Christopher Baird

Email: christopher.baird[at]mun[dot]ca


Dr. Dean Bavington

Thesis Title

Catching the Released: The effects of aquaculture escapees on recreational salmon anglers

Research description

My research will be conducted in the Coast of Bays region on the South coast of Newfoundland. I will be utilizing an ethnographic methodology to aid in attempting to understand the effects that escaped farmed salmon are having on recreational salmon anglers in the area. My research will utilize local knowledge of river systems, with a specific focus on the Conne River, to achieve the goal of appreciating the perceived effect of escapees on recreational fishers in those places. The work I complete on the South Coast of Newfoundland is part of the “Too Big To IGNORE” global partnership for small-scale fisheries research.

Preliminary Research Questions:

  1. How is finfish aquaculture in the Coast of Bays region effecting the experience of recreational salmon fishers on the Conne river?
  2. Do recreational salmon anglers view the finfish aquaculture industry as positive or negative?
  3. Are there discrepancies among recreational salmon anglers surrounding their views towards the aquaculture industry?

My research is important because the South coast wild salmon (salmo salar) population (DU4) has recently been designated threatened by the committee on the status of endangered wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Aquaculture has been cited by COSEWIC as having a “risk of negative effects from interbreeding or hostile interactions with escaped domestic salmon”. It is crucial to gain a better understanding of both the biological and sociological effects of aquaculture operations on surrounding stakeholders and species. Successfully doing so will aid in the responsible, sustainable development of the industry in the future, ensuring the long-term viability of the coast of bays region.?

Research interests

  • Socio-ecological systems
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Invasive Species
  • Stewardship and Conservation
  • Neo-colonization
  • Commodification of Nature
  • Privatization