EUROPE and CANADA - European fishermen and scientists are travelling to Canada to see what they can learn from their North American counterparts about working with one another.
Hailing from the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, the European fishermen and scientists are part of an EU research project called GAP2, aiming to bring scientists and fishermen together.
They are being kindly hosted by the fishers and scientists of the Canadian Fisheries Research Network, from Tuesday, 14 May to Friday, 17 May in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, where they will not only share lessons on land, but also at sea as they go lobster fishing in the Bay of Fundy.
Sustainable fishing is a complex issue, requiring the input of both industry and academia in finding solutions.
GAP2 is an EU funded research project exploring how fishermen, scientists and policy makers can best work together to manage fisheries sustainably. Spread across 11 countries, the project has established 13 partnerships between scientists and fishing industry stakeholders. Lessons learned within these partnerships are now being taken to policy makers, with the hope that this collaborative approach is incorporated in developing fisheries governance.
Similarly, the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN) joins Canada’s academic researchers, fishing industry, and government in partnership, to develop a national capture fisheries research capacity. Launched in 2010, CFRN focuses on issues directly relevant to industry, and will establish a tradition of enhanced collaboration across sectors as is required for a sustainable and viable fishing industry.
Given the similarities between the two initiatives, the CFRN and GAP2 planned a reciprocal exchange to share experiences and lessons learned in participatory research.
The meeting in St. Andrews is the first part of the exchange, and will include presentations and discussions, and trips on board lobster fishing vessels. There will also be a community lobster supper on Deer Island hosted by the Fundy North Fishermen’s Association, after which the GAP2 visitors will be billeted by local fishing families on the island for the night.
The second part of the exchange will see CFRN fishers and researchers travel to the Netherlands to meet with their GAP2 counterparts in June. The combined experience of GAP2 and CFRN will result in conclusions that are significant internationally.
TheFishSite News Desk