OceanCanada Newsletter – Spring 2017

OceanCanada Launches Its New Website
The folks at OceanCanada felt the need to revamp the website to make it more appealing, colourful, and dynamic, and to facilitate visitor access to the various components that make up the foundation of our partnership. So, we are extremely pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website. Some of the improved features include:

  • Streamlined menus that are easier to navigate
  • Rotating images that will be changed periodically
  • Latest news and events prominently displayed
  • Regions located under one expanding menu item

Development is ongoing, and we continue to populate the website by Working Group, highlighting activities, researchers, publications, videos, and presentations. As we move forward, we will be dedicating space to students and postdocs, as well as to projects being undertaken by our Cross-Cutting Themes (CCTs).

New Web/Data Manager
Our new website would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our Web/Data Manager, Duncan Burnside, who has been with us since March 2017. Duncan will also be responsible for our data management using Dataverse, a data repository at the UBC Library.

Originally from Scotland, Duncan graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2008, and has since worked in a variety of eCommerce, Digital Marketing and Web Development roles in the UK and Australia, and in Canada since 2013.

Welcome, Duncan, and thank you for the fantastic job you have done on the website! d.burnside@oceans.ubc.ca


OceanCanada is fortunate to have a large pool of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) to help us achieve our mandate.

Completed HQP projects:

Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (Postdoctoral Fellow; UBC) has accepted a full time position as Program Manager and Research Associate with the Nereus Program at UBC. He led the development of the first version of the OceanCanada database on Canadian marine research.

  • John Driscoll (PhD; UBC) and Edward Gregr (PhD; UBC), successfully completed their project, “Effects of Sea Otter Reestablishment on Ecosystem Service Benefits Derived by Coastal Communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island,” with Kai Chan. It is an analysis that illustrates how the distribution of ecosystem services providers informs trade-offs not apparent when place is ignored. At the local scale, the project showed how subsistence could be characterised based on the proportion of catch loss near coastal communities.
  • Michelle Fairbrother (Masters; Carleton University) worked on data and mapping for integration of Genome Canada work for the Arctic Ocean Atlas.
  • Haley Milko (MRM; SFU), successfully defended her thesis, “Identifying Best Practices in Fisheries Monitoring and Stewardship Training for First Nations Youth.”
  • Robert Oikle (Masters; Carleton University) worked on upgrading the Siku Atlas to use latest Nunaliit technology. He is working with a software developer on new features for Arctic Ocean Atlas.
  • Laura Salisbury (Masters; Carleton University) worked on integrating Inuit place name datasets for the Arctic Ocean Atlas.
  • Charlotte Whitney (PhD; UVic) and Nathan Bennett (Postdoctoral Fellow; UBC and University of Washington) hosted a workshop on social-ecological adaptive capacity.

We have many ongoing HQP projects which we will report upon in upcoming newsletters.


Ecotrust has an initiative called ThisFish that focuses on seafood sustainability and consumer awareness. Through software it has developed for “traceability,” identification codes are generated which remain with the product from boat to market. Consumers can look up codes online to find the “backstory” of their seafood. Read more.

The Water Institute at the University of Waterloo co-hosted with OceanCanada, “Coastal watersheds in the Anthropocene: understanding rapid change and implication for people and ecosystems” on March 2, 2017. A panel discussion chaired by Simon Courtenay, Canadian Rivers Institute, was comprised of the following OceanCanada members:

  • Natalie Ban, University of Victoria
  • William Cheung, University of British Columbia
  • David VanderZwaag, Dalhousie University
  • Ratana Cheunpagdee, Memorial University

OceanCanada World Oceans Day Events

World Oceans Day is coming up soon, on June 8! OceanCanada is marking this important date by conducting an Access to Resources Cross-Cutting Theme Workshop at the University of British Columbia on June 8 and 9, facilitated by Nathan Bennett, Maery Kaplan-Hallam, and Megan Bailey. Sarah Newell will be in the field on June 8 conducting her community-based research related to how climate change is affecting the food security, cultural continuity, and community health and well-being of people in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut. And Rashid Sumaila will be giving a presentation to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans of the Canadian Parliament.

What will you do on June 8 to mark World Oceans Day?
Tweet us at @OceanCanada or tag your activities with #WorldOceansDay


  • May 23. China’s appetite for seafood is pushing global fish stocks to the brink. Australia Financial Review.
  • May 21. Does marine conservation need a ‘Hippocratic Oath’? UBC researcher says yes. CBC News.
  • May 18. Overfishing risks collapsing global fishing industry. VOA Learning English.
  • May 15. China cracks down on coastal fisheries. Science.
  • May 12. Minister Susi receives Peter Benchley Ocean awards. Tempo.
  • May 11. Peter Benchley Ocean Awards 2017: a celebration of excellence in ocean conservation. Ocean Currents.
  • April 30. China’s appetite pushes fish population to brink. Business Mirror.
  • April 27. Not just a boys’ club: women hooking into fishing industry. VOA News.
  • April 7. Warming oceans may lead to smaller fish. Inside Science.
  • February 3. Fish economist, Dr. Rashid Sumaila, wins “Academy Award of the Sea.” The Ubyssey.


Nathan Bennett (website: nathanbennett.ca) is co-lead of OceanCanada’s Pacific Working Group as well as our Access cross-cutting theme. He is currently cross-appointed as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington and a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia.
As a broadly trained environmental social scientist, he chooses to primarily focus on research projects that interrogate various aspects of the complex relationship between the environment and human society with a solution-oriented lens. His research interests examine the human dimensions of marine conservation, fisheries, ocean governance, and global environmental change. Prior to his current position, he was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at UBC with Dr. Terre Satterfield and Dr. Kai Chan. For his doctoral research, supported by a Trudeau Scholarship and a SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar Award, he worked with Dr. Phil Dearden as part of Project IMPAACT and the Marine Protected Areas Research Group at the University of Victoria. His dissertation focused on various aspects of the relationship between marine protected areas, climate change, and local livelihoods on the Andaman coast of Thailand. His Master’s research with Dr. Harvey Lemelin at Lakehead University focused on the role of a Canadian national park in the social, cultural, political, and economic development of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories, Canada. He was given the Canadian Association of Geographers Robin P. Armstrong Award for his thesis. His current research activities include projects focusing on such topics as marine protected area governance in Canada and the Mediterranean Sea, responses of small-scale fishing communities to environmental change in Thailand and Canada, integration of indigenous and local community needs and perspectives into conservation globally, marine conservation planning initiatives in Mexico, the consideration of equity and access in fisheries management in Canada, and the human dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas.


Natalie Baird, a Master’s student at the University of Manitoba, has completed an Arctic-focused project with the Inuit community of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, which explores the role of participatory video and art making in understanding of social-ecological ocean systems. Her video, Visualizing Changing Oceans: Inuit Knowledge and Participatory Video, is one of 25 finalists for a 2017 SSHRC Storytellers Award. (View video here)


Alava JJ, editor. 2017. Tropical pinnipeds: bio-ecology, threats and conservation.

Alava JJ, Cheung WWL, Ross P, Sumaila UR. 2017. (Global Change BiologyClimate change-contaminant interactions in marine food webs: towards a conceptual framework.

Armitage D, Charles A, Berkes F, editors. 2017. Governing the coastal commons: communities, resilience and transformation.

Bailey M, Vestergaard N, Sumaila UR. 2017. (The WSPC reference on natural resources and environmental policy in the era of global changeOvercoming principal-agent problems to improve cooperative governance of internationally shared fisheries.

Ban NC, Davies TE, Aguilera SE, Brooks C, Cox M, Epstein G, Evans LS, Maxwell SM, Nenadovic M. 2017. (Global Environmental ChangeSocial and ecological effectiveness of large marine protected areas.

Bennett NJ, Teh L, Ota Y, Christie P, Ayers A, Day JC, Franks P, Gilli D, Gruby RL, Kittinger JN, Koehn Z, Lewis N, Parks J, Vierros M, Whitty TS,  Wilhelm A, Wright K, Aburtor JA, Finkbeiner EM, Gaymer CF, Govan H, Gray N, Jarvis RM, Kaplan-Hallam M, Satterfield T. 2017. (Marine PolicyAn appeal for a code of conduct for marine conservation.

Cisneros-Montemayor AM, Cheung WWL, Sumaila UR. 2017. (Data DryadIntegrated metadata database of Canadian marine research.

Harper S, Grubb C, Stiles M, Sumaila UR. 2017. (Coastal ManagementContributions by women to fisheries economies: insights from five maritime countries.

Lancaster D, Volpe JP, Haggarty D, Dearden P, Ban NC. 2017. (Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater EcosystemsEffectiveness of shore-based remote camera monitoring for quantifying recreational fisher compliance in marine conservation areas.

Scassa T, Taylor F. 2017. (Data Science JournalLegal and ethical issues around incorporating traditional knowledge in polar data infrastructures.

Schuhbauer A, Chuenpagdee R, Cheung WWL, Greer K, Sumaila UR. 2017. (Marine PolicyHow subsidies affect the economic viability of small-scale fisheries.

VanderZwaag DL, Bailey M, Shackell NL. 2017. (Ocean YearbookCanada-U.S. fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine: taking stock and charting future coordinates in the face of climate change.

Whitney CK, Bennett NJ, Ban NC, Allison EH, Armitage D, Blythe JL, Burt JM, Cheung W, Finkbeiner EM, Kaplan-Hallam M, Perry I, Turner NJ, Yumagulova L. 2017. (Ecology and SocietyAdaptive capacity: from assessment to action in coastal social-ecological systems.


La Paz, Mexico, March 22-24, 2017. Cisneros-Montemayor, Andrés; Munro, Gordon; Sanjurjo, E.; Hernandez Trejo, V.; Sumaila, Rashid.
Strategies and rationale for fishery subsidy reform. North American Association of Fisheries Economists Forum.

La Paz, Mexico, March 22-24, 2017. Schuhbauer, Anna; Cisneros-Montemayor Andrés; Sumaila, Rashid.
Economic viability of small- compared to large-scale fisheries using Mexico as an example. North American Association of Fisheries Economists Forum.

La Paz, Mexico, March 22-24, 2017. Sumaila, Rashid. 2017.
Fisheries subsidies: why should you care about them? North American Association of Fisheries Economists Forum.

London, UK, March 17, 2017. Sumaila, Rashid.
Fishing in troubled waters: geopolitics and resource security. 10th International Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Forum.

Waterloo, ON, March 2, 2017. Ban, Natalie.
A social-ecological systems perspective of rapid change. Coastal Watersheds in the Anthropocene: Understanding Rapid Change and Implication for People and Ecosystems.

Waterloo, ON, March 2, 2017. Cheung, William.
The future of Canadian fisheries under multiple human drivers. Coastal Watersheds in the Anthropocene: Understanding Rapid Change and Implication for People and Ecosystems.

Waterloo, ON, March 2, 2017. Cheunpagdee, Ratana.
A transdisciplinary perspective on change. Coastal Watersheds in the Anthropocene: Understanding Rapid Change and Implication for People and Ecosystems.

Waterloo, ON, March 2, 2017. VanderZwaag, David.
Canadian ocean governance in the Anthropocene: legal laments and promises. Coastal Watersheds in the Anthropocene: Understanding Rapid Change and Implication for People and Ecosystems.

Please see our website for a complete list of publications and presentations by Working Group.