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Post-doctoral Fellow Courtenay Parlee reflects on her experience as part of OFI Module I special session & meeting in Brest, France

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.


OFI Module I team meets in Brest, France, for IMBeR Future Oceans2 Open Science Conference and team meeting with partners from IUEM, University of Brest.

This year the IMBeR Future Oceans2 Open Science Conference was held in Brest, France from June 17-21, 2019, under the theme  ‘Ocean sustainability for the benefit of society: understanding, challenges and solutions’. The overarching topics that emerged throughout the conference included climate change and its implications on the social and ecological systems. The impacts on humans can include changes in access to fishing resources and food security due to drought, flooding, and rising ocean temperatures. These consequences were often referenced alongside discussions on how to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 'Life Below Water', and the World Bank’s 'Blue Economy' in the context of rapid change. Although there was no formal consensus at the conference on how to address the complexities that arise within the context of climate change, unofficially participants agreed that they require interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary governance responses, and with collaboration among academics, communities and governments. Furthermore, the challenges and opportunities that arise for coastal communities due to climate change must be examined and considered in policies and their implementation at every scale.


Several members of the Ocean Frontier Institute’s Module I ‘Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean’, including myself, had the opportunity to present their research as part of the session ‘Ocean governance in the face of change: Confronting the challenge of rebuilding fish stocks, fisheries and viable coastal communities and preparing for future change’, co-convened by Module I co-leads Dr. Barbara Neis and Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee. Many of the presentations in the session took stock of issues relating to access, recruitment, values, safety and viability in the context of the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries. Nonetheless, we also learned from opportunities and challenges relating to these topics from case studies in the Canadian pacific, in addition other countries such as India, Malta, Greece, the USA, Taiwan, and Japan. Nathan Stanley, Module I research assistant, received accolades by a representative from IMBeR for best student presentation at this session for his work on 'The changing principles in Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries: A Historical Analysis'. Another session with Module I team participation was entitled 'Designing the quilt of sustainable ocean governance' and was co-convened by Dr. Robert Stephenson, an OFI Canadian collaborator who works for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Fisheries Research Network. Following presentations, some of the discussion revolved around how approaches such as Ecosystem-Based Management, Integrated Management, and the Precautionary Approach have been theorized, how they have been operationalized, and whether they are distinct, or overlapping.


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. As part of the meeting, Module I members presented on each of the five research themes: I-1) Access to Resources & Markets; I-2) Recruitment, Training & Retention; I-3) Perceptions, Values & Knowledge ; I-4) Marine Health & Safety; and I-5) Vulnerability & Viability, and our international partners shared their  ongoing research. 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.

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Written by Courtenay Parlee, Memorial University, Grenfell campus

Courtenay is a Post-doctoral Fellow with Ocean Frontier Institute’s Module I ‘Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean’ and has co-authored the Taking Stock Dialogue' background papers on ‘Taking Stock of Market and Trade Governance in NL fisheries since 1977' and 'Taking stock of fisheries management: Changes in access for NL fisheries and communities since 1977'.

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