eDNA (Environmental DNA)- technology and its utility in assessing aquatic biodiversity

Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Environmental DNA (eDNA) assessment is a powerful tool for studying fish biodiversity in rivers, and it has become increasingly important for the management and sustainability of fisheries and river ecosystems. eDNA refers to the genetic material that can be found in environmental samples such as sediment, water, and air. This genetic material includes not only whole cells but also extracellular DNA and possibly even whole organisms. Non-invasive methods, such as the eDNA approach, provide a more holistic view of fish communities across habitats, and hold great potential for widespread implementation in the surveillance of these ecosystems.The utilization of eDNA analysis has the capability to provide solutions to various ecological inquiries concerning biodiversity, diet, detecting invasive species, and population genetics. In a lot of situations, the use of eDNA analysis may be more effective than traditional methods such as trawling, line fishing, and diver observations in characterizing fish diversity. 


Dr. Carl Ostberg, U.S. Geological Survey Western Fisheries Research Center ([email protected]) and Dr. Austen Thomas, Smith-Root ([email protected])

Using Citizen Science To Solve Gaps In Fisheries Research And Management By Recruiting Anglers To Do The Work

Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

In this workshop, participants will learn how to run a wide range of citizen science programs that can address specific research and/or management objectives. The tool used in this workshop is the citizen science app, MyCatch, which has been used by several state and federal agencies to address specific fisheries research and management challenges. The workshop will demonstrate how fisheries professionals can rapidly set up and launch citizen science projects, recruit anglers, manage the data collection and quality assurance programs, and generate results in near real time with digital dashboards. Examples of past citizen science projects will be reviewed, specifically showing how it can support creel surveys, tagging surveys, population estimates, tracking invasive species and conducting primary research. The group will work through a demonstration of the technology, using tools in real time during the workshop.


Sean Simmons, Angler’s Atlas, [email protected]

Reckoning with Colonialism in Fisheries: First Steps for Researchers

Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

There is growing recognition that colonialism shapes fisheries sciences and management in contexts around the globe. Calls for justice in fisheries governance require systems-level change to devolve power. For individuals working in fisheries governance today, that means reckoning with a massive paradigm shift over the coming decades in the ways that science is conducted and decisions are made. This special session, aimed at researchers who are in the early stages of confronting colonialism in their work, will feature experiences from researchers around the globe who encounter colonialism in the processes and outcomes of their work. This workshop will be centred on our own learning, offering both what we are coming to learn about decolonization, equity, and justice in fisheries, and what we still struggle to come to terms with. We offer this in the hope that in doing so, we can help those struggles manifest into an undoing of contemporary fisheries governance.

Please note the organizers of this workshop are working to secure funding to support participation from Indigenous colleagues, from students and from early career researchers through provision of a workshop fee bursary. Please fill out this form (hyperlink: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeATG3ozgLqW8jxWOEx6S8aDQg-_bxBG-vFrBM-Zu00LIBhug/viewform?usp=sf_link) if you’d like to receive financial support.


Rachael Cadman, Dalhousie University, [email protected]
Megan Bailey, Dalhousie University
Andrea Reid, UBC
Jennifer Silver, University of Guelph
Hussain Sinan, Dalhousie University
Christine Knott, San Diego State University