WHAT'S NEW 2.0
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.
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.
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.
EARTH DAY POP-UP
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.
Meet Gillian McNaughton, Our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!
A lifelong resident of the Northwest Territories with years of hands-on experience in the environmental sector, Gillian possess an unstoppable passion for nature and is especially interested in supporting culturally and contextually relevant strategies for environmental and wildlife stewardship. Her OFI Module I research looks at land claims and self-governance processes between Indigenous peoples and the Federal and Provincial or Territorial governments of Canada through the lens of the cultural relations with fish. More broadly, Gillian investigates how management of fisheries in land claims areas is negotiated and ultimately implemented in light of these relations.
Access to Resources & Markets: Research in OFI Module I
Research in OFI Module I-1 on 'Access to Resources & Markets' examines the short- and long-term changes in fisheries resources and market access in Newfoundland to understand how they impact various stakeholders and rightsholders in the industry, and coastal communities. According to sub-module I-1 post-doctoral fellow Dr. Courtenay Parlee, the preliminary results from Phase 1 of the study suggest that short- and long-term changes influencing access to resources and markets are driven by both ecological and social factors.
Anchored Boats: India's Lockdown and the Small-Scale Fisheries
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread globally, many countries are imposing lockdown measures. Such measures have had significant impacts on food security and job availability, exacerbating social inequalities. Small-scale fishers are especially jeopardized in the context of the current global crisis, particularly in developing countries such as India, where small-scale fishing is crucial for the national economy and local livelihoods.
Better Together: Research Collaboration in OFI Module I
As a postdoctoral fellow in OFI Module I-2, María Andrée López Gómez investigates which factors and dynamics play a role in the recruitment, training and retention of people into small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, she does not do that alone. Acknowledging the importance of research collaboration, María has contributed to strengthen our partnerships in Norway, joined forces within and across OFI research modules, and has been awarded additional funding to explore employment in aquaculture.
Join us in Celebrating World Oceans Day 2020!
This World Oceans Day, OFI Module I is joining forces with its partner Too Big To Ignore and other organizations from around the globe to celebrate the contribution of small-scale fisheries to ocean sustainability and innovation! Join us for 'Small is Bountiful', a week-long series of online events that will bring attention to the importance of small-scale fisheries, celebrate their contributions, and facilitate a dialogue about an inclusive, equitable and just development of the ocean.
Save the Date: Upcoming Virtual Roundtable
Are you interested in ocean and coastal community Social Sciences and Humanities research? Join the Ocean Frontier Institute for a virtual roundtable on 'Social Sciences and Humanities Research across OFI: Taking Stock and Looking Forward' on June 25, 2020 from 01:00-03:15 pm (NDT). Stay tuned for more information on how to join soon!
Try to Stay Afloat: The Covid-19 Impacts on Fisheries
Although the effects of COVID-19 are generalized, its impacts have especially been felt by small-scale fishers and fishing communities. OFI Module I has assessed the impact of the pandemic on small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador and around the world.
Fish Chain Interrupted: How Covid-19 Affects Markets & Trades
Despite being the main drivers of the global food chain, small-scale fishers or farmers usually find themselves in a marginalized and disadvantaged position. The physical isolation measures and lockdown restrictions have further exacerbated their situation, forcing them either to halt or alter their fishing operations. Combined with other difficulties in marketing, transportation, and trading especially for those depending on export markets, the threats to livelihoods and the food supply chain are real.
What do Seals and Fishermen in Newfoundland have in Common with Lions and Pastoral Communities in the Maasai Mara?
Monica Engel, OFI Module I PhD candidate, presented her research on 'Predators of the sea: A love and hate story' at 'Pathways Africa 2020: Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conference and Training' in Limuru, Kenya last February, and reflects on her experience.
Save the Date: World Oceans Day Celebration
Come celebrate World Oceans Day 2020 with us, remotely! The Ocean Frontier Institute's Module I will be part of a major online event taking place from June 1-8, 2020, emphasizing the importance of small-scale fisheries for a sustainable ocean. All events are virtual, and are opened to everyone.
We are now on Social Media!
OFI Module I has now joined Twitter and Facebook, so you can stay up to date with our research activities, publications, events, job opportunities, and so much more!
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Research Assistant Nathan Stanley Reflects on his Experience at IMBER OSC 2019
After presenting his research findings at the session 'Ocean Governance in the Face of Change', part of IMBeR Future Oceans2 Open Science Conference, Nathan Stanley stated that "it was a humbling experience to learn from and network with people who have made it their life’s mission to improve human-ocean interactions for a more sustainably balanced future. Moving forward with my work in fisheries governance, I am interested in using the lessons learned from fisheries management in the past to build models that can help guide fisheries management in the future." Learn more about Nathan's experience in Brest, France.
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!
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 POP-UP
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.
Meet Maria Yulmetova, Our OFI Module I Researcher of the Month!
Maria uses freely available satellite images to create maps which will help protect the environment and coastal communities in case of an oil spill. She told us more about her research on satellite-based shoreline classification for developing oil spill responses, and how that can be beneficial to the environment and coastal communities of Newfoundland and Labrador and elsewhere in Canada.
Not Alone: Supporting and Building Solutions with Small-Scale Fishers
Collective actions and collaborative solutions are usually more successful in dealing with crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. By working together, small-scale fishers, their associations, unions or supportive organizations can organize and provide assistance to their members and their communities. When fishers' organizations are strong, they are vital to protect the interests of this valuable but often vulnerable sector.
Small-Scale Fisheries and Ocean Sustainability: A Reflection on 'Small is Bountiful' Virtual Event
Our OFI Module I Master's student Ruyel Miah reflects on his participation at the 'Small is Bountiful' event organized in celebration of World Oceans Day 2020. He shares some of what he learned by being part of the series of webinars and panel discussions, and how being part of events like this one can benefit him as a student. Ruyel also highlights some take-home messages on small-scale fisheries' contribution to ocean sustainability.
Right Here, Right Now: Are Canadian Small-Scale Fisheries Getting the Support They Need?
Small-scale fishers can be a crucial source of food and income for local communities. We must urge that governments pay attention to their demands and create opportunities for them to maintain their livelihoods and ensure food security.
Creating Opportunities in the Face of Challenge: A Covid-19 Job Initiative
OFI Module I supports international students during the current pandemic to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador and elsewhere.
High Stakes: Fishers Health & Safety During Covid-19 Times
The challenges of the working aboard a fishing vessel are further exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic, which brings about changes in regulations based on physical distancing recommendations, as well as changes to the fishing season, which is in many cases postponed indefinitely. What does this mean to fish harvesters and their health and safety at sea? How will the effects of operational health and safety measures be reflected in markets and in fishing communities?
The North Atlantic Ocean We Need for the Future We Want: Moving into the Ocean Decade
OFI Module I Assistant Professor Dr. Gerald Singh joined the 'North Atlantic Regional Workshop' organized by OFI for the UN Ocean Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 and shares his insights.
Interdisciplinary Team of Early-Career Researchers Meets in Bremen, Germany
Our OFI Module I Post-doctoral fellow Dr. Mahmudul Islam participated in the ZMT/IOI Winter School on ‘Ocean Governance for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems’ from February 16-21 at the Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Ecology in Bremen, Germany, and shares his experience with us.
OFI Scholarship Opportunity for ClimeCO7
The Ocean Frontier Institute will be offering 5 scholarships at $2,000 each for graduate students who wish to participate in the ClimEco7 Summer School on 'Interdisciplinary Ocean Science for Sustainable Development' that will be held on August 17-21, 2020 at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. Learn more about this exciting opportunity and apply by March 9, 2020!
Join Us for World Fisheries Day 2019!
This November, Too Big To Ignore, the Ocean Frontier Institute and the On The Move Partnership are joining forces to celebrate World Fisheries Day by hosting a public event entitled: ‘Towards Zero Waste in Our Fisheries’. The event will focus attention on reducing waste – of fish through full utilization and of human/social capacity and creativity by reducing gender inequality, acknowledging the critical role women play in fisheries.
Engagement Session Held in the Great Northern Peninsula, NL - Former Master's Student Jack Daly Shares his Insights
According to former OFI Module I Master's student Jack Daly, "In order to get to truly viable coastal communities, it will be necessary to both further engage at the community level as well as to look globally and learn from how fisheries in other parts of the world are coping in a time of immense environmental, economic, and political change." Read more about his insights on the engagement session he organized in the Great Northern Peninsula, NL, Canada.
OFI Governance Meets in Brest, France and Strengthens Partnerships - Post-Doctoral Fellow Courtenay Parlee Shares her Insights
Courtenay Parlee, OFI Module I Post-doctoral Fellow, indicated that "a major highlight of our visit to Brest, France was a meeting organized by Module I and our international collaborator Dr. Katia Frangoudes from LABEX MER at the European University Institute of the Sea (IUEM), University of Brest, bringing together our research team members, collaborators, partners, and colleagues from IUEM." Furthermore, she explained that "It is through this interaction with our international partners that we have established synergies among some of the research projects and outlined potential avenues for formal collaboration." Read the full article below.