Law and Policy

The Law and Policy Working Group, based at Dalhousie University, is studying the current state of Canada’s law and policy frameworks in critical sectors affecting the management of our oceans, with a view to strengthening a principled approach to these legal and policy structures. Legal principles of sustainable development can be made the “foundation stones” for supporting healthy social-ecological systems, and we employ this perspective in all aspects of our work.

Our Working Group is evaluating national fisheries law and policy frameworks, in light of sustainability principles, in order to better understand Canadian approaches to, and challenges faced in, seeking principled governance in the fisheries sector.

Canada’s law and policy approaches to and challenges in the growing field of aquaculture are also being assessed by members of our team, and compared to international experiences, with a view to the future development of a coherent legislative approach to the sector. Regional case studies are being carried out to assess the extent to which sustainability principles have been implemented, and where they may be more forcefully advanced.

In addition to our formal SSHRC partners, the Canadian Fisheries Network and the Jebsen Institute (Tromsø, Norway) are informal associates of the Law and Policy Working Group.

Anticipated outcomes


  • Assessments of the current state of implementation of sustainability principles in the Canadian legal and policy frameworks applicable to integrated ocean management, fisheries management and aquaculture
  • Comparative studies to evaluate best practices internationally, and their potential applicability in the Canadian context
  • Scenarios for future development and enhancement of sustainable approaches to ocean governance
  • Directed policy advice for provision to federal, provincial and territorial governments in the legislative implementation of the results of these studies
  • Training for graduate students in law and policy frameworks for sustainable ocean governance

Activities 2018-2019

Research and planning continued on the project, “Transboundary Fisheries Governance in an Era of Changing Oceans” (in cooperation with NDIS). A panel session has been accepted for the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) Open Science Conference in Brest France, 19-21 June 2019 where project papers will be presented. Papers are expected to be finalized by mid-July with submission to a special issue of Ecology and Society due in September. Olga Koubrak and Cecilia Engler continued as HQP/research assistants on the project.

The Law and Policy working Group co-organized an international conference, “Changing and Dynamic Oceans: Gauging Law and Policy Responses” at George Washington University Law School, 9-10 November 2018. In collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute, Oceana, NOAA and the GW Law School, the conference brought together leading law and policy experts and practitioners to address the challenges of managing offshore renewable energy and oil and gas developments, international fisheries conservation, marine mammal protection, deep seabed mining and the conservation of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.

MELAW hosted the OceanCanada Conference in August 2018 (August 27-30). MELAW staff provided local coordination and logistics assistance under the direction of HQ staff.


Activities 2017-2018


Law and Policy activities have largely centred on conference presentations and continuing research and planning in preparation for nine articles for the project “Transboundary Fisheries Governance in an Era of Changing Oceans” (in cooperation with NDIS). In February 2018, Central hosted a workshop at UBC on the development of the special issue for this project. Two doctoral students have continued as HQP Research Assistants in the project, and they participated in a panel session, presenting project results to date, at the MARE Conference in Amsterdam in July 2017. Their participation in the conference panel was supported by an additional contribution of over $7,000 from Dalhousie-Schulich School of Law. In addition, one JD student was employed as a summer research assistant in support of this work and the Principled Fisheries Governance component in general.

Planning continued for an Oceans Law and Policy Conference to be held at George Washington Law School in November 2018. In collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute, Oceana, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the GW Law School, the conference will bring together leading law and policy experts and practitioners to address the challenges of managing offshore renewable energy and oil and gas developments, international fisheries conservation, marine mammal protection, deep seabed mining and the conservation of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.

The Marine and Environmental Law Institute (MELAW) at the Schulich School of Law will host the next OceanCanada Conference in August 2018. Liaison with Central has been maintained, and MELAW staff have provided local coordination and logistics assistance, as required and under the direction of Central staff.

Activities 2016-2017


The Law and Policy Working Group contributed to an edited collection titled Aquaculture law and policy: global, regional and national perspectives. A workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management Planning was held in Halifax in May 2016, with participation from members of other WGs and partner organizations, and plans were discussed for the next stage of this project. Student research on the IFMP project continued over the summer and has been reviewed. Three journal articles were completed and published, a further yearbook chapter was accepted for publication, and a number of presentations were delivered by faculty and students. We also began a new activity under fisheries law and governance: Transboundary fisheries governance in an era of changing oceans, and a cross-WG conference panel presentation and special journal edition are planned as part of this initiative.

Activities 2015-2016



During 2015/2016, the Law and Policy Working Group focused on the Aquaculture and Fisheries Law and Governance components. In Aquaculture, a workshop and publications, both in cooperation with the K. G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea at the University of Tromsø, proceeded on or ahead of schedule. The Fisheries Law and Governance component held a workshop with representatives of other OceanCanada Working Groups as well as partners, and work proceeded on initial publications. Further cooperation and cross-disciplinary contacts were pursued with the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN) and OCP partners, which will be developed in an upcoming workshop to refine and plan research outputs. Contact was made with OceanCanada Working Groups on possible cooperative work, and this will be pursued in the first six months of 2016/2017. The Integrated Governance component had no outputs planned for this period (although related outputs were completed), but initial work suggested some possible challenges to its current structure, in particular in ensuring interest and full input from other OceanCanadaWorking Groups.

Investigators


Phillip Saunders (Co-Lead), Dalhousie University
David VanderZwaag (Co-Lead), Dalhousie University
Karen Hunter, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Robert Stephenson, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

David VanderZwaag, Dalhousie University

Highly Qualified Personnel


Cecilia Engler
Assessing the adequacy of legal and policy frameworks to enable adaptive management in changing marine ecosystems, with particular focus on transboundary fisheries management and aquaculture management.
Olga Koubrak
Determining if transboundary fisheries management arrangements in the North Pacific are Seaworthy in a Changing Ocean

Publications


Presentations


YearPresented byPresentation TitleLocation
2019Koubrak, O.Protecting sea turtles in the wider Caribbean: an observer’s experience with the SPAW protocol. Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network Annual General Meeting.Paramaribo, Suriname.
2019VanderZwaag, D.Navigating the international legal and political seascapes of the Northwest Passage: conflict, cooperation, questions. Canadian Roundtable on Northern Low Impact Shipping Corridors and the Proposed Arctic Seaway Authority.Toronto, ON
2018VanderZwaag, D.International law and marine biodiversity conservation: tangled currents, foggy future. China-ASEAN Academy on Ocean Law and Governance 4th Program, National Institute for South China Sea Studies.Haikou, China.
2018VanderZwaag, D.The precautionary approach on coastal/ocean governance: beacon of hope, seas of confusion and challenges. China-ASEAN Academy on Ocean Law and Governance 4th Program, National Institute for South China Sea Studies.Haikou, China.
2018Sumaila, UR.Indo-Pacific fisheries as a key to security and cooperation. The Indo-Pacific: Security Governance and Peace, second in the Series of Annual Workshops on The Geotechnical Politics of Ocean Frontiers, York University.Toronto, ON.
2018VanderZwaag, D.Governance of BBNJ in the Central Arctic Ocean: cooperative currents, foggy future. Changing and Dynamic Oceans: Gauging Law and Policy Responses, George Washington Law School.Washington, DC.
2018Koubrak, O.Marine mammal protection. Changing and Dynamic Oceans: Gauging Law and Policy Responses; George Washington University.Washington, DC.
2018Vanderzwaag, D.Regional case studies (Sargasso Sea, Arctic). Changing and Dynamic Oceans: Gauging Law and Policy Responses; George Washington University.Washington, DC.
2018Vanderzwaag, D.Sustaining wild salmon in the North Atlantic: progressions and depressions. Common Currents: Examining How We Govern the Ocean Commons Conference; Columbia University.New York, NY.
2018Vanderzwaag, D.Implications of the UN high seas negotiations for the Central Arctic Ocean: cooperative currents, foggy waters. Panel at: Biodiversity in the high seas of the Central Arctic Ocean: advancements in scientific understanding and future management; Arctic Biodiversity Congress.Rovaniemi, Finland.
2018Vanderzwaag, D.Implications of the UN high seas negotiations for the Central Arctic Ocean: cooperative currents, foggy waters. Panel at: Biodiversity in the high seas of the Central Arctic Ocean: advancements in scientific understanding and future management; Arctic Biodiversity Congress.Rovaniemi, Finland.
2018Koubrak, O.The Caribbean legal seascape for shared marine living resources: treaty obligations, examples of implementation and suggestions for the course forward. Latin America and Caribbean Congress for Conservation BiologySt. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
2018Koubrak, O.An elusive safety net: a review of conservation and management of vulnerable elasmobranchs under the Species at Risk Act and the Fisheries Act in Atlantic Canada. Sharks International 2018João Pessoa, Brazil.
2018Koubrak, O.An elusive safety net: a review of conservation and management of vulnerable elasmobranchs under the Species at Risk Act and the Fisheries Act in Atlantic Canada. Sharks International 2018João Pessoa, Brazil.
2017Engler, C.Transboundary and adaptive ecosystem management: obligations and challenges. 2017 MARE Conference Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2017Koubrak, O.A future for a forgotten predator: an assessment of international legal frameworks for protection and recovery of the Caribbean sawfishes pristis pristis and pristis pectinata. Joint Meeting of Herpetologists and Ichthyologists Austin, Texas.
2017Koubrak, O.Transboundary fisheries management in changing North Atlantic and Pacific oceans: taking stock, future scenarios. Panel at MARE Conference 2017, People and the Sea IX: Dealing with Maritime Mobilities Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2017Saunders, P.Climate change and transboundary fisheries: continuity and adaptation in legal structures. Paper presented at: MARE Conference 2017, People and The Sea IX: Dealing with Maritime Mobilities, University of Amsterdamthe Netherlands.
2017Saunders, P.Dispute settlement in UNCLOS and the South China Sea Arbitration. Hainan University Law School Hainan, China.
2017Saunders, P.Dispute settlement in UNCLOS: unfulfilled promise? K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea Tromsø, Norway.
2017Saunders, P.Introduction to the law of the sea: global management of the oceans. Hainan University Law School Hainan, China.
2017Saunders, P.Maritime boundary delimitation: overview of legal principles and simulation exercise. China-ASEAN Academy on Ocean Law and Governance, Third Program, National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Haikou Hainan, China.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Are transboundary fisheries management arrangements in the North Atlantic seaworthy in changing oceans? MARE Conference 2017, People and The Sea IX: Dealing with Maritime Mobilities, University of Amsterdamthe Netherlands.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Canada's Arctic disputes: cooperative bridges, foggy waters. Bridge Over Troubled Waters Workshop: Dispute Resolution in the Law of International Watercourses and the Law of the Sea, Max Planck Institute for Procedural LawLuxembourg.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Canadian ocean governance in the Anthropocene: legal laments and promises. Coastal Watersheds in the Anthropocene: Understanding Rapid Change and Implications for People and Ecosystems Waterloo, ON.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Canadian ocean law and policy: leading and lagging. K.G. Jebsen Centre for Law of the Sea Tromsø, Norway.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Getting Canada's Oceans Act together: progressions, depressions, questions. Oceans 20: Canada’s Oceans Act Ottawa, ON.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Governance of the central Arctic Ocean: cooperative currents, restless sea. 2017 Canadian Council on International Law Conference Ottawa, Canada.
2017VanderZwaag, D.International law and marine biodiversity conservation: tangled currents, foggy future. China-ASEAN Academy on Ocean Law and Governance, Third Program, National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Haikou Hainan, China.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Law of the sea and ocean governance in the Arctic: conflict, cooperation and challenges. Yeosu Academy of the Law of the Sea Yeosu, South Korea.
2017VanderZwaag, D.Marine biosphere research for a sustainable ocean: tacking in a sea of governance challenges. Keynote address, IMBIZO 5 Conference: Marine Biosphere Research for a Sustainable Ocean: Linking Ecosystems, Future States and Resource Management, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole, MA.
2017VanderZwaag, D.The precautionary approach in coastal/ocean governance: beacon of hope, seas of confusion and challenges. China-ASEAN Academy on Ocean Law and Governance, Third Program, National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Haikou; Hainan, China. Also at Yeosu Academy of the Law of the Sea, Yeosu, Korea, and K.G. Jebsen Centre for Law of the Sea, Tromsø, Norway.Various Locations
2016Engler, C.Adaptive ecosystem approach for a changing ocean: challenges and obligations for transboundary fisheries management. Governance of Changing Oceans Workshop, K.G. Jebsen Centre, University of Tromsø, and Schulich School of Law Halifax, NS.
2016Engler, C.Ecosystem approach and transboundary fisheries. OceanCanadaConference Vancouver, BC.
2016Engler, C.Ecosystem approach in international fisheries law and policy. Workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2016Fuller, S.Implementation with respect to species at risk. Workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2016Goulden, M.The failure of international law to protect Pacific coast salmon: lessons for marine policy on the East Coast. Memorial University Coastal Matters Speaker Series Humber Arm, NL.
2016Koubrak, O.Responding to oil spills while protecting the marine environment: review of product authorization and net environmental benefit analysis in the IMO dispersant use guidelines. Governance of Changing Oceans Workshop, K.G. Jebsen Centre, University of Tromsø, and Schulich School of Law Halifax, NS.
2016Paul, S.Review of implementation in existing IFMPs. Workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2016Saunders, P.Canadian fisheries law and policy: implementation of sustainability principles. Governance of Changing Oceans Workshop, K.G. Jebsen Centre, University of Tromsø, and Schulich School of Law Halifax, NS.
2016Saunders, P.Climate change and transboundary fisheries: continuity and adaptation in legal structure. OceanCanada Conference Vancouver, BC.
2016Saunders, P.Implementation of sustainability principles in Canadian fisheries law and policy. Workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2016Saunders, P.Renewable energy projects and spatial tenure in the offshore. Offshore Renewable Energy Governance Panel, EU Centre of Excellence, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2016Saunders, P.The role of adjudication in settlement of maritime disputes: issues arising from the South China Sea arbitration. 4th East Asia Maritime Security Forum Nanjing, China.
2016Saunders, P.UNCLOS zones and maritime boundary delimitation: overview of legal principles. China-ASEAN Training Course Hainan, China.
2016Stephenson, R.Assessment of Gaps - Law, Policy and Implementation. Workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2016VanderZwaag, D.Canada and the protection of marine species at risk: paper promises, paltry progressions. International Marine Conservation Congress St. John’s, NL.
2016VanderZwaag, D.Canadian fisheries management: moving from legal laggard to legislative leader. Oceana Canada Science Symposium Ottawa, ON.
2016VanderZwaag, D.International law and marine biodiversity conservation: tangled currents, foggy future. Paper presented at: China-ASEAN Training Course Hainan, China.
2016VanderZwaag, D.Marine species on the move in the northwest Atlantic: a sea of transboundary governance challenges. Governance of Changing Oceans Workshop, K.G. Jebsen Centre, University of Tromsø, and Schulich School of Law, Halifax, NS,vSpecies on the Move Conference, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, Coastal Zone Canada Conference, OceanCanada Panel, Toronto, ON, OceanCanada Conference, Vancouver, BC.Various Locations
2016VanderZwaag, D.Ocean acidification: a tangled and tepid international governance seascape. World Environmental Law Congress, Biodiversity and Marine Ecosystems Session, Supreme Court of the State of Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2016VanderZwaag, D.The precautionary approach in international law and policy: beacon of hope, sea of confusion. Workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie UniversityHalifax, NS.
2016VanderZwaag, D.Renewable ocean energy and the international law and policy seascape: tangled currents. Offshore Renewable Energy Governance Panel, EU Centre of Excellence, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2015Saunders, P.Climate change and the international law of fisheries: continuity and adaptation in legal structures. Korean Maritime Institute Global Ocean Regime Conference Jeju, Korea.
2015Saunders, P.Governance of aquaculture in Canada: regulation property rights and constitutional impediments. Special Session on Aquaculture Law and Policy. International Conference on Aquaculture and Fisheries Brisbane, Australia.
2015Saunders, P.Management of highly migratory species: coherence, chaos and creative conflict. Canadian Council on International Law Ottawa, ON.
2015Saunders, P.Renewable energy projects and spatial tenure in the offshore. European Centre of Excellence, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2015Stephenson, R.Assessment of gaps - law, policy and implementation. Workshop on Integrated Fisheries Management, Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS.
2015VanderZwaag, D.Canadian ocean law and policy: leading, lagging, losing. Royal Society of Canada Symposium, Canadian Marine Biodiversity: Resources, Opportunities, Responsibilities Victoria, BC.
2015VanderZwaag, D.The international law and policy seascape for aquaculture: tangled currents. Aquaculture Law and Policy Workshop, Fridtjof Nansen Institute Oslo, Norway.
2015VanderZwaag, D.The law and policy seascape for aquaculture: charting future coordinates. FAO Aquaculture Zoning, Site Selection and Area Management Workshop Izmir, Turkey.
2015VanderZwaag, D.Towards sustainable aquaculture: navigating international law and policy currents. International Workshop on Aquaculture Law and Policy, KG Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Oslo, Norway; Special Session on Aquaculture Law and Policy, International Conference on Aquaculture and Fisheries, Brisbane, Australia.Various Locations

Partners


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