June 2021

News and Updates

In Focus

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.

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World Ocean's Week meets UN Ocean Decade
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Invitation to the Small-Scale Fisheries Open House

By Too Big To Ignore Partnership
The SSF Open House centres around "Life and Livelihoods", the official theme fo the 2021 World Oceans Week. Join us and the Too Big To Ignore Partnership for a week long series of online events as we 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. All events are free and will be streamed live via Zoom and on YouTube. Add your voice to these discussions and help shape the upcoming International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture and the 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress.
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Highlights from Canada's UN Ocean Science Decade workshop

By Rylan J. Command and Evan Andrews, OFI Module I​
The United Nations declared 2021-2031 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. On March 3rd, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan officially launched the Ocean Science Decade in Canada, and from May 12th to 13th, Canada hosted a workshop that invited stakeholders and rightsholders to discuss a Canadian blueprint for the Decade. The overarching mission of the Decade is to create transformative solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and the ocean to facilitation the transition from the “ocean we have” to the “ocean we want”. The United Nations 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. 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 Decade priorities.
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Reflections from the Ocean Visions Summit 2021
By: Rylan J. Command and Jeremy McNiven, OFI, Memorial University
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. The Ocean Visions Summit brought together researchers, funders, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and more to share knowledge and ideas for solving ocean challenges. These included equitable coastal strategies for climate resilience and adaptation, marine economies, ocean and human health, and transforming data to work for people. Presenters in several sessions argued that ocean data are collected, analyzed, and disseminated without benefit for the small-scale fisheries and fishing communities in which data were collected. Small-scale fishery and community actors need to be included in research processes, from data collection through knowledge mobilization. Some Summit presentations argued this requires co-development of research, co-creation of knowledge, and co-delivery of research outcomes that address and target enrichments to small-scale fisheries lives and livelihoods. Other presentations, however, promoted technical tools as panacea solutions to the often incorrect belief that small-scale fisheries were data poor. It will be the job of transdisciplinary researchers to share their approaches, principles and practices to support collaborative research and to point out that small-scale fisheries and communities are data rich: fishers, community members, and other local actors hold ideas about research priorities, long-term observations and stories of resistance and persistence through change. Here, we highlight some of the projects presented at the Ocean Visions Summit that may be helpful in Getting Transdisciplinarity Right.
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New publication
New paper: 'Unpacking legal and policy frameworks: A step ahead for implementing the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidlines'
by Julia Nakamura, Ratana Chuenpagdee, and Mostafa El Halimi
This paper, by Too Big To Ignore Partnership members Julia Nakamura, Ratana Chuenpagdee, and Mostafa El Halimi, breaks down the legal and policy frameworks underpinning the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines. Arguing that implementing the SSF Guidelines requires transdisciplinary work by researchers in collaboration with governments, civil society organizers, and fishers, they present a rapid appraisal approach to evaluate the extent to which current laws and policies align with the SSF Guidelines, and the governance implications of different contexts and issues arising across 25 countries.
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The latest from OFI and partners
Blue Justice Alert: An Interactive Platform for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries
by Too Big To Ignore Partnership
TBTI's newest project "Blue Justice Alert: An Interactive Platform for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries" reduce SSF vulnerability and strengthen their capacity to achieve viability, food security, and sustainability. Innovation in information sharing is required, along with acive participation of actors from different backgrounds and disciplines to co-create solutions to address governance challenges. Blue Justice Alert aims to highlight the potential threats and opportunities that the Blue Growth/Economy brings to SSF globally.
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For early career scholars 
Postdoctoral fellowship call for proposals: Mitacs Elevate
Mitacs Elevate is now accepting proposal submissions for two years of postdoc funding valued at $60,000/year plys extensive customized professional development training ($7,500/year non-cash value). Postdocs will:
  • Manage a long-term collaborative research project with a company or not-for profit
  • Develop business-ready skills in leadership, financial literacy, management and negotiation, project management, problem solving, and much more.
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Bright young faces
Meet our research assistants who have recently joined OFI Module I and our partner Too Big To Ignore. This month we feature Rylan Command.
Rylan Command
Rylan is a graduate student at the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Fisheries Science and Technology program.

“I practically grew up in a tidepool; the salty spray of the ocean is at the heart of everything I do. I am an ecologist by training and by nature, and I love thinking about how plants and animals have evolved their life-history strategies, adapted to their niches, and how they are being affected by rapid environmental change. I’m particularly interested in fisheries and food systems, and the way in which humans use and distribute marine resources globally. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with OFI and TBTI, and to learn about ecological, socio-economic, and cultural importance of small-scale fisheries and their role in sustaining the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. I hope to learn from members of OFI and TBTI and build lasting connections within the ocean governance research community."
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OFI Governance · Memorial University of Newfoundland · Alexander Murray Building, Room ER2003 · St. John's, NL A1B 3X5 · Canada

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