The Canadian Exchange Blog: Idea Swap

In May, 2013. GAP2 researchers and stakeholders travelled to St. Andrews to attend the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN) annual meeting. Whilst in Canada, GAP2 researchers Marloes Kraan, Pablo Pita Orduna and Saša Raicevich, were be accompanied by fishers from their case studies to work with local lobster fishers, exchanging ideas about best-practices in fisheries, participatory research and how knowledge can be linked to policy. Read all the posts from this exchange here…

Why is GAP2 going to Canada?

GAP2’s Marloes Kraan, Pablo Pita Orduna and Saša Raicevich are travelling along with 5 fishermen and fishers representatives 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,  Italian fisherman Renzo Zennaro, Dutch fishers Rene Sperling and Johan Baaij, and Spanish fisher representative Xoan Lopez  are being kindly hosted by the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN).

In St Andrews, New Brunswick from Tuesday, May 14 to Friday, May 17, the delegation will not only share lessons on land, but also at sea as they go lobster fishing in the Bay of Fundy.

Describing the exchange, Marloes explained “Sustainable fishing is a complex issue, requiring the input of both industry and academia in finding solutions. 

GAP2 is making progress in understanding how we can work together most effecitively – but we’re aware that we have a lot to learn. We’re hoping that the Canadians will be able to give us some more answers!”

Similar to GAP2’s approach of taking lessons learnt from science-fisher partnerships to policy makers, 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.


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