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Marine Conservation project funded by DFO Ocean Management Contribution Program

Evan J. Andrews and Ratana Chuenpagdee, Memorial University and the Ocean Frontier Institute Module I, have secured funding for a multi-year project, Moving Together for Marine Conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador (399k, 2022-2026). The project is funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, under the Oceans Management Contribution Program.

The UN Decade of Ocean Science – Taking Actions for the Ocean

The recent UN Ocean Conference opened the floor for a global discussion about actions that can be taken around the world to help “Save the ocean and protect the future”. Local actions are also required, and connections need to be made at this level to recognize the relationships between marine conservation and our everyday lives, through work, food, song, art, and much more.

“The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want”

-   The vision of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)

Upcoming event! 4WSFC North America to take place in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

The 4WSFC North America is co-hosted by Memorial University and OFI Module I, in partnership with TBTI Global and other key organizations.

Registration for the congress is open until June 10 (June 1 for those presenting).

The congress aims to discuss bold prospects and innovative ideas and strategies needed to address pressing issues for North America’s small-scale fisheries, and fisheries and ocean sustainability, set within the context of a changing ocean, the Covid-19 pandemic, and climate change, among other challenges.

A Reflection on Kevin St Martin’s talk: Creating Openings for Community and Commons in the Digital Ocean

There is currently a large amount of ocean data being collected and stored in online dedicated databases, often open-source and these data are being used to aid in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) for resource extraction, marine conservation area designation and to secure boundaries for sovereign states economic exclusion zones. This data could lead to “Communities being related, connected and integrated into an emerging understanding of the ocean”, said Dr. Kevin St. Martin.

In other words, it can help create communities at sea.

Getting Conservation Right - Website Launch

This ‘In Focus’ piece highlights the recently launched website, Getting Conservation Right, that focuses on marine conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador. What does it mean to get marine conservation right? This platform offers a collaborative space for people to talk about this big question and sets the stage for learning about exciting prospects for marine conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Recent webinar: Language is Power: How to talk about and act on “Blue Justice” for small-scale fisheries
Virtual Book Launch: Infinity Fish by Dr. Rashid Sumaila

Pursuing systematic change in the fisheries sector or interested in the preservation of marine resources? Join us for this virtual book launch by author and professor Rashid Sumaila and engage in a discussion on his new book, Infinity Fish: Economics and the Future of Fish and Fisheries.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

12:30 pm - 1:50 pm PT

Zoom webinar

Please register in advance

Speaker: Dr. Rashid Sumaila, University Killam Professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs; Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC

Discussant: Farha Guerrero, Host of The Blue Hour, UBC's CiTR 101.9FM 

Recruitment, training and retention in small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador

Small-scale enterprises play a key role in anchoring fisheries wealth and employment in rural regions of the province and their ongoing strong presence in the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries is testimony to their resilience. However, relatively few younger harvesters have entered small-scale fisheries in recent decades and the existing cohort is aging rapidly pointing to a looming recruitment problem.

This past December María Andrée López Gómez, a former OFI Module I postdoctoral fellow, gave at talk as part of MIGS seminar series in which she presented research done in the Sub-module I-2 that aims to identify trends in recruitment, training and retention of the workforce in fisheries in the region of NL and understand the processes and dynamics surrounding training and retention in fisheries.

OFI Postdoctoral Fellow Position

OFI Module I is hiring a Postdoctoral Fellow, based at the Department of Geography at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL Canada. The fellowship is for one year, beginning as early as possible.

Ocean Frontier Institute Module I Represented at the Society of Policy Scientists’ Annual Institute

Every year, the Society of Policy Scientists meets for its annual Institute. Lillian Saul and Evan Andrews (OFI - Module I) participated in this year’s Institute themed Policy Sciences for Complex Problem-Solving. Learn about their transdisciplinary approach to research, which helps strengthen how the problem is framed and how the research is conducted.

What does 'getting small right' mean to you?

On November 26th, as part of the MUN Research Week, the Too Big To Ignore: Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) Research hosted an interactive event to raise awareness and initiate a conversation about the contributions of SSF on a local and global scale, addressing topics such as of food justice, scale, governance, and creating just spaces for fishing people.

People and the Ocean Speaker Series: A talk by Ben Belton

OFI's Social Sciences and Humanities Working Group hosts the People and the Ocean Speaker Series. The second webinar in the series features Dr. Ben Belton from WorldFish and Michigan State University, who will present "Complicating contemporary narratives around marine finfish farming", and discuss the privatization of marine spaces by conservationists and extractive industries to the exclusion of fishers.

This talk will take place on November 9th, 2021. Click below to register.

Announcement & Call for abstracts: 4WSFC Europe - September 12-14, 2022, Malta

Under the theme ‘Imagine the (Un)Imaginable’, the congress provides a platform for an open and forward-looking discussion about the options and opportunities for small-scale fisheries in Europe, including those that may seem unlikely or inconceivable. With many things working for and against small-scale fisheries in Europe nowadays, the latter includes, among others, declining fish stocks, competition for resource and markets, and the ageing population of fishers, it is imperative to foster an environment of cooperation among various stakeholder that enables envisioning prospective future for this vital sector. Building on the knowledge and experience about factors and conditions for viable small-scale fisheries in Europe, the congress offers an exceptional opportunity to co-create vision(s) of what small-scale fisheries in Europe could look like, share and exchange ideas about what it will take to get there, and discuss actions and priorities in national and regional governance that could lead to sustainable future for small-scale fisheries in Europe.

By facilitating knowledge exchange, strengthening collaboration among small-scale fisheries networks and organizations, and mobilizing support for the viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries, the congress will also promote the development of strategies in support of the implementation of the SSF Guidelines and the incorporation of small-scale fisheries in SDGs.

The abstracts for 4WSFC Europe can be submitted now, as individual papers & special sessions. The deadline for abstract submission is January 15, 2021.

Visit the 4WSFC website to submit your abstract and find more information!

Marine safety in a changing ocean: Climate adaptation for OHS

Greenhouse gas emissions are unequivocally driving climate change, contributing to ocean warming, sea-ice loss, and increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. The consequences of these changes are often discussed in terms of biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, human displacement, and lost livelihoods. Marine safety is discussed far less often but underpins many of the challenges resulting from climate change. Here, we discuss challenges of climate adaptation for the safety of fishers.

Food from climate-friendly fish farms? Balancing aquaculture development and sustainability in feeding the world

Aquaculture, or the farming of aquatic plants and animals, is the fastest growing food sector in the world, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expects aquaculture will be crucial to meet the nutrition needs for a growing human population. Ensuring aquaculture developments, and all food systems, are socially responsible, sustainable, and resilient to climate change impacts is an important part of the food security conversation in NL, North America, and globally.

New Paper: Full spectrum sustainability and a theory of access: Integrating social benefits into fisheries governance

A new paper by Parlee et al. provides a new approach to address the equitable and effective distribution of access to and benefits from fisheries resources. The authors combine Access Theory with a full-spectrum sustainability framework to support the social and economic dimensions of integrated fisheries governance, and provide 5 immediate uses of these combined frameworks to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14b (Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets) and UN Ocean Decade outcomes.

Doing What We Love: Stories from an all-female Gillnetter in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Part II: Unexpected Community

"Communities come in many forms and are constantly adapting. Some communities take hundreds of years to build, others just one moment. We return to fish year after year, not because it makes life easier, or because we are there to become rich, or famous, but because it is the place we feel most at home and also the freest to be ourselves."

This is the second story in a three-part series titled: Doing What We Love: Stories from an all-Female Gillnetter in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Next month Lil will share why she is an inshore fisheries researcher, reflecting on these stories!

New Opportunity: Video-making Co-production Workshop

Are you interested in creating high-quality visual content using videos from field research or other projects? The Too Big To Ignore Partnership is hosting a "Video-making Co-production Workshop" to share knowledge, and build capacity and skills to co-create practical and applicable products to advance small-scale fisheries.

If you're interested, contact by September 15th, 2021. See below for more information!

Save the Date: Ocean Frontiers Institute's 2022 Biennial Conference

The Ocean Frontier Institute's third biennial conference will highlight the work of OFI researchers and partners working in ocean science and social science, technology development and innovation. The conference will host workshops, seminars, student presentations and keynote talks, and more!

The conference will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia from May 16-19.

Save the date, more information coming soon!

Doing What We Love: Stories from an all-Female Gillnetter in Bristol Bay, Alaska - Part 1: The Day the Fish Came

"I am a deckhand on an all-women gillnetter in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Working on an all-women boat in the commercial fishing industry in North America is a rare opportunity. While a large number of women are involved in the sockeye salmon drift gillnet fishery, only a few own and operate their own vessels (around 3%). After commercial fishing for six years for and around largely males in Maine and Alaska, being on an all-women boat was incredibly profound for me in ways that I least expected."

September In-Focus: Resilience in the face of climate change

The recent AR6 report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) outlined the current and anticipated outcomes of human-induced climate change. According to the IPCC report, ocean and land warming, and ocean acidification are having, and will continue to have, devastating effects globally, threatening lives and livelihoods of coastal communities and small-scale fisheries. Over the next few months, and considering the recent IPCC report, we’ll be discussing the effects of climate change on fisheries and fishing communities. If you would like to contribute a short commentary (between 500-800 words) on this topic, or anything related to it, please send it to us at

Call for Contributions: Unlocking legal and policy frameworks for small-scale fisheries: Global illustrations

The Too Big To Ignore Partnership is issuing a “Call for Contribution” for a new book entitled “Unlocking Legal and Policy Frameworks for Small-Scale Fisheries: Global Illustrations”. The aim is to clarify the extent to which existing laws, policies, and judicial cases of countries are contributing to, or inhibiting, the implementation of the SSF Guidelines. The book will be an important contribution to the UN Year for Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in 2022. Deadline for abstract submission is September 15, 2021. Click below for more information!

SSF Open House Event Proceedings

Event proceedings from the Small-Scale Fisheries Open House are now available online! The proceedings showcase the depth of knowledge the speakers and the panellists brought to the table around the topics of food security, gender, resilience, justice, and capacity in small-scale fisheries, among others. They also highlight the richness of perspectives on how to support the small-scale fisheries into the future and give some ideas to be considered for the IYAFA & 4WSFC.

Challenges and opportunities for equity and justice in Canada's Blue Economy - Part I

Blue Economy and Blue Growth are presented as transformative approaches to sustainable development, but social science scholars and practitioners are anticipating these approaches will bring about injustice and inequities. Blue Economy and Blue Growth narratives are often vague and include tension among economic development, social objectives, and conservation. At the centre of this tension are the people who have been, and continue to be, marginalized by Growth and Economy narratives around the world, including in Atlantic Canada. At the recent MARE conference, OFI researchers presented their work on equity and justice for Canada’s Blue Economy in two parts. The first presentations revealed challenges and opportunities for equity and justice amid Blue Economy discourse.

Call for Nominations: People and Oceans Speaker Series

The Ocean Frontier Institute’s Social Sciences and Humanities (OFI-SSH) Working Group invites nominations of potential speakers for its People and Oceans Speaker Series. The series will explore key issues and questions arising from social science and humanities research relevant to the North Atlantic. It will launch in September 2021, with presentations and discussions (each running approximately 90 minutes) taking place on a monthly basis between September 2021 and May 2022. Recorded presentations and discussion will be posted to OFI’s Youtube Channel for future and broader access.

Nominations should consist of a short (maximum 1 page) description of the proposed speaker(s) using the attached Nomination Form. Please include proposed names of up to three discussants who might be interested in reviewing the presentation in advance, and whose reflections will be used to kickstart the broader discussion.

The OFI-SSH Working Group will review submitted nominations, develop a short list of potential speakers and, based on follow-up discussions with short-listed candidates, develop a program for the speakers’ series. It is not necessary to contact the nominee at this stage but feel free to do so if you wish.

The deadline for nominations is July 7th 2021. Nominations can be sent to Barb Neis, Chair, OFI-SSH Working Group at

Charting a Transdisciplinary Future for Canadian SSF

Co-created opportunities are needed to support lives and livelihoods in Canadian small-scale fisheries now and into the future. To discuss those opportunities, early career researchers of the Ocean Frontier Institute Module I (OFI-I) and Small-Scale Fisheries Canada (SSF-CAN) came together in a session on June 8th, 2021, the final day of the SSF Open House. The session launched for 2022 the Getting IT Right Dialogue and SSF-CAN’s forthcoming e-book, Thinking BIG about Small-Scale Fisheries in Canada. To begin the session, Evan J. Andrews (session organizer) presented a short video. Then, in a panel facilitated by Andrews and Christine Knott, seven SSF-CAN members discussed getting Atlantic Canadian small-scale fisheries right.

The session captured renewed attention to SSF lives and livelihoods in Canada. SSF in Canada are becoming more visible, considering the potential for the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines), with Canada signing on to FAO as one of the friends of the SSF Guidelines. By focusing on Atlantic Canada and using the three themes for the Getting IT Right Dialogue, the 3 panellists discussed research and practice opportunities for Atlantic Canadian SSFs related to (1) the Blue Economy, (2) fisheries and oceans governance, and (3) future social-ecological change.

Event Reflections Pop-Up

In the July 2021 Pop-Up, we reflect on the SSF Open House, the official launch of SSF-CAN, and the Harris Centre Blue Economy Discussion hosted by Memorial University.

Past OFI Module I RA Mostafa El Halimi awarded Masters in Environmental Science!

Congratulations to former OFI Module I and Too Big To Ignore RA Mostafa El Halimi for completing his Masters in Environmental Science at Memorial University! Mostafa worked with Dr. Chuenpagdee on the 'Unpacking Legal and Policy Frameworks: A Step Ahead for Implementing the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines' project, a paper from which was published last month.

Learn more about Mostafa's story below!

Meet our Newest Research Assistant

Meet our research assistant who have recently joined OFI Module I and our partner Too Big To Ignore. This month we feature Rylan Command.

Highlights from Canada's UN Ocean Science Decade workshop

The United Nations declared 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, with the overarching mission to connect people and the ocean to facilitate the transition from the ocean we have, to the ocean we want. The UN has outlined seven priority areas for the Decade: a clean ocean, a healthy and resilient ocean, a productive and sustainable ocean, a predicted ocean, a safe ocean, an accessible ocean, and an inspiring and engaging ocean. Canada hosted a workshop that invited stakeholders and rightsholders to discuss a Canadian blueprint for the Decade In this story, we present a summary of the workshop related to the priority areas, reflecting on the role of governance and small-scale fisheries in Canada's Ocean Science Decade priorities.

World Ocean's Week Pop-Up

The first week of June is World Ocean's Week! This is an extra special WOW as 2021 marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science and Sustainable Development.

Marine Safety In Focus

Spring is an exciting time for fish harvesters. Some groundfish and shellfish harvesters are ramping up their effort following the April start, while others eagerly await opening dates in May and beyond. As many small-boat harvesters are heading back onto the water, it is a good time to draw attention to important discussions and research on safety on the Atlantic coast. Fish harvesters face a range of occupational hardships and risks. Working conditions are highly varied, and often hazardous. Tied to the nature of work is the importance for workers to sustain maritime industries and their benefits to coastal communities and the broader Canadian society. All these concerns beg the question: What makes a fishery safe for fishers?

The Robin Rigby Trust Call for Proposals 2021: Collaborative Coastal Research

The Robin Rigby Trust was established in 2007 in memory of Patricia Robin Rigby. The fund supports coastal and nearshore conservation research conducted by young people, and encourages international collaboration. The fund is seeking proposals for projects focused on environmental and resource management, social and economic development, conservation and biodiversity surveys, and policy studies, with a specific emphasis on improving livelihoods of those living in coastal communities. Projects should be designed to produce direct benefits to communities, and establish strong collaborative links between applicant and community partners.


An Earth Day Pop Up is a sneak-peek into the diverse and interdisciplinary world of OFI research. This month we are showcasing five research studies that involve OFI researchers and collaborators.

New Paper: Coastal Fishers Livelihood Behaviors and Their Psychosocial Explanations: Implications for Fisheries Governance in a Changing World

This research, led by OFI postdoctoral research fellow Evan Andrews, is a critical examination of the behavioral foundations of livelihood pathways over a 50-year time period in a multispecies fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. This analysis draws on 26 narrative interviews with fishers who have pursued two or more fish species currently or formerly. Research findings emphasize the need for scientists, policy-makers, and managers to incorporate psychosocial evidence along with social science about fisher behavior into their models, policy processes, and management approaches.

'Thinking Big About Small-Scale Fisheries in Canada' - Call for Contributions - Submission Date Updated

The e-book 'Thinking Big About Small-Scale Fisheries in Canada' edited by Dr. Evan Andrews, Jack Daly and Dr. Christine Knott calls for research and perspectives on small-scale fisheries in Canada. The editors are seeking contributions in the form of written essays and stories (up to 4,000 words) with visual images, videos, and/or audio recordings that describe challenging changes and opportunities to address and anticipate change in local governance. Topics of the essays and stories can include economic, social and cultural contributions of Canadian small-scale fisheries to communities and economies at the local, national and global level. The editors are also interested in historical or recent policies and institutions changes, which may have shifted and shaped small-scale fisheries in Canada. Finally, they welcome contribution about efforts, strategies, and local governance taken by all actors to address these changes. Submit an expression of interest as an e-mail attachment to by April 9th, 2021.

Meet Dr. María Andrée López Gómez, our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!

Dr. María Andrée López Gómez is a post-doctoral fellow with OFI Module I who likes to combine her background in Public Health (MPH), Sociology and Demography (MA) and Occupational Health (PhD) to study how policies impact work and workers. Her current research focuses on identifying which factors and dynamics are involved in recruitment, training and retention of people in small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland. Maria explains that "understanding the paths that people take to enter fisheries work and the obstacles they encounter as well as any facilitators is important to develop policies that enable recruitment and sustainable retention in small-scale fisheries." She hopes that the work she does in Module I-2 along with Dr. Nicole Power brings more understanding about the intended and unintended consequences that policies have on coastal livelihoods.

Welcome Lilian Saul, our newest OFI Module I Master's student!

Our newest OFI Module I Master's student brings in a background in commercial fisheries, having worked as a deckhand in Maine lobstering for six years, and planning her second fishing season as a deckhand in Bristol Bay Alaska this summer. She began her Masters of Arts at Memorial University in the Fall of 2020 in the Geography Department under supervision of Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee. Her research interests include studying governance in Newfoundland fisheries and the interaction between law and policy and coastal fishing communities. So far, she has discovered that "governance solutions to present issues are complex and integrated and that research needs to look at the interactions between elements rather than only one component, as is the case in species-specific research. Research on fisheries governance needs to assess not just inputs and outputs of specific policies, or values and principles motivating those policies, but also the overall frameworks and institutions in which decisions are made and how the levels of those interact."

Meet Dr. Monica Engel, our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!

Dr. Monica Engel has completed her Doctoral and Master's degree at Memorial University’s Geography department, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Unisinos University in Brazil. Her research focuses on the human dimensions of natural resources and wildlife governance and conservation. Her doctoral research within OFI Module I-3 centred around examining coastal communities’ relationship with the ocean in Newfoundland from an environmental psychology perspective. More specifically, she explored costal residents' relationship with the ocean and seals in Newfoundland in order to investigate the various ways in which we relate with the ocean and make a contribution to marine governance and conservation. According to Dr. Engel, "the new ocean narrative for this coming decade should not be centred on instrumental and economic marine values. Rather, a new narrative should be about taking responsibility for marine health".

Creating the present by imagining the future for Nunatsiavut’s fisheries: Research in OFI Module I-A

To Rachael Cadman, OFI Module I PhD student, "it is imperative that Labrador Inuit values and priorities are reflected in natural resource management, and that includes long term planning". This is where the work of OFI Module I-A on Nunatsiavut Fisheries comes into play alongside our partner, the Torngat Secretariat. Their goal is to "contribute to the increased power of Inuit priorities in fisheries governance". They intend to do so by "strengthening the group’s collective political voice to substantively incorporate Labrador Inuit values into fisheries governance". Having identified a need to shift the focus of fisheries management in the region towards more holistic, long-term planning for the future of the industry, a group of Nunatsiavut's fisheries stakeholders - including OFI Module I-A - got together hoping to "locate spaces where stakeholders hold a shared vision of the future, and thus where collaboration is possible".

Shape the Future of the Ocean: 23 PhD Positions Open with OFI's Ocean Graduate Excellence Network

The Ocean Frontier Institute has recently launched OGEN – The Ocean Graduate Excellence Network. Uniting excellent graduate training with broader experience through partners including industry and government, OGEN builds a unique research nexus. Graduate student fellowships granted through OFI's partner universities incorporate training experiences and hands-on learning beyond traditional academia. Research Supervisors have access to the world’s most promising graduate students. Partners are introduced to a new generation of job-ready top tier researchers. Students enrich their academic experience with individualized training programs improving job-readiness (e.g., entrepreneurship, international networking, internships, summer schools). OGEN is currently seeking exceptional students for 23 new positions, click here to view opportunities.

Welcome Our New Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Evan Andrews!

Dr. Evan J. Andrews has joined OFI Module I as postdoctoral fellow. He will be helping OFI move toward Phase III, and leading research on anticipatory governance at Memorial University. Previously, he has received a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo's School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and a Master of Environment and Sustainability from the University of Saskatchewan's School of Environment and Sustainability. His research focuses on change and governance in coastal and inland fisheries. He advances theory and evidence about coastal actor behaviour, interactive governance, and the policy sciences for fisheries in Atlantic Canada and beyond. He also conducts research on transdisciplinarity in fisheries settings, with examinations of community-engaged methodologies, knowledge mobilization, and early career researcher training. In his off time, Evan is international water polo referee, and enjoys reffing across the country and representing Canada in global competitions. Welcome to the team, Evan!

Meet Dr. Emily Reid-Musson, Our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!

Dr. Emily Reid-Musson is an interdisciplinary work and labour researcher with training in human geography and public/occupational health. According to her, "mechanisms to support Operational Health & Safety (OHS) in fisheries are often successful when they're informed and developed by harvesters, tapping into harvesters' knowledge, relationships and values". Her research within OFI Module I-4 focuses on small-scale fisheries and how the marine forecast helps harvesters manage and alleviate the risks of working at sea. Through her work, she hopes to shed light on and build capacity to address this key domain of fisheries OHS - "There are limited opportunities for small-scale fisheries actors to engage and communicate their needs directly with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the hope is that this will support this interaction and engagement." Furthermore, she suggests that "co-management is a potential model for how to approach fisheries OHS, including managing weather risks".

Joint OFI Module I & TBTI World Fisheries Day Celebrations Highlight the Importance of Small-Scale Fisheries in NL and Elsewhere

This World Fisheries Day, OFI Module I and our partner Too Big To Ignore joined forces in calling attention to the importance of small-scale fisheries. We asked the small-scale fisheries community to share stories about why they matter to them and received 22 stories that come in various creative formats, including essays, photo narratives, poetry collection, videos, animation, and drawings. We are pleased to share with you this thoughtful, poignant, and inspiring collection of stories that portray the myriad of values small-scale fisheries embody. These stories depict the reality of SSF: some stories will make you laugh, some will pull on your heartstrings, while others are meant to help us reflect and ponder. Ultimately, they are all meant as an inspiration to keep striving forward towards building a better future for small-scale fisheries.

More than a Food and Income Provider: OFI Module I-3 PhD Candidate Explores Our Multi-faceted Relationship with the Ocean that Surrounds Us

"After driving thousands of kilometres along the coast of Newfoundland, knocking at random doors (1,600 to be precise), and inviting people to share their thoughts and perceptions of the sea and how it is changing, I learnt that our relationship with the ocean is a complex and multifaceted love story." Monica Engel's research as an OFI Module I-3 PhD Candidate, which is now in its final phase, emerged from this need to examine how coastal people relate to the ocean - how do people value the sea and its creatures? Are people aware of the changes happening in the ocean concerning climate, pollution and fish depletion? How do people perceive the extraction of marine resources? On a five-month long scientific expedition across the island of Newfoundland where she dropped off and picked up over 750 questionnaires from residents in 40 coastal communities, Monica witnessed how deeply connected with the ocean Newfoundlanders are. "Through music, food, arts, jobs, one can see all the ways in which people here relate, perceive and understand the sea."

'Why do Fish Harvesters Leave the Industry Soon After They Enter?' Listen to OFI Module I Post-Doctoral Fellow's Interview to The Broadcast

Why do new fish harvesters leave the industry soon after they enter? Jane Adey, CBC's The Broadcast host interviewed OFI Module I Post-doctoral Fellow Dr. María Andrée López Gómez about her ongoing research on Recruitment, Training and Retention in Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries. Dr. López Gómez invites fish harvesters, crew members, new entrants into the industry or considering fishing for future employment to take part on the research.

This World Fisheries Day, Tell Us Why Small-Scale Fisheries Matter!

Each November 21st, World Fisheries Day, is a welcomed opportunity to reflect on the ever-increasing knowledge about fishing, fishers, coastal communities, and the status of the oceans and the fish stocks, as well as to recognize the contribution of fishing people who provide food, nutrition and income security to millions of people around the world. For this year's World Fisheries Day, OFI Module I and our partner Too Big To Ignore are calling attention to the importance of small-scale fisheries, asking all of us to share stories about why they matter. We welcome submissions of short stories, essays, photo & video testimonials & drawings sent by November 15, 2020. The collected material will be widely shared through our networks on World Fisheries Day and may be compiled into a TBTI e-book.

Meet Ruyel Miah, Our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!

Originally from Bangladesh and with a background in Fisheries Sciences, Ruyel is a Master's student at Memorial University's Geography Department funded by the Ocean Frontier Institute. Ruyel's research is about access to markets for small-scale fisheries. In other words, he looks into the structure of markets, how it is governed, different forms of interactions, challenges, and the inclusion or exclusion of small-scale fishermen/fisherwomen in decision making. He is currently working on a global scan regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on access to markets for small-scale fisheries while also investigating governability issues of markets for small-scale fisheries in Bangladesh and in Newfoundland, Canada, where he is currently based.

'What Does Fish Mean to You?' - Ocean Frontier Institute's Research on Values, Perceptions & Knowledge

"Can you tell me about what fish mean to you? Seated around coffee tables or board rooms, my own voice would, several times over the course of 2018-2019, recite this question to a group of Innu Nation members during my fieldtrips to their community of Sheshatshiu, Labrador." For our OFI Module I Master's student Gillian McNaughton, this question would become the entry point into conversations that would delve into both the present and the memories of the speaker’s ancestors, invoking anecdotes and stories about both fishing in praxis and fishing as the embodiment of something much deeper. Gillian's research seeks to explore how Innu cultural valuation surrounding fish, has – or can – be mobilized in order to support their cultural needs in relation to fisheries practices. More broadly, it seeks to apply a critical lens to the distribution of decision-making powers present in processes that can result in collisions of values surrounding fish.

Meet Joshua Ryan, Our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!

Originally from the outport community of Newman’s Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Joshua Ryan grew up watching friends and family brave the sea in the harshest of conditions. This, along with a deeply engrained sense of safety have pushed him to want to improve the safety of fisher people and anyone at-sea. Josh's research is about evaluating the effectiveness and performance of personal locator beacons (PLBs) in different maritime conditions. His work will help us better understand issues relating to PLB performance in real-world maritime situations and inform coastal communities of the value and benefits of wearing personal locator beacons, especially in small boats in harsh sea-conditions.

New Paper: Towards a classification of vulnerability of small-scale fisheries

This article reviewed 137 case studies from 56 countries  to illustrate the wide range of factors that makes small-scale fisheries vulnerable. Vulnerability undermines the role of small-scale fisheries as providers of sustainable livelihoods, good health and wellbeing, food security, and economic development, thus hindering different targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goals of Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries from being achieved. Having a complete view of all these factors (see Fig. 5 from paper) is likely helping decision-makers to adopt, adapt or rectify strategies to reduce social, economic and political marginalization of small-scale fisheries and promote their viability.

From Taking Stock to Getting IT Right

The 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress: North America took place on June 20-22, 2022 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Chaired by OFI Module I members Ratana Chuenpagdee, Evan Andrews and Paul Foley, the congress included three packed days with plenaries on topics such as ‘Getting Adaption Right’, ‘Making Connections to Get Small Right’, ‘Step Zero for Getting Marine Conservation Right’ and ‘Getting Future Right’.

Canada's Oceans and Coasts: Pathways to Sustainability in a Sea of Change

Meet our Research Assistants who have recently completed their work term us OFI Module I and our partner Too Big To Ignore!

Getting Conservation Right – The Pairs Game is Here!

What does it mean to get marine conservation right? 

The interdisciplinary team behind the ‘Getting Conservation Right’ platform has added several methods to engage with the discussion, one of which is  The Pairs Game. But it is really not a game as there is no winner or loser. In fact, there is no right or wrong answer in the game either.

Canadian Fisheries Research Network framework meets Access Theory

While there is growing recognition that diverse societal considerations need to be integrated into management to achieve sustainability, contemporary management approaches remain dominated by natural and physical sciences (Hector et al 2020; Bavinck & Verrips 2020). As a result, there has been a significant lack of capacity to integrate human dimensions into governance and management processes to achieve sustainability (UN 2009; Stephenson et al 2017). Furthermore, methods for analyzing access and benefits in the context of sustainability frameworks are lacking.

Canada’s Marine Conservation Target Initiative – Bringing It Home

Local Indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge and perspectives have long been integral to the health of our ecosystems. However, the need to include these perspectives into the decision-making process for conservation has only been recently recognized in Canada. Local perspectives come from generations of lived experience within these marine and coastal spaces. These insights can be invaluable when directing efforts of marine conservation that will work effectively to protect ecologically diverse areas while also catering to the needs of coastal communities who rely on these areas for their livelihoods.

This ‘In Focus’ piece will discuss the recent announcement of the Marine Conservation Targets and how early collaboration with coastal communities is a vital step in successfully reaching these targets, especially for the Atlantic province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Marloes Kraan: How can we as marine social scientists become more relevant?

On January 19, during the OFI People and the Ocean Speaker Series, Dr. Kraan talked about the role and relevance of marine social scientists in today’s world seas and oceans governance. She presented the ongoing developments such as the attention on the ‘social dimension of fisheries’ in the UN policy and the increasing number of marine social science research and provided examples of the applied social science work she was involved in within the European context. She also talked about the role of marine social scientists as a bridge between policymakers and academic scientists and the urgency to act. In her talk, she posed a question: how can we as marine social scientists become as relevant as possible to make a difference before it is too late?

All Things Considered for Migrant Fish Workers

“You are entering a COVID-19 Zone. No docking without permission”. In early 2021, this is a sign you might find if you are a seafarer landing in Taiwan after possibly years away on a distant water fishing vessel. On December 9th, Dr. Melissa Marshke (University of Ottawa), on behalf of Dr. Peter Vandergeest (York University), discussed vulnerabilities brought on and revealed by COVID-19 for seafaring migrant fish workers in Asia and the implications for Atlantic Canada in a presentation, “Seafarers in Industrial Fishing: Examining Migrant Worker Precarity”

As the Omicron variant intensifying globally, understanding COVID-19 in the seafood industry remains a timely and critical topic both near and far from the North Atlantic Ocean. In focus in this month’s newsletter are key points, discussion, and prospects from Marshke and Vandergeest’s presentation, during the latest seminar from the Ocean Frontier Institute Social Science and Humanities Working Group (OFI SSH) - People and the Ocean Speaker Series.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Oceans Management Contribution Agreements Program

On December 15, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced a national Call for Proposals process to support the achievement of Canada's Marine Conservation Targets through outreach, monitoring and stewardship, and capacity building.

Sharing what We do about the Oceans

As a contribution to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), a knowledge-sharing platform is being created to learn about who's doing what in ocean-related research and to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and partnership.

Steering a Blue Economy

Ocean Frontier Institute Module I (OFI-I) researchers have been working to engage in discussions to inform the Blue Economy for Atlantic Canada and beyond. In focus this month are examples of research that will shape discussions at the 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (4WSFC): North America (St. John's, NL, June 20-22, 2022) about how to get the Blue Economy right.

Congratulations Ruyel for successful completion of Master of Arts in Geography

Ruyel Miah has successfully completed his Master of Arts in Geography from Memorial University of Newfoundland. His thesis research entitled “Access to markets for small-scale fisheries: challenges and opportunities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic”, was  funded by Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) Module-I, and completed under the supervision of Module-I lead Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, and supervisory committee members Dr. Gabriela Sabau, OFI Sub-Module I-1 (i.e., Access to Markets and Resources) and Dr. Mohammad Mahmudul Islam, former OFI Postdoctoral fellow.

Read more about Ruyel's research below.

Rashid Sumaila: Navigating Pathways to a Sustainable Ocean

“Economists know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. If this is true: what is the value of fish?”

- Dr. Rashid Sumaila

In his new book, "Infinity Fish: Economics and the Future of Fish and Fisheries", Dr. Sumaila discusses the disconnect between traditional fisheries economics and laws and policies. He takes an holistic approach to considering the value of fish; a view that includes fish as food for more than just humans. Here, we reflect on the ideas Dr. Sumaila discussed at the SSH People and the Ocean Speaker Series and their implications for fisheries governance.

Doing What We Love: Stories from an all-female Gillnetter in Bristol Bay, Alaska - Part III: Why I am a Small-Scale Fisheries Researcher

"When I departed my home fishing community to come to graduate school in Canada, I received words of desperation. My captain started calling me, “the policy-maker.” I only hope to contribute to a conversation that is far larger and to which many scholars, communities and fishing people have dedicated their lives. I feel I can do more here at school than from the stern of the lobster boat. I am a scientist now, and I’m still learning what that means. But I will always carry the perspective of a fishing person inside of me."

Lil reflects on her path to becoming an inshore fisheries researcher and discusses power inequities in small-scale fisheries in the final story in a three-part series titled: Doing What We Love: Stories from an all-Female Gillnetter in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

People and the Ocean Speaker Series: Rashid Sumaila

OFI's Social Sciences and Humanities Working Group hosts the People and the Ocean Speaker Series. This month features Dr. Rashid Sumaila from the University of British Columbia will present "Interdisciplinary ocean and fisheries economics in action", and discuss the OceansCanada Partnership and their contribution to supporting resilient and sustainable oceans on all Canadian coasts.

This talk will take place on October 6th, 2021. Registration information below!

Announcement: 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress

The 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (4WSFC) is a transdisciplinary forum for anyone interested in small-scale fisheries. There will be five regional congresses hosted around the world throughout Summer and Autumn 2022, coinciding with the International Year for Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). 4WSFC aims to celebrate IYAFA 2022, and to build research and governance capacity, strengthen local and regional organizations and networks, and support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines.

The Call for Abstracts is now open for the second congress in the series, “4WSFC North America: Getting IT Right”, held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and co-hosted by OFI Module-I and TBTI Global. The third congress, ‘4WSFC Europe”, will be held in Valletta, Malta.

Visit the 4WSFC website to submit your abstract and find more information!

October In-Focus: Climate change mitigation and adaptation: Why it matters for small-scale fisheries

“Small-scale coastal fisheries are increasingly becoming vulnerable to climate and environmental changes because of their direct dependence and a range of interactions not only with the major drivers causing these changes but most importantly with the resulting consequences for their lives, livelihoods, and their entire social-ecological identities."

This quote from Prof. Prateep Nayak, who leads a new partnership project ‘Vulnerability to Viability (V2V): Global Partnership for Building Strong Small-Scale Fisheries Communities,’ is a good reminder of the differentiated effects of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of SSF around the world. It also points to the need for better thinking around climate change mitigation and adaptation, which is critical and timely given the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). This month, we focus in on climate change adaptation strategies for SSF and the importance of local context.

Call for Applications: OFI Seed Fund

The OFI Seed Fund provides financial support for ocean-related innovation projects. This opportunity is open to current* faculty, staff, technicians, postdocs, or students at Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Prince Edward Island, and/or University of New Brunswick (*as of July 31, 2021).

Deadline for applications is September 30th, 2021. See below for more information and to apply!

4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress

The 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (4WSFC) is a transdisciplinary forum for anyone interested in small-scale fisheries. There will be 5 regional congresses hosted around the world throughout Summer and Autumn 2022, coinciding with the International Year for Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). 4WSFC aims to celebrate IYAFA 2022, and to build research and governance capacity, strengthen local and regional organizations and networks, and support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines.

The Call for Abstracts is now open for the first congress in the series, “4WSFC Asia-Pacific: Building Forward Better”, held in Shizuoka City and co-hosted by Tokai University and TBTI Japan. The second congress, ‘4WSFC North America”, will be hosted by Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Visit the 4WSFC website to submit your abstract and find more information!

Tell Us What You Want to Get Right for Small-Scale Fisheries

Last month, we began a call for perspectives and opinions about Getting IT Right (GITR). Now, with one year away from the GITR Dialogue, we are planning to visit Newfoundland’s communities and chat with residents about what they might want to get right. It is not too late to tell us what you want to get right and where we should go visit.

Call for Participation: SSF-Stewardship Survey

The UN FAO, Saint Mary’s University (Canada), and global fishing organizations are inviting small-scale fisher organizations, local small-scale fishing communities, and other organizations to share their experiences with environmental conservation and stewardship. The aim is to assist SSFs to build stewardship capacity and networking opportunities, and support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines. Click below for more information!

Call for Abstracts: IMBeR West Pacific Symposium 2021

The call for abstracts for oral presentations and virtual posters for IMBeR West Pacific Symposium 2021 is now open! This year’s theme, entitled “Changing West Pacific: Science and Sustainability”, covers the marine biosphere and its biogeochemistry in the West Pacific Ocean, from shore to seafloor, and Arctic to Antarctic. The conference will be held virtually from November 22-25. Abstract submission deadline is September 15, 2021. Follow the link below for the conference website and registration information!

Challenges and opportunities for equity and justice in Canada’s Blue Economy - Part II

“Blue Economy” and “Blue Growth” discourse is often dominated by language of sustainable development. Opportunities exist for discussion about who will be affected and excluded from development, and whether processes and outcomes are desirable, equitable, or just. Communicating and working together across boundaries and disciplines is essential to advance Blue Justice. At the recent MARE Conference, OFI researchers presented their work on equity and justice for Canada's Blue Economy in two parts. In the second set of presentations, researchers shared diverse perspectives on grounding a shared understanding of sustainable development in principles of justice and transdisciplinarity

Wading in the Blue: Fostering a shared understanding of sustainable development, ocean governance, and Blue Justice for SSF

People are talking a lot about “Blue” in ocean research and sustainable development strategies. Terms such as ‘Blue Growth’ and ‘Blue Economy’ seem now to be critical for shaping the future of Canadian fisheries and oceans. But what exactly do these terms mean? Do they really refer to who benefits, and who is left behind? Answers to key questions are often left implicit and as researchers from OFI Module I demonstrate, vagueness can have dramatic implications for coastal communities.

This month, we are highlighting ideas presented by OFI Module I researchers at the recent MARE conference. We reflect on approaches taken by OFI Module I researchers to deepen understanding of “Blue” relating to Blue Economy, Blue Growth, and Blue Justice narratives in Canada

Changing climates in a blue economy: Assessing the climate-responsiveness of Canadian fisheries and oceans policy

Canada has committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to address and mitigate climate change and human impacts on fisheries and oceans. But does Canada’s current ocean policy framework reflect these commitments? This new paper takes a hard look at the responsiveness of Canadian fisheries and ocean policy to climate change impacts on ecosystem services.

Reflections from the Harris Centre Blue Economy Discussion

Memorial University’s Harris Centre led a Blue Economy discussion for Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) on Friday May 28, 2021. The discussion brought together approximately 100 people leading and working in the ocean sectors of NL and representatives from the federal and provincial governments. The structure of the event was plenaries, then rapid breakout discussions, then coming back together. The 40-minute-long breakout sessions were modelled after the seven topics of the blue economy engagement paper: 1) Natural environment, 2) Innovation, 3) Financing, 4) Science and data, 5) Market access, 6) Business environment, and 7) Regulatory Environment. Participants were first asked: what are the opportunities and challenges to implementing the objectives? Then: what role can Memorial University play in addressing this topic in the blue economy strategy?

Better understanding how the province fits into the blue economy strategy was one of the central questions of the conference. Negotiating ocean space is often highly complex; thus it is important to include voices from many walks of life, including social and natural scientists, government, and invested stakeholders. All these groups were present at Friday’s discussions. Building collaborative spaces where a wide range of stakeholders who are invested in the sustainability of NL’s ocean economy is a step in the right direction.

Reflections from the SSF Open House

To celebrate World Ocean’s Day, the Too Big To Ignore Partnership hosted a week-long event, ‘Small-Scale Fisheries Open House’. Supported by more than 70 organizations, the SSF Open House brought together more than 250 researchers, representatives of NGOs and CSOs, policy makers, and small-scale fishing people from over 40 countries.

The event consisted of 40 sessions that focused on the ‘Life and Livelihoods’ in small-scale fisheries around the world, and the vast amount of transdisciplinary work being done by, with, and for SSF communities. The event celebrated and showcased contributions that support, empower, and sustain coastal communities through co-development, co-production, and co-management of fisheries and ocean resources, and fostered dialogue around equitable, just, and inclusive ocean development.

All sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube!

Getting IT Right: Tell Us What You Want to Get Right

In September 2018, OFI Module I hosted a “Taking Stock Dialogue” as part of the initial stage of the research on ‘Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean’. We are now approaching the final stage in the project, which aims to bring together lessons from the research to inform governance for fisheries and ocean sustainability. The “Getting IT Right” Dialogue is a key opportunity to facilitate discussion about the change and transition that may be required. Three cross-cutting themes are proposed for the Getting IT Right Dialogue, which capture the current governance discourse for fisheries and ocean sustainability. These are: (1) Getting the Blue Economy Right, (2) Getting the Governance Right and (3) Getting the Future Right. Additional themes may be developed after the consultation with the committee and other key stakeholders. 

We want to hear from you! 

The Dialogue is tentatively scheduled to take place in St. John’s, as an ‘in-person’ meeting, in July/August 2022. As we plan for the Getting IT Right Dialogue, we invite all of you to tell us what you want “to get right” or what you think we should aim “to get right” for fisheries in NL and Atlantic Canada, more broadly. Please send your thoughts to or fill out this online form.

Reflections from the Ocean Visions Summit

During the Ocean Visions Summit 2021, a key theme was that actions to sustain lives and livelihoods in small-scale fisheries are essential to fisheries and ocean governance. Too often, data is collected, analyzed, and disseminated without any benefit returning to the communities in which it was collected. In order to move toward an equitable and global ecosystem for ocean solutions, local communities need to be included in the process - from design to final product. This requires co-development of policy, management, and research, co-creation of knowledge, and co-delivery of products that improve human health and wellbeing. Taking a citizen science approach and forming meaningful collaborations is essential to develop knowledge about, with, and for small-scale fisheries. Here, we highlight some of the projects presented at the Ocean Visions Summit that may be helpful in Getting Transdisciplinarity Right!

In Focus: June's World Ocean's Day Celebration

This newsletter highlights June 8th’s World Oceans Day celebrations. We are all connected to some extent through the global ocean. The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and provides between 50-80% of the oxygen in the atmosphere, supporting most of life as we know it. It has also been protecting us from the worst impacts of climate change, absorbing about 30% of the carbon dioxide we have produced in the past 200 years and more than 90% of the excess heat. This buffering comes at a cost, with unprecedented ocean warming and acidification, sea-level rise, and biodiversity loss jeopardizing the health and well-being of coastal communities and the sustainability of fisheries on which millions of people depend. This year’s World Oceans Day theme is The Ocean: Life & Livelihoods. Indeed, more than 3 billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihood – as a means to secure the necessities for life and to ensure the survival of cultural practices and values in coastal communities. Coastal fisheries shape and are shaped by the cultures and economies of coastal areas and are crucial for lives and livelihoods. It is therefore important to take stock of lives and livelihoods in coastal fisheries and fishing communities. Communities, industries, governments, and researchers can then understand what they need to get right to support coastal fisheries now and well into the future.

Bright Young Faces

Meet our Research Assistants who have recently completed their work term with OFI Module I and our partner Too Big To Ignore.


The Marine Safety Pop Up is a sneak-peek into the diverse and interdisciplinary world of OFI research. This month we are showcasing two research projects that involve OFI researchers and collaborators.

Earth Day In Focus

Earth Day is a day to draw attention to the state of the Earth and foster awareness and support for environmental protection. Earth Day helps us recognize the impact that all human activity has on changes in our climate and ecosystems, including the oceans. It is also an opportunity to take stock and remember how much we depend on our oceans, from local to global scales. This day reminds us that marine life and ecosystems need to be protected in light of drivers of change such as climate change. In short, Earth Day is a call for environmental sustainability of fisheries and oceans – an opportunity for us to step up and act as stewards of these resources, making sure they are there for both the current and future generations.

New paper offers a principled governance of seafood trade policy as a just way forward for fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador

Former TBTI and OFI Master of Arts in Geography student Jack Daly and OFI Module I Lead Ratana Chuenpagdee published a recent article in Ocean & Coastal Management on their research into trade policy and its effect on Newfoundland and Labradors fisheries. Daly and Chuenpagdee’s article, titled "Community Responses to International Trade Policy: a Newfoundland Case Study,” presents the results from interviews and policy analysis that took place on the Great Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador during the summer of 2018.

Submit a session for the 'Small-Scale Fisheries Open House’ at the 2021 World Ocean Week

This June OFI, together with TBTI Global and a number of other international organizations, is once again celebrating the World Ocean Week (WOW). As part of our ‘Small-Scale Fisheries Open House’ event, we’re inviting groups, organizations or networks that represent or work with small-scale fishing communities to organize a session. The session can cover any small-scale fishery topic in a country, countries, or in a region, as long as it is situated within the broad context of 'Life an livelihoods', the official theme of the 2021 WOW. The open house will also help shape two major events next year, the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in 2022 and the 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress. The format is flexible. It can be a mixture of live and pre-recorded presentations. It can include any combination of interviews, discussions, panels, video-clips, performances, arts, music or any other ideas. Your show can be either 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes. Send a short synopsis of your ideas (about 100 words) to, and we’ll work with you to make it happen. The number of session slots is limited so we strongly encourage you to submit the expression of interests before April 15.

Coastal Fishers Livelihood Behaviors and Their Psychosocial Explanations: Implications for Fisheries Governance in a Changing World

This research is a critical examination of the behavioral foundations of livelihood pathways over a 50-year time period in a multispecies fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Fishers make difficult decisions to pursue, enjoy, and protect their livelihoods in times of change and uncertainty, and the resultant behaviors shape efforts to advance sustainability through coastal and marine fisheries governance. However, there is limited evidence about fishers’ behavioral changes over long time periods, and the psychosocial experiences that underpin them, beyond what is assumed using neoclassical economic and rational choice framings. Our analysis draws on 26 narrative interviews with fishers who have pursued two or more fish species currently or formerly. Fishers were asked about their behavioral responses to change and uncertainty in coastal fisheries across their entire lifetimes. Their narratives highlighted emotional, perceptual, and values-oriented factors that shaped how fishers coped and adapted to change and uncertainty. The contributions to theory and practice are two-fold. First, findings included variation in patterns of fisher behaviors. Those patterns reflected fishers prioritizing and trading-off material or relational well-being. With policy relevance, prioritizations and trade-offs of forms of well-being led to unexpected outcomes for shifting capacity and capitalization for fishers and in fisheries more broadly. Second, findings identified the influence of emotions as forms of subjective well-being. Further, emotions and perceptions functioned as explanatory factors that shaped well-being priorities and trade-offs, and ultimately, behavioral change. Research findings emphasize the need for scientists, policy-makers, and managers to incorporate psychosocial evidence along with social science about fisher behavior into their models, policy processes, and management approaches. Doing so is likely to support efforts to anticipate impacts from behavioral change on capacity and capitalization in fleets and fisheries, and ultimately, lead to improved governance outcomes.

Fish Harvesters' Knowledge & Science: Research in OFI Module I-B

According to Dr. Erin Carruthers and Dr. Barbara Neis, "for multispecies, owner-operator enterprises on our coasts, understanding the temporal and spatial distribution of this [American place, also known as deep-water flounder] and other fish species, is key to designing access and allocation processes appropriate for sustainable future inshore fisheries. Utilizing fishers' knowledge in the historical reconstruction is one crucial tool for this kind of initiative." For this reason, as part of OFI Module I-B on 'Fish Harvesters' Knowledge & Science', funded jointly by Module I, InnovateNL and the FFAW, Erin Carruthers and Ian Ivany at the FFAW are collaborating with Module I researcher Barb Neis to conduct groundfish harvester interviews and use DFO landings data to help assess how flounder contributed to the socioeconomic wellbeing of multispecies enterprises and to Newfoundland’s fishing communities prior to the closure of the fishery in the 1990s.

'Unlocking Legal and Policy Frameworks for Small-Scale Fisheries in Canada'

OFI Module I's current and former team members Jack Daly, Dr. Evan Andrews, Dr. Christine Knott and Dr. Gerald Singh have contributed a chapter on Canada's policy and legal frameworks for small-scale fisheries as part of Too Big To Ignore's recently published e-book on 'Unlocking Policy Frameworks for Small-Scale Fisheries: Global Illustrations'. According to the authors, "the lack of formal recognition of small-scale fisheries in Canada and rather a focus on recreational, commercial and Indigenous fisheries in federal policy limit the potential implementation of a coherent policy framework such as, for example, the SSF Guidelines, which were opposed by Canada during their initial development."

Meet Rachel Cadman, our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month

Rachael Cadman is an an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. student at Dalhousie University who currently works alongside the Torngat Plants, Wildlife and Fisheries Secretariat and other partners to map out a vision of the future of fisheries in Nunatsiavut and create holistic fisheries governance solutions that are resilient against environmental and societal change. She wants to help create just decision-making processes that provide a more equitable and inclusive form of governance - "as our political system evolves to place more emphasis on 'evidence-based decision-making', whose knowledge matters?" To Rachael, the big take away of her work so far has been to experience and understand how much richer and more applicable research can be when you prioritize community needs.

Watch Now: Ocean Frontier Institute's Ocean Forum 2 'How Ocean Protection Can Fuel a New Blue Economy and Drive Prosperity'

On December 3rd, OFI hosted a discussion on Canada's Blue Economy with the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Karin Kemper, the Global Director for the Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice at the World Bank, moderated by OFI CEO and Scientific Director Anya Waite, Associate Scientific Director Paul Snelgrove, and Chief Strategic Engagement Officer Catherine Blewett. The event followed Canada's endorsement to Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: a Vision for Protection, Production and Prosperity, which outlines a set of priority ocean actions that countries can take to build a sustainable blue economy. Minister Jordan announced the Government of Canada is providing $4-million in funding to the World Bank PROBLUE fund to assist developing countries in producing sustainable ocean plans, while also planning to engage with Canadians to develop a blue economy strategy, beginning early in the new year. Read the official Government of Canada announcement and watch the panel discussion.

Phase III Thinking - Informing Governance for the Future of Fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador

Using past fisheries research for Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), OFI researchers have taken stock and articulated goals for sustainability. I want to build on this work to foster opportunities to understand and govern the future of NL fisheries. In other words, I am working toward getting the future right. Now, we are left with a key tension: we want to plan and act to enrich the viability of NL’s fisheries and fishing communities, but we face limited capacity and certainty to predict the future. How then do we proceed? The answer takes us into anticipatory governance, a form of governance that helps us hedge our bets and think about multiple alternative futures. Through anticipatory governance, my research links social change—past, current and anticipated—to different drivers in the environment, communities, economies, and politics. Further, my research keeps a keen eye on the governance systems used to address those drivers of change. To foster anticipatory governance, my research is explicitly transdisciplinary. I will be working on case studies with collaborators and partners to co-create research priorities and processes, and most of all, to make sure we get the futures right.

Read the Award-Winning Paper 'Ocean Grabbing, Terraqueous Territoriality and Social Development'

Ocean Frontier Institute's Module I co-investigators Dr. Paul Foley and co-author Dr. Charles Mather will receive the 2020 Best Paper Award for their paper 'Ocean grabbing, terraqueous territoriality and social development' published in the journal Territory, Politics, Governance. The award is presented by the Regional Studies Association for journal issues published in 2019. The paper reframes the ocean-grabbing literature and engages access analysis using the case of a circumpolar shrimp species. The authors suggest that contingent ecological and social forces that influence access should receive greater analytical attention, particularly as climate change transforms spatial relations between land-based interests and mobile marine species. Congratulations, Drs. Foley and Mather!

From Risk Communication to Emergency Response in Marine Contexts: OFI Module I-4 Research on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Fisheries Governance

From prevention and risk communication to incident and emergency response, research by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Emily Reid-Musson and graduate researchers Joshua Ryan and Alexandria Major in OFI Module I-4 has focused on key issues in Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) fisheries governance. Building on previous research at MUN, Dr. Emily Reid-Musson focuses on weather forecasting as a form of risk communication within fisheries OHS from a qualitative and social lenses. She does so by asking fish harvesters about how they access and interpret marine weather resources, and by asking marine forecasters about their own processes and challenges in predicting marine weather and communicating weather risks. Research conducted by Joshua Ryan aims to examine the performance of personal locator beacons (PLB) radio signal transmission in harsh conditions, while Alexandria Major focuses on examining their usability in harsh conditions where the user may have reduced dexterity due to cold-water exposure.

Join us for the OFI Virtual Conference 2020: Defining OFI Impact and Vision

OFI has reached its mid-point, with our research poised to be more relevant than ever. In the context of Canada’s throne speech, our discussion will focus on how OFI can contribute to the goal of achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050, Ocean Sustainability, and on fostering the Blue Economy. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development officially begins in January - a critical time to profile the relevance of OFI work in the national and international context. Join the Ocean Frontier Institute at its Virtual Conference 2020: Defining OFI Impact and Vision on November 17-18, 2020 from 09:30 am to 03:30 pm EST for presentations and workshops supporting work toward OFI Blue Papers on the Blue Economy and Carbon Neutrality, demonstrating how OFI can catalyse this critical conversation, with impact regionally, nationally, and internationally in the coming decade. See agenda here and register now.

Meet Alexandria Kerstin Major, Our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!

Alexandria Major is a Masters of Engineering Student in Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland funded by OFI Module I-4 on Marine Health and Safety. Her research will determine if there are usability issues with personal locator beacons (PLBs), which are handheld devices carried by an individual to safeguard their life at sea in case of emergency (e.g. falling overboard), in situations where a person’s manual performance might be degraded by exposure to cold water. She is particularly interested in learning more about the human factors side of designing experiments. For instance, did you know that out of the many fatalities in the fishing industry in Canada, in 44% of the 63 fishing vessel deaths that occurred between 2011 and 2017, emergency signals were not received by authorities? This is where Alexandria's research comes in - she is eager to find solutions regarding the application of personal locator beacons in maritime settings and ways in which their activation can be successful to save even more lives than they already save.

Watch Now: 'Governance in a Changing North Atlantic Ocean: A Webinar Series for a Sustainable Ocean and Viable Fishing Communities'!

Our OFI Module I webinar series 'Governance in a Changing North Atlantic Ocean' was a success, thanks to you! The webinar series took place from September 15 to October 1, 2020, bringing together over one hundred participants from academia, government, industry and communities. They shared knowledge and discussed key governance issues such as access to fisheries resources and markets, recruitment, training and retention into fisheries, people’s perceptions, values and knowledge of the ocean, marine operational health and safety, vulnerability and viability of coastal communities, and indigenous fisheries. In case you missed one of the six sessions, you can now watch the recorded webinars on our YouTube channel!

Contribute to OFI Research on Recruitment, Training & Retention in Small-Scale Fisheries in Newfoundland

If you are a fish harvester, a crew member, a new entrant into the industry or considering fishing for future employment, and are 19 years or older, we would like to talk to you! María López Gómez and Nicole Power are members of Ocean Frontier Institute's 'Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean' research team and are conducting a research project called “Recruitment, training and retention in small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland”. They want to invite you to participate in an interview in which you will be asked about issues related to recruitment, training and retention in the fisheries sector that are important for you and your community. Click below to learn more.

Governance in a Changing North Atlantic Ocean: A Webinar Series for a Sustainable Ocean & Viable Fishing Communities

The webinar series ‘Governance in a Changing North Atlantic Ocean’ organized by OFI Module I is a forum for researchers, governments, industries and communities to share knowledge and discuss key governance issues, such as access to fisheries resources and markets, recruitment, training and retention into fisheries, people’s perceptions, values and knowledge of the ocean, marine operational health and safety, vulnerability and viability of coastal communities, indigenous fisheries and fisher’s knowledge of groundfish fisheries. Outputs from the webinar will be used in the preparation of the “Getting It Right” event to be held in 2021. All webinars will be held at noon (NDT) from September 15 - October 1, 2020.

Recruitment, Training & Retention: Learn about OFI Module I-2 Research!

The aim of sub-module I-2 is to understand which factors and dynamics play a role in the recruitment, training and retention (RTR) of people into small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). According to post-doctoral fellow Dr. María Andrée López Gómez, preliminary results from the literature review and administrative data point to a significant change of the fish harvester labour force. María adds that "our findings have the potential to inform fisheries management policies that currently do not take into account issues of recruitment and retention in the fisheries sector."

Dr. Gerald Singh, OFI Module I's Assistant Professor, Joins Ocean Nexus

OFI Module I Assistant Professor Dr. Gerald Singh is now part of a newly established 10-year, $32.5-million US research partnership between the University of Washington and the Nippon Foundation of Japan. The 'Ocean Nexus Center', headquartered at the University of Washington’s EarthLab, brings together researchers from over 20 universities around the world to investigate changes, responses and solutions to societal issues that emerge in relationship with the oceans. Dr. Singh and his colleagues will look at how Canadian ocean policy relates to the management of fisheries, investigating whether it adequately addresses the impacts of climate change.

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