Atlantic Region

The Atlantic Working Group operates out of the University of Waterloo and Saint Mary’s University, and is addressing critical knowledge gaps, contributing methodologically innovative strategies for ocean and coastal planning, and developing policy insights about pressing regional concerns.

One of our key projects is to use participatory modelling and scenario building to assess development, governance and stewardship options in collaboration with the community of Port Mouton, Nova Scotia. Models and scenarios are being used to explore specific economic development and environmental conservation options, including exploration of interactions between economic sectors, such as fisheries, tourism, and mineral extraction. We are examining the impact of a range of climate change scenarios, and possible human responses.

We are also conducting a regional-scale assessment to identify the relationships among core marine ecosystem services (the benefits people derive from nature through provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural functions), the material, relational and subjective wellbeing of coastal communities, and the experience with rapid changes (i.e., tipping points) in ocean and coastal systems.

Members of our group are also undertaking an assessment and analysis of the governance mismatch between: a) local-provincial coastal management processes (e.g., provincial aquaculture policies, support for coastal community diversification) and ocean-related planning processes operating at federal levels; and b) the ability of existing institutions and governance arrangements at multiple scales to respond to rapid changes in social-ecological conditions (e.g., stock decline, stock shifts, acidification).

Anticipated outcomes


  • Models and scenarios of coastal and ocean change and potential futures (socio-economic and biophysical) that can assist local and regional policy makers
  • Potential transfer of participatory modeling approach to other sites in the Atlantic and to other regions
  • Novel assessments of links among ocean and coastal ecosystem services and wellbeing in the context of rapid change to support coastal communities and guide policy makers
  • Strategies to improve coordination among local, provincial and federal actors in oceans planning and management
  • Building capacity and training of students to tackle transdisciplinary ocean challenges

Activities 2018-2019


The Atlantic WG is continuing work from previous years with no new projects initiated.


Activities 2017-2018


The Atlantic WG is continuing to foster applied research to help government agencies, communities, and other partners manage the increasing change and uncertainty associated with ocean and coastal systems (ecological, social and institutional). In doing so, it is progressing on several fronts: 1) addressing key knowledge gaps about social-ecological change in ocean and coastal systems, and the implications for the wellbeing and resilience of coastal communities in the Atlantic region; 2) contributing methodologically innovative strategies for ocean and coastal planning; and 3) developing insights to support more adaptive policy and governance for issues of regional concern. Key areas of progress include HQP developing research projects, formalized arrangements with new partners, engagement in new initiatives related to core OceanCanada themes (e.g., taking stock, developing scenarios), on-going development of previously identified initiatives, and engagement with postdoctoral fellows to support aspects of the WG research plan. A significant component of activities over the past year has been to catalyse and implement initiatives to support the Governance cross-cutting theme, and provide support where possible to other cross-cutting theme activities.

Activities 2016-2017


The following is a small sample of the major activities undertaken by the Atlantic Working Group over 2016/2017.

Our graduate students and postdoctoral researchers were active on several fronts related to regional assessment activities, including undertaking field research in Newfoundland in a study of the shrimp fishery, a project on marine spatial planning in the Atlantic region, and fieldwork involving community perspectives on MPAs and community wellbeing. Our bowtie analysis of cumulative effects in the Northumberland Strait was completed, and we continue to assess the precision and accuracy of the Community Aquatic Monitoring Program (CAMP) in describing littoral nekton assemblages of estuaries within the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Our partner, Friends of Port Mouton Bay, is working on a Nitrogen Loading Model paper with a focus on developing a model framework for estimating nitrogen loading from background sources and coastal fish-farm aquaculture. Eelgrass monitoring in Port Mouton Bay also continued under the protocols of SeaGrassNET, a Global Sea Grass Monitoring Network, co-sponsored by the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability.

We made progress on the development of local scenarios for the community of Port Mouton, Nova Scotia. We are also examining the extent to which Nova Scotia coastal communities are engaging in future planning, and continue to undertake a systematic review of coastal community climate change adaptation.

We hosted a Governance Cross-Cutting Theme meeting in at the University of Waterloo in November 2016 to chart a path forward. Subsequently, we convened a workshop in March 2017 on rapid coastal change and governance at University of Waterloo. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers developed an expert survey regarding the governance of Canada’s oceans along with several webinars. Data collected from these activities will be used in publications.

Activities 2015-2016



The Atlantic Working Group continued to foster applied research to help government agencies, communities, and other partners manage the increasing change and uncertainty associated with ocean and coastal systems (ecological, social and institutional). It progressed on several fronts: 1) addressing key knowledge gaps about social-ecological change in ocean and coastal systems, and the implications for the wellbeing and resilience of coastal communities in the Atlantic region; 2) contributing methodologically innovative strategies for ocean and coastal planning; and 3) developing insights to support more adaptive policy and governance for issues of regional concern. Key areas of progress were in the areas of graduate student research projects, formalized arrangements with new partners, engagement in new initiatives related to core OCP themes, on-going development of previously identified initiatives, and recruitment of a post-doctoral fellow to support aspects of its research plan.

Investigators


Derek Armitage (Lead), University of Waterloo
Tony Charles, St. Mary’s University
Ratana Chuenpagdee, Memorial University
Simon Courtenay, University of Waterloo
Ron Loucks, Friends of Port Mouton Bay
Prateep Nayak, University of Waterloo
Robert Ross, Friends of Port Mouton Bay
Ruth Smith, Friends of Port Mouton Bay

Dr. Derek Armitage

Highly Qualified Personnel


Irene Brueckner-Irwin
Studying the implications of marine protected areas on social-ecological wellbeing in the Bay of Fundy, Canada.
Libby Dean
Investigating community-based approaches to explore environmental issues and topics.
Sondra Eger
Examining past and current ICOM initiatives in Atlantic Canada and the role played by communities in implementing ICOM initiatives.
Shannon Hicks
Identifying effective ways to simultaneously address issues relating to poverty and climate change adaptation at the community level.
Ella-Kari Muhl
Focusing on knowledge co-production and collaborative forms of marine conservation and governance in Canada (Pacific/Haida Gwaii) and South Africa.
Rebecca Zimmerman
Research largely focusing on community engagement in coastal future planning.

Publications


Title
Supporting early career researchers: insights from interdisciplinary marine scientists
Sustainable aquaculture in Canada: Lost in translation
Disaster-risk, water security challenges and strategies in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
A network perspective on spatially clustered territorial use rights for fishers (TURF) zones.
Network governance of land-sea social-ecological systems in the Lesser Antilles.
Potential impacts of finfish aquaculture on eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds and possible monitoring metrics for management: a case study in Atlantic Canada
Women’s perspectives of small-scale fisheries and environmental change in Chilika lagoon, India
Sea-cage aquaculture impacts market and berried lobster (Homarus americanus) catches
Estimating nitrogen loading and far-field dispersal potential from background sources and coastal finfish aquaculture: a simple framework and case study in Atlantic Canada.
Identification of native and non-native grass shrimps Palaemon spp. (Decapoda: Palaemonidae) by citizen science monitoring programs in Atlantic Canada.
Building resilient coastal communities in the context of climate change.
An approach to assess learning conditions, effects and outcomes in environmental governance.
How do environmental governance processes shape evaluation of outcomes by stakeholders? A causal pathways approach.
The big role of coastal communities and small-scale fishers in ocean conservation.
Governing the coastal commons: communities, resilience and transformations.
Catching Ripples in the Water Workshop Summary
How does network governance affect social-ecological fit across the land–sea interface? An empirical assessment from the Lesser Antilles.
Diagnosing adaptive comanagement across multiple cases.
Place-based or sector-based adaptation? A case study of municipal and fishery policy integration.
Governance across the land-sea interface: a systematic review.
The relationship of social capital and fishers’ participation in multi-level governance arrangements.
Bioeconomics of ocean acidification effects on fisheries targeting calcifier species: A decision theory approach

Presentations


YearPresented byPresentation TitleLocation
2019Sumaila, Rashid; Pierruci, Andrea; Oyinlola, Muhammed.Aquaculture over-optimism. Frontiers and Futures for Fish, NAAFE Forum 2019.Halifax, NS.
2019Long, Rachel; Sumaila, Rashid; Charles, Anthony; Maharaj, Vishwanie.Fisheries economics in a world of interdisciplinarians. Frontiers and Futures for Fish, NAAFE Forum 2019.Halifax, NS.
2019Charles, A.Maritime and coastal communities. MARE X: People and the SeaAmsterdam, The Netherlands.
2019Eger, S; Courtenay, S.Operationalizing integrated coastal and marine management initiatives: insights from lived experiences in the Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Canada. MARE X: People and the SeaAmsterdam, The Netherlands.
2019Eger, S. Learning from experience to advance the operationalization of integrated coastal and marine management. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Marine Spatial Planning Working Group Meeting,Galway, Ireland.
2019Nayak, P. Transdisciplinary perspective on social-ecological wellbeing. 2nd International Conference on Happiness and Wellbeing: The Road Beyond.Kharagpur, India.
2019Eger, S.Learning from experience to advance the operationalization of integrated coastal and marine management. Queen's University.Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2018VanderZwaag, DGovernance of the Central Arctic Ocean: fishy focus, foggy future. Paper presented at: Fifth Sino-Canadian Exchange on the Arctic, Dalian Maritime University Law SchoolDalian, China.
2018VanderZwaag, DLaw of the sea and ocean governance in the Arctic: conflict, cooperation and challenges. Paper presented at: Far Eastern Federal University SeminarVladivostok, Russia.
2018VanderZwaag, DThe precautionary approach in coastal/ocean governance: beacon of hope, seas of confusion and challenges, IOI Summer Course on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and ManagementHalifax, NS.
2017Andrews, E; Epstein, G; Armitage, D.Governing social-ecological regime shifts: examining the subjective and normative dimensions of fishery system change. Resilience 2017: Resilience Frontiers for Global SustainabilityStockholm, Sweden.
2017Armitage, D.Achieving transparency in natural resource management by quantitatively bridging social and natural science uncertainties. Integrated Marine Biosphere Research Program, IMBIZO5. Woods Hole Oceanographic InstituteMassachusetts.
2017Armitage, D.Communities, Coasts and Governance. Department of Geography Speaker Series, University of GuelphGuelph, ON.
2017Armitage, D.Integrating Governance into Management Strategy Evaluation. Paper presentation to Workshop on Management Strategy Evaluation: Achieving Transparency in Natural Resource Management by Quantitatively Bridging Social and Natural Science Uncertainties. Integrated Marine Biosphere Research Program, IMBIZO5. Woods Hole Oceanographic InstituteMassachusetts.
2017Brueckner-Irwin, I.Implications of marine protected areas on coastal community wellbeing. Bedford Institute of Oceanography, DFO; Dartmouth, NS. Also presented at St. Andrews Biological Station, DFO, St. Andrews, NB; IASC XVI Bienniel Conference, Utrecht, NL; and Three Minute Thesis (3MT) at the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment, Waterloo, ON. Poster at the 2017 Canadian Parks ConferenceBanff, AB.
2017Brueckner-Irwin, I.The implications of marine protected areas on fisher wellbeing. Fundy North Fishermen's AssociationSt. George, NB.
2017Charles, A.Current data and future needs for assessing local-level conservation, stewardship and responsible fisheries in small-scale fisheries. Workshop on improving our knowledge on small-scale fisheries: data needs and methodologies. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United NationsRome, Italy.
2017Plummer, R; Armitage, D; Baird, J; Bodin, Ö; Schultz, L; Dzyundzyak, A.Developing and using a diagnostic approach to understand adaptive co-management: reflections and frontiers. Resilience 2017: Resilience Frontiers for Global SustainabilityStockholm, Sweden.
2016Andrews, E.Using diverse stakeholder perspectives to predict and manage thresholds in Atlantic Canada marine systems. Coastal Zone CanadaToronto, ON.
2016Armitage, D.Coasts and communities: collaboration, knowledge and rights. Parks Canada - Gwaii Haanas Speaker SeriesSkidegate, BC.
2016Armitage, D.The governance and institutional dimensions of adaptive capacity in coastal communities. Adaptive Capacity Working Group, OceanCanada ConferenceVancouver, BC.
2016Armitage, D.Human dimensions of environmental change and governance in coastal social-ecological systems. Ocean Modeling Forum, Herring Working GroupSeattle, Washington.
2016Armitage, D; Pittman, J.Governance for marine conservation across the land-sea interface. Symposium organized at the International Marine Conservation CongressSt. Johns, NL.
2016Armitage, D; Pittman, J.Governance across the land-sea interface: insights from a systematic review. International Marine Conservation CongressSt. Johns, NL.
2016Armitage, D; Pittman, J.A systematic review of governance at the land-sea interface and some implications for Canada's ocean research and policy. Coastal Zone Canada ConferenceToronto, ON.
2016Charles, A.Fisheries bio-socio-economics. Fisheries and Aquaculture Bioeconomics SymposiumMérida, Mexico.
2016Epstein, G.Incentives, social networks and governance: theoretical perspectives on building stakeholder support for the adoption and implementation of integrated management. Coastal Zone Canada ConferenceToronto, ON.
2016Epstein, G.Managing tradeoffs in fisheries and fisheries research. Canadian Association of Geographers of Ontario ConferenceWaterloo, ON.
2016Stamnes N; Cormier, R; Armitage, D; Courtenay, S.Application of ISO 31000 risk management standard and ISO 31010 bowtie analysis to link environmental monitoring to governance for the estuaries of the Northumberland Strait, Canada. Platform presentation, Coastal Zone CanadaToronto, ON.
2015Armitage, D.The governance and institutional dimensions of adaptive capacity in coastal communities. Adaptive Capacity Working Group, OceanCanada ConferenceVancouver, BC.

Partners


X