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July 2020

News and Updates

World Oceans Day 2020
Webinar series and panel discussions | Online
From June 1-8, OFI Module I joined forces with its partner Too Big To Ignore and other organizations from around the globe to celebrate the contribution of small-scale fisheries to ocean sustainability and innovation. We discussed pressing issues such as the impacts of COVID-19 on small-scale fisheries, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and specifically SDG 14.b, the use of a Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) for implementing the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines, and called for Blue Justice for small-scale fisheries. We also went around the globe in 24 hours for a series of online panel discussions and an exciting art festival! If you missed the week-long series of online events 'Small is Bountiful' in celebration of World Oceans Day, you can still watch all of our recorded webinars, panel discussions and art festival!
 
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by Ruyel Miah, OFI Module I Master's student
Our OFI Module I Master's student Ruyel Miah reflects on his participation at the 'Small is Bountiful' event organized in celebration of World Oceans Day 2020. He shares some of what he learned by  being part of the series of webinars and panel discussions, and how being part of events like this one can benefit him as a student. Ruyel also highlights some take-home messages on small-scale fisheries' contribution to ocean sustainability. According to him, 'the suggestions coming from the discussions indicate that all of us, including fishers, governments, non-government organizations, and academia, have roles to play in promoting the importance and contribution of small-scale fisheries to ocean sustainability. We should uphold the recognition of small-scale fishing communities and help make them viable.'
 
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Research collaboration
by María Andrée López Gómez, OFI Module I Post-doctoral Fellow
As a postdoctoral fellow in OFI Module I-2, María investigates which factors and dynamics play a role in the recruitment, training and retention of people into small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, she does not do that alone. Acknowledging the importance of research collaboration, María has contributed to strengthen our partnerships in Norway, joined forces within and across OFI research modules, and has been awarded additional funding to explore employment in aquaculture. According to her, "the wide network of researchers at the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) offers the opportunity to create linkages across many disciplines and in that way innovate how we study the ocean and how we seek for solutions together." 
 
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COVID-19 and Fisheries around the Globe
by Bruna Brito & Vanessa Eyng
Collective actions and collaborative solutions are usually more successful in dealing with crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. By working together, small-scale fishers, their associations, unions or supportive organizations can organize and provide assistance to their members and their communities. When fishers' organizations are strong, they are vital to protect the interests of this valuable but often vulnerable sector. Bruna Brito, a Memorial University international student who was part of the COVID-19 Job Initiative led by OFI Module I and partners, shared with us how organizations from around the world have provided support to small-scale fishers while facing the pandemic.
 
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by Paula Struk Jaia & Vanessa Eyng
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread globally, many countries are imposing lockdown measures. Such measures have had significant impacts on food security and job availability, exacerbating social inequalities. Small-scale fishers are especially jeopardized in the context of the current global crisis, particularly in developing countries such as India, where small-scale fishing is crucial for the national economy and local livelihoods. So, how has the unprecedented pandemic affected small-scale fisheries across India? And in which ways have small-scale fishers coped with this change and tried to overcome the current challenges? Paula Struk Jaia, an international graduate student at Memorial University hired by OFI and partners through the COVID-19 Job Initiative reports on the impacts of the pandemic on fisheries in India.
 
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New Publications
STATCAN COVID-19: Data to insights for a better Canada
New Statistics Canada report on food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic reveals that "food insecurity is significantly higher during COVID-19 in comparison to the 2017/2018 results; respectively 14.6% vs. 10.5%." This represents almost one in seven Canadians. According to the newly released data, those living in households with children are more likely to be food insecure, as are those who have been absent from work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
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Upcoming Events
July 14-16, 2020 | Online
The Thirty-fourth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), scheduled to take place at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy has been postponed due to the novel corona virus pandemic. In light of this challenge, FAO will host a series of virtual dialogues examining Fisheries and Aquaculture Governance and Development from 14-16 July 2020. The Committee brings together policymakers, researchers, industry representatives and civil society groups from across the world to consider the latest initiatives, regulations and research in the areas of fisheries and aquaculture governance and development. To join, please register in advance for each virtual dialogue session.
 
Register now
Researcher of the Month
by Maria Yulmetova, OFI Module I Master's student
Maria uses freely available satellite images to create maps which will help protect the environment and coastal communities in case of an oil spill. She told us more about her research on satellite-based shoreline classification for developing oil spill responses, and how that can be beneficial to the environment and coastal communities of Newfoundland and Labrador and elsewhere in Canada. To her, one of the most interesting aspects of research is developing something new. "Although there have been several projects on shoreline classification, there is still no algorithm that could be applied to the whole Canadian coastline." Maria's research has the potential to contribute towards that. 
 
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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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