herring for the Japanese market.

And then the fisherman’s horizons broadened even further. Under the auspices of the International Executive Service Corp, Murphy developed a fishery project in Varna, Bulgaria. In Nahodka, Siberia he helped to update the Marine Science curriculum at the Far East Marine Institute. The curriculum included fishing, fish processing and transportation.


St. John’s College, Junior Commons Room. On September 24, 2012, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

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The Visitors Parking Lot is on your left as you enter campus. A few handicapped parking spaces are located at the Visitor’s Circle right in front of the fishpond area and below the Peterson Student Center. A few more are located behind the Peterson Center as follows. Just before the Visitor’s Circle, look for the fork in the road where you would normally drive to the left to get to the Visitors’ Parking Circle just below the Peterson Center. Instead, turn right and follow the drive up to the other parking area. There are two or three handicapped parking spaces on the left. Please note that this parking lot is not open to the public, but handicapped folks are allowed to park in the designated spaces.