Our research envisions the assessment and development/application of modelling tools to predict and understand the interplay and combined effects of climate change and ocean pollution on food webs and coastal communities in British Columbia, Canada. Climate change and ocean pollution present a risk to the food webs and economies of coastal communities in British Columbia. Assessing and projecting these risks and threats are of paramount importance as healthy ocean food webs are key to the socio-economic viability of coastal communities in British Columbia. We have developed and applied model tools that enable the assessment of to understand the interaction between food web bioaccumulation of PCBs and organic mercury and climate change under different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions (RCP 2.6/’strong mitigation’ and RCP 8.5/’business as usual’) and pollution with the resulting impacts to the health of food webs and coastal communities. The results will ultimately empower coastal communities to develop and adopt adaption and mitigation strategies that help protect coastal resources for future generations. This research is partially funded by the OceanCanada Partnership in close collaboration with the Ocean Pollution Research Program (OPRP)/Coastal Ocean Research Institute (CORI) at the Vancouver Aquarium (Ocean Wise).
Natalie Baird is using participatory visual methods to document and communicate local and traditional knowledge of changing ocean dynamics in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Working with local filmmaker David Poisey, the research engages youth, harvesters, and elders in collaborative video, art making, and qualitative interviews while in community and “on the land” to explore the importance of a healthy ocean. The local perspectives and visual media gathered richly describe how changes to water, sea ice and animal health pose risks to food security, livelihoods, and cultural well-being. By visualizing local issues and solutions through creative collaboration, the research has the ability to communicate locally across generations as well as nationally across diverse audiences.
Co-lead of Pacific Working Group, Co-lead of Access Cross-cutting Theme
Dr. Nathan Bennett is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia and an Affiliate Researcher at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University. As a broadly trained environmental social scientist, he chooses to primarily focus on research projects that interrogate various aspects of the complex relationship between the environment and human society with a critical and solution-oriented lens. Within the OceanCanada Partnership, Dr. Bennett’s work focuses on understanding coastal and Indigenous community access to marine resources and the ocean, governance and management of marine protected areas, and coastal community responses to combined environmental and social changes.
Using community-engaged and indigenous methodologies, my doctoral work examines the well-being impacts of the loss of eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) for the people of the Nuxalk Nation, on the central coast of British Columbia. Further, I am learning how local stewardship knowledge and practices support well-being, and how they intersect with the priorities of other central coast actors. This work will support inter-jurisdictional communication around conservation of this culturally and ecologically important species, and contribute to the successful consideration of First Nations knowledge and authority in wider-scale decision-making related to eulachon.
Title of thesis: Implications of marine protected areas on social-ecological wellbeing in the Bay of Fundy, Canada (2017)
My research examines the relationship between MPAs and trade-offs in coastal community wellbeing in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, using a social-ecological wellbeing perspective. This perspective integrates the concept of ecological resilience with the material, relational, and subjective dimensions of social wellbeing. Semi-structured interviews and visioning focus groups were conducted with 50 stakeholders regarding two inshore fishing areas in the Bay of Fundy, Musquash MPA and the Outer Quoddy Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area, in order to understand: (1) stakeholder perceptions of existing and anticipated changes in wellbeing in relation to MPAs; and (2) how these insights can contribute to the effectiveness of MPA governance and outcomes.
Tim is a PhD student studying fisheries economics under the supervision of Dr. Rashid Sumaila. Tim’s research at IRES and the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries will continue to work on the Fish Tracker Initiative to link investors to sustainable and unsustainable fisheries practices. Through this research, Tim hopes to better evaluate the risk of current fisheries overexploitation and the declining returns to those invested in them.
Recently, Tim has worked for the Sea Around Us at UBC working on various projects including fish used for fishmeal and fish oil, analyzing trends in fisheries discards, and researching global fisheries gear use. He hopes this research can help to understand the impacts of fisheries on marine ecosystems and their role in sustainable food production. Tim’s research is funded by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, and the UBC 4-Year Fellowship.
Cashion T., Le Manach, F., Zeller, D., Pauly, D. (2017) Most fish destined for fishmeal are food-grade fish. Fish and Fisheries.
Cashion, T., Tyedmers, P., & Parker, R. (2017). Global reduction fisheries and their products in the context of sustainable limits. Fish and Fisheries.
Zeller D, Cashion T, Palomares MLD and Pauly D. (2017) Global marine fisheries discards: a synthesis of reconstructed data. Fish & Fisheries DOI:10.1111/faf.12233
Cashion, T., Hornborg, S., Ziegler, F., Hognes, E., & Tyedmers, P. (2016). Review and advancement of the marine biotic resource use metric in LCAs: a case study of Norwegian salmon feed. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 21(8): 1106-1120.
Sondra Eger is a PhD Candidate in Simon Courtenay’s lab at the University of Waterloo, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Sondra’s research addresses challenges in the implementation of Integrated Coastal and Oceans Management (ICOM) in Canada, with a focus on the Bay of Fundy. More specifically, Sondra is investigating the opportunity for regional governance as a way to move toward ICOM. This project includes an examination of past and current ICOM initiatives in Atlantic Canada and the role played by communities in implementing ICOM initiatives. Because place-based problems often demand place-based solutions, this research will enhance the resilience of coastal social-ecological systems through a better understanding of governance conditions and the capacity at the local-regional scale to complement federal actions through community-driven ICOM initiatives.
Sarah's research investigates the contributions by women to the herring-related economy of the Heiltsuk First Nation’s community of Bella Bella on Canada’s Pacific coast. Over the past few decades, the Heiltsuk have been involved in an ongoing legal and political struggle over access and rights to harvest herring spawn-on-kelp. During this time herring stocks have fluctuated considerably, as have market conditions for herring products. It is within this context that I am interested in understanding: a) the role that herring plays in the local economy, and b) the participation by women in the herring fishery and related economy. To inform this research, I am drawing from semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and personal observations conducted during visits I made to Bella Bella between 2015 and 2017. This case study will be one of several major chapters of my PhD thesis that examines the contributions by women to fisheries economies around the world.
Carie is working towards identifying and selecting marine indicators for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Canadian Arctic. This project was established alongside federal and local co-management agencies, Inuvialuit resource management boards, and hunters and trappers committees. We are currently working to identify and evaluate long-term datasets suitable for tracking changes in species or the larger ecosystem. These indicator datasets are compared against stakeholder and community interests. The results of this project feed into ongoing monitoring program design and contributes to the local MPA ( Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area) assessments.
Isaac Jonas is a Ph.D. student with the Institute of the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF) at the University of British Columbia. He started off as a Research Assistant to Dr U. Rashid Sumaila through the FERU/OceanCanada Partnership. He has been working on an OceanCanada Partnership project that involves designing a Sustainability Fisheries Insurance Fund (SIF) for the small pelagic fluctuating fish stock like the Peruvian anchoveta. Isaac holds a Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) degree from UBC, where he graduated as a valedictorian and a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship holder. He earned his BSc honors degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe. On his spare time, he works with Impact Africa Trust, a Not-for Profit Organization (NGO) that he co-founded in 2015. The NGO does work in Zimbabwe to equip young farmers with 21st century skills. A global citizen, Isaac has spoken at various local and international forums, for example, the Skoll World Forum at the Said Business School, Oxford University and the UBC African Business Forum.
Climate change is driving shifts in distribution of fish stocks towards areas with cooler environment, generally in higher latitude or deeper water. Particularly, distribution shifts in fish stocks that straddle between national jurisdictions or Exclusive Economic Zones are challenging transboundary fisheries management. We examine the past and projected future sharing of catches of transboundary fish stocks between the EEZs of Canada and USA. We calculate the ratio of sub-regional catches between Canada and USA in the Pacific and Atlantic coasts under high and low greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Moreover, we analyze projections of changes in potential catch of these fish stocks under climate change from multiple earth system and species distribution models by the mid- to end of the 21st century. Using the projected catch, we then explore the economics of changing stock-share ratio between Canada and the United States, including, ratios for Pacific salmons, Pacific halibut and Atlantic cod. Our results highlight fish stocks, sub-regions and RFMOs that are most exposed to climate change.
As an HQP with The Arctic Working Group, Kathryn has examined community involvement and resources used in current and previous community engaged work for the benefit of the Great Lakes, specifically BARC and cleaning up Lake Ontario. Understanding that watershed flows carry land based inputs into the Great Lakes basin, including inputs from a range of transboundary sources between Canada and the United States. The Great Lakes transfer water from West to East, conjoining with the St. Lawrence River and then transferring through to the Atlantic Ocean, carrying accumulated pollution from its journey from the industrial and agricultural heartlands. Her research aims to re-examine land-water-ocean transfers, their interconnectivity and the potential roles in the future of fresh water and marine water quality, which ALL communities have to play.
The objective of my research is to investigate alternative futures for Canada’s oceans under different pathways of socio-economic and climate change, with a specific focus on marine fisheries and coastal communities. The scenario development process involves 1) developing qualitative narratives of how future ocean sustainability will be affected under different socio-economic pathways; 2) integrating biophysical and economic models to analyse the impact each pathway will have on selected indicators of biological and socio-economic sustainability. Ultimately, these scenarios will contribute to a better understanding about how future uncertainties may impact Canada’s marine ecosystems and communities, thereby informing the development of effective strategies for the long-term sustainability of Canada’s oceans.
This study aims to demonstrate the importance of the ocean to human society in terms of its economic and socio-cultural contributions. The first objective is to conduct an economic impact assessment of BC’s ocean sectors. Here, I develop an economic impact assessment framework that quantifies total revenue, GDP, labour income, and employment generated by ocean based sectors in BC. Next, I will apply this framework to extend the economic analysis to other regions of Canada. The second part of the research will deal with methods to reflect the socio-cultural importance of the ocean to society, particularly to coastal/indigenous communities.
Charlotte is a member of the Pacific working group. She hails from the mountains of Whistler, but spent much of her youth immersed in conservation issues and environmental education while being raised on a sailboat. Her interests lie in identifying marine conservation planning solutions for temperate coastal ecosystems that consider the effects of global climate change, as well as the needs of local communities. With OceanCanada, her work has focused on measures of adaptive capacity for social-ecological systems in response to climate impacts. Her overall PhD work will contribute to the field of marine ecology and social-ecological systems planning in a warming global climate.