Seafood is the largest single food commodity exported by Canada, which is the sixth largest exporter of fish and seafood products in the world. Canadian capture fisheries face the challenge of being ecologically sustainable, economically viable, socially acceptable, and competitive in international markets. Consumer interest in the sustainability of fisheries has grown rapidly. Increasing attention has been placed on the cumulative impacts of all activities (fishing and others) in a given area. The evolution of management to include more holistic considerations of the ecosystem approach and integrated management requires more, and different, research.
There is a need to engage the Canadian academic community with industry and government in practical fisheries research problems, and to establish national research linkages that transcend geographical boundaries to identify priorities and disseminate information. Enhanced knowledge of aquatic ecosystems, as they relate to management and industry operations, is needed to reduce environmental impacts, inform decision-making and evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies on sustainability. The research required to meet this challenge in a rapidly changing environment demands collaboration of industry, government and academia in an approach that is multidisciplinary, strategic and national in scope.
The NSERC Canadian Capture Fisheries Research Network (CCFRN) is a unique collaboration of academic researchers, the fishing industry, and government researchers and managers from across Canada. The Network includes 33 academics from 13 universities, working closely with a large number of collaborators in the Canadian fishing industry, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and provincial government departments. The Network is unique in that it is industry-driven and focussed on projects that have the active collaboration of each sector. The Network will link with other strategic networks and coordinate with DFO programs, where appropriate.
The vision of the Network is to re-shape fisheries research in Canada, bringing together industry, academia and government on priority research questions and linking existing research so that it is useful to industry and management. The research of the Network is aimed at increasing knowledge that will enhance the ecological sustainability, socio-economic viability and management of Canadian fisheries. Specifically, the research objectives are to:
The Network will provide a forum for sharing research objectives and results that will build capacity in each sector; as well as establish a tradition of collaborative, strategic fisheries research in Canada that is expected to extend beyond its timeline. In addition, the Network will train a cohort of new researchers that will be equipped to meet the research challenges of a new fisheries management regime.
The information and technological advances gained through the research of the Network will have a significant impact on the sustainability, viability and competitiveness of Canada’s capture fisheries industry, and will provide environmental and socio-economic benefits. The research will build upon and inform the development of policies and strategies for the management of capture fisheries in Canada and internationally.
Canadian Capture Fisheries Research Network
University of New Brunswick
PO Box 4400
Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3