WELCOME!

Welcome Lilian Saul, OFI Module I Master's student

by Lilian Saul

My experience as a deckhand influenced my decision to explore issues surrounding fisheries sustainability. It was my experience researching territorial governance in lobstering as an Undergraduate student that lead me to my Masters program at Memorial and interest in governance and fisher participation. 

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©Lilian Saul

Hi! My name is Lil. I have a background in commercial fisheries, having worked as a deckhand in Maine lobstering for six years, and planning my second fishing season as a deckhand in Bristol Bay Alaska this summer. I began my Masters of Arts at Memorial University in the Fall of 2020 in the Geography Department under my supervisor Ratana Chuenpagdee. My research interests include studying governance in Newfoundland fisheries, specifically as it relates to present ecological flux and the interaction between law and policy and coastal fishing communities. 

What is your research about? What are you currently working on? 

As an early step in my research, I hope to use Too Big To Ignore's Law and Policy Template as it applies to the NL province.

What drew you to explore this topic originally?

My experience as a deckhand influenced my decision to explore issues surrounding fisheries sustainability. It was my experience researching territorial governance in lobstering as an Undergraduate student that lead me to my Masters program at Memorial and interest in governance and fisher participation. 

What is the most interesting aspect of your research? Share something you have discovered through your research so far.

 

I have 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. Policy change may be slow, but change is also inevitable within governing structures and it is in part our research that guides those changes. 

How does your research address present day fisheries issues in Newfoundland and Labrador and elsewhere? How does it help inform governance responses for coastal communities in the province in a context of change?

I am specifically interested in how the National, Provincial, and community levels of governance interact. Moreover, I am interested in how this institutional container for decision making (the meso-level) has the ability to adapt, cope, and respond to changes in resource allocations as NL faces ecological decline in shrimp and snow crab fisheries--a decline that may be doubly devastating in the context of diminishing oceanic resources. 

What is the one thing you would like the general public to know about your research?

I would like the public to know the immediacy of these issues and that as a social scientist, I wish to approach governance through a human lens that prioritizes goals and objectives involving community and fisher autonomy.

What are the next steps and what do you want to achieve with your research?

In the future, I hope to understand how these governing frameworks intersect and interplay on the community level and the fisher response to policy frameworks in the face of ecological change. 

What do you like doing when you are not working on research?

I enjoy walking in the woods, being on the ocean, shooting my bow, and taking time to rest. 

Learn more:

Contact Lilian Saul at lmsaul@mun.ca.

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Written by Lilian Saul

Lilian Saul is a Master's student in the Geography Department at Memorial University, funded by the Ocean Frontier Institute's Module I. She works in sub-module I-3 investigating 'Perceptions, Values and Knowledge' of small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador. She has a background in commercial fisheries and is interested in studying governance in Newfoundland fisheries, specifically as it relates to the interaction between law and policy and coastal fishing communities.