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Master's student Jack Daly shares insights on Engagement Session held in the Great Northern Peninsula, NL, Canada

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.

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Jack Daly presented his research findings on 'Impacts of CETA on Sustainability of Nothern Tip Coastal Communities' in St. Anthony, NL last July.

Last July, I had the opportunity to organize a Research Engagement Session at the College of the North Atlantic in St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador. This session was a follow-up dissemination event from research completed during my Master’s degree as a graduate student in the Department of Geography at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. This event was an opportunity to share key findings from the research project I was a part of titled “Impacts of CETA on Sustainability of Northern Tip Coastal Communities.” As the Great Northern Peninsula is a large geographic region, with people having to travel far distances to attend events held in the region, we wanted to make sure the event included more than just research dissemination and could provide some input to inform future research carried out in the region. Three other presentations took place which included two local leaders from the region presenting on rural community viability and innovation in the fisheries sector, as well as a presentation from Too Big To Ignore collaborator Dr. Yinji Li on the Sakura shrimp fishery of Japan.

The event, which had 15 attendees in total, had a central focus on the sustainability of the fisheries of the region as well as the viability of coastal communities. After the presentations an open discussion was held to document key themes and responses from community members and leaders. Attendees, who had backgrounds ranging from municipal governments, tourism associations, economic development associations, and fisheries associations, discussed present and persistent challenges in the fisheries and community viability, as well as discussing ways to move forward and explaining what future research could benefit the region.

 

Key themes that were elicited in both the presentation and group discussion included the need for further community-based collaboration and the need for continued research into areas of innovation in the fishery and processing sector. In order to move forward to more sustainable fisheries and viable coastal communities, participants made clear that future initiatives need to be community focused and organized by community members without a large reliance on higher levels of government. There was also agreement that there is a need to go further than regional collaboration; instead of having multiple communities working together the entire regional mindset had to change to view the Great Northern Peninsula as one community.

Besides the event itself, the trip included meeting with community members including the Mayor of St. Lunaire-Griquet, the owner of a local fish market, and an entrepreneur in the region working towards developing a fisheries innovation centre. Accompanying me on the entirety of this trip was Dr. Li who also presented at the Engagement Session. Having Dr. Li’s perspective on the region was insightful both to myself who has spent time there in the past year and to people who attended the event who were curious to hear about the fisheries that she studies and the similar challenges of stock decline that they face. Having the perspective from another marine social scientist further opened my eyes to the nuances of challenges faced by fisheries but also the immense opportunity to learn from the way other fisheries are governed. 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.

Written by Jack Daly, Geography Department, Memorial University.

Jack was a Master's student with Ocean Frontier Institute’s Module I ‘Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean’ and has co-authored a 'Taking Stock Dialogue' background paper on ‘Alignment of Policies and Principles: An Examination of Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador's Fisheries'.

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