Tools, Approaches, and Best Practices for Scaling Sustainable Coastal Fisheries Management

To meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and secure livelihoods for growing coastal populations in a changing world, it is clear that we must rapidly increase the scale and pace of improvements in sustainable coastal fisheries management. In this session, we will gather experts and stakeholders to discuss current efforts and exchange lessons learned from research, projects, and initiatives aimed at bringing coastal fisheries management tools, approaches, and best practices to scale. The session will feature recent and ongoing work from projects in the Western Indian Ocean region, the West Africa region, the Pacific Islands region, and the Philippines, as well as that of local, regional, and global organizations and initiatives.


Peter Freeman, University of Rhode Island, [email protected]

Blue Economy and Its Impacts on Small-Scale Fisheries: Moving Towards Just and Equitable Ocean Use and Protection 

A critical challenge facing our growing human population on this primarily ocean-covered planet is how to equitably and justly manage, use, and protect marine resources across local, national, regional, and global scales. The concept of a “blue economy” has been gaining momentum and financial resources in global and national forums over the last decade; however, its conception, definition, and implementation have been dangerously incomplete and myopic to date. The efforts currently undertaken in the name of Blue Economy typically ignore both the life cycles of marine species as well as the human beings whose way of life is most closely connected to the ocean, such as small-scale and artisanal fishing communities. This roundtable discussion will explore how we can ensure that a holistic view is used to implement ocean activities rather than an exclusively economic view so that the most vulnerable groups of marine resource users are not harmed.

Given that the 8th World Fisheries Congress highlighted “securing sustainable small-scale fisheries and equitable access to resources” as a key issue in the proceedings, this session aims to advance the conversation through a robust and well-rounded discussion of developing justice-focused ocean use, management, and protection processes from the small-scale fisheries perspective. This sector is also a prime segment to consider for guaranteeing human rights, workforce safety and gender equality, which were also key issues that the 8th World Fisheries Congress highlighted as requiring attention.

The session will bring together diverse speakers from the legal, policy, scientific, and small-scale fishing sector perspectives to share experiences relating to the impacts of blue economy efforts from different geographies and sociopolitical contexts. They will set the stage for an open dialogue among all participants regarding key issues that small-scale fisheries face at the intersection of food, water, energy, tourism and conservation issues, and highlight how a justice-minded lens and a human rights based approach can help improve policy, science, and livelihoods. The session aims to draw out both commonalities and differences among the examples, and to generate a forward-looking conversation that advances our thinking about the potential solution-space to achieve a more just and equitable future over the near-term that more successfully incorporates fisher and community participation and empowers their voices across regional and international platforms.


Melissa Garren, ELAW, [email protected]

The Bloom: A Networking Event for Women and Gender Minorities in Fisheries

Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE), a leading NGO focused on building gender equality in the seafood sector, hosts a networking group for women and gender minorities in the sector called The Bloom. The Bloom unites this diverse group found at every level in the North American seafood sector, creating an inclusive community aiming to inspire, unite, and empower its members to share their insights, stories, and solutions and support each other throughout their career journeys.

Seafood and Gender Equality will host a networking event for all women and gender minorities in attendance at the World Fisheries Conference, bringing attendees together for an inspirational and empowering event to recognize the incredible contributions they bring to the fisheries sector.


Julie Kuchepatov, Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE), [email protected]

Ecosystem-based Management in Multi-species and Environmentally Dynamic Fisheries

The effects of climate change on marine ecosystems are accelerating and projections indicate that fish production will be further affected within the relatively short term (e.g. 10 years), to the point where management advice that doesn’t consider this change could be rendered invalid. South East Australia is considered a climate change hot-spot and is home to a number of important commercial fisheries, including one of Australia’s most valuable multi-species and multi-gear fisheries – the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESF).

Recently, the SESSF has been the focus of two important initiatives that will each be the focus of a 90-minute round table session. Relevant background is provided at each of the links.

Session 1 (1400-1530): Formal integration of climate risk in the decision-making process (Discussion Paper).

Session 2 (1600-1730): Transition to a multi-species fishery harvest strategy for the SESSF (Discussion Paper).

Each session will commence with a high-level overview of both projects and seek feedback from roundtable participants to strengthen AFMA’s Climate Risk Integration Framework and transition to a multi-species harvest strategy.


Daniel Corrie, Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), [email protected]

Solving Sustainability Challenges at the Aquatic Food-Climate-Biodiversity Nexus

This section provides a platform for an international and interdisciplinary panel to discuss the development of marine and aquatic food-climate-biodiversity solutions that explicitly consider their complex social and ecological contexts. The panel will highlight case studies in Canada, China, Costa Rica, Nigeria/Ghana and the Netherlands to elucidate different potential pathways towards achieving food security, climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals. These pathways include Indigenous reconciliation (Canada), aquaculture (China), land-sea interactions (Costa Rica), eliminating IUU fishing (Nigeria/Ghana) and circular economic (the Netherlands). These case studies will also illuminate the diverse social, economic, political, cultural and ecological contexts of food-climate-biodiversity challenges and the commonality and differences in their solutions. Panelists from Canada, China, and Costa Rica will discuss how their experiences and knowledge can be integrated to generate the knowledge needed to develop viable pathways to solve nexus challenges, and transfer this knowledge to inform policy-making.


William Cheung, The University of British Columbia, [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: 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

Providing Mobile Tools to Report Activity and Scientific Data for Both Inshore Commercial and Recreational Fishers

This session is intended to explore the challenges and opportunities that exist in providing mobile tools to report activity and capture scientific catch and effort data for both inshore commercial and recreational fishers. The nature of inshore and recreational fishing generally means that the ability to have bulky electronic reporting tools doesn’t exist and alternative approaches need to be found. Using fisher mobile devices has enabled the development of highly sophisticated tools to capture data, submit  activity reports and to educate the fishers aiding them in fishing in a compliant manner. The key point being…. tools using fisher mobile devices rather than specific hardware or technology can provide highly sophisticated  solutions that integrate with existing scientific, administration and compliance systems whilst delivering fishers rich data and educational material for their personal use.


John Heskins, Spatial Vision, [email protected]

Onboarding Fisheries Scientists to Open Science: Integrating Collaborative and Inclusive Principles into Education, Workforce Development, and Community Management

The world’s fisheries are in a period of rapidly changing ocean conditions; Open Science will help the field adapt by promoting rapid innovation and collaboration to make science transparent, reproducible, and reusable, and inclusive both for scientific community and those impacted by decisions made using this science. Yet these features of Open Science have not typically been part of education training programs and professional development. This session will feature presentations by 4-5 expert panelists followed by a facilitated discussion with panelists and attendees. The panelist presentations will highlight different examples of programs that leverage Open Science principles to create inclusive, collaborative spaces for skills-building in both formal and informal training settings. The open discussion will center on different ways we can promote Open Science within the field of fisheries, and how we ensure equity and access to training in these skills and principles.


Gavin Fay, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, [email protected]
Julia Lowndes, Openscapes
Elizabeth Eli Holmes, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Mobilizing a Basic Income in the Fisheries

Fisheries are crucial to the social and economic well-being of coastal regions and Indigenous communities across North America and globally. However, those who work in the sector, which includes small-scale and subsistence fisheries as well as fish processing, face intensifying social and ecological pressures. This panel session will consider how a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) may enhance socio-economic sustainability in the fisheries sector. A BIG is an unconditional cash transfer from governments to individuals to enable everyone to meet their basic needs, participate in society, and live with dignity – regardless of work status. This panel will feature scholars and practitioners offering their insights on the potential role, including opportunities and points of tension, of a BIG within their geographies and areas of specialization within fisheries.


Kristen Lowitt, Queen’s University, [email protected]

Market-Based Tools for a Global Sustainable Seafood Future: Solutions for Addressing Equity, Inclusion and Transferability

This session will discuss the transferability of tools in the sustainable seafood movement, examining the challenges, successes, lessons learned and unsolved problems of implementers. Experts will discuss how systems designed in developed Western nations may challenge implementation in developing countries, non-Western geographies, or outside industrial fisheries. The goals will be to consider how issues that impact inclusion – language, culture, religion, nationalism, corruption, gender, literacy, voice and others, have challenged implementation across diverse systems. Do certain tools face enthusiasm versus resistance and why? How can we consolidate knowledge to make efficient use of resources, more accurately foresee challenges and precipitate wins in the field? This panel and the subsequent discussion will be designed to be an honest, forthright – and we hope also humorous – look at the hard work of designers and implementers who have problem-solved successfully, or continue to innovate, to embrace the diverse realities of sustainable seafood.