Several members of Memorial’s research community showcased the value and importance of the global fishery during a special event recently.
A World Fisheries Day Celebration took place on Nov. 21 in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation on the St. John’s campus.
For the third year in a row, the research project Too Big To Ignore: Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research (TBTI) took the lead in organizing the event. Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, Department of Geography, principal investigator with the project, hosted the event.
TBTI is a global research network and knowledge mobilization partnership that focuses on addressing issues and concerns affecting viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries.
Through funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the project involves more than 450 researchers and 20 organizations from approximately 55 countries.
This year, the World Fisheries Day theme centred on innovation for sustainable fisheries and sustainable communities.
The event showcased aquatic-related research and education, including interactive information booths by fisheries and ocean-related organizations and TBTI members, partners and friends, exhibits by undergraduate and graduate students and photo and video displays.
Participants promoted the value of fisheries, in particular, inshore fisheries, to the economic, environmental and social well-being of Newfoundland and Labrador.
There was also a fish taco contest where people had a chance to taste homemade creations and vote for their favourite.
The Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) was also represented at the event.
Dr. Paul Snelgrove, associate scientific director and a leading Memorial researcher, delivered opening remarks and a short presentation, while Julie Rideout, manager of operations, and Georgette Clairmont, administrative staff specialist, were on hand to promote OFI.
Launched in September 2016 with an unprecedented $220 million in funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund and various private and public-sector organizations, the OFI is focusing on solutions for safe and sustainable ocean development.
Its creation marks an historic partnership between Memorial, Dalhousie University, and the University of Prince Edward Island.
Inshore fisheries discussion
This year’s event also included a panel discussion with several members of the wider community who spoke about the tradition of this province’s inshore fisheries in modern times.
Panelists included Kimberly Orren, Fishing for Success, Petty Harbour; John Norman, mayor, Town of Bonavista; Katia Frangoudes, gender specialist and professor, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France; and Alicia Said, postdoctoral fellow, TBTI.
They discussed opportunities for achieving sustainable fisheries through social innovations and other innovations in gear, technology, market and business.
Dr. Chuenpagdee closed the event by reiterating the importance of working collaboratively towards creative solutions and innovation in research and policy, in order to promote the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador, and elsewhere. The discussion, as well as photos from this year’s event, will be posted on the TBTI website in the coming days.
World Fisheries Day celebrations help bring awareness to the ever-increasing knowledge about fishing, fishers, coastal communities and the status of the oceans and the fish stocks worldwide.