Valuable resources: World Fisheries Day: Highlighting sustainability and equity

Nov 20th, 2019

By Jeff Green

Reducing waste and gender inequality in worldwide fisheries are some of the issues that will be raised at the event.
Submitted photo.
Valuable resources: World Fisheries Day: Highlighting sustainability and equity

Reducing waste and gender inequality in worldwide fisheries are some of the issues Memorial researchers will focus on during a free public event next week.

The research initiatives Too Big To Ignore and the On the Move Partnership, as well as the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), are jointly organizing the event, Towards Zero Waste in Our Fisheries.

It takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 5-9 p.m. in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation on the St. John’s campus.

The event is part of World Fisheries Day celebrations, taking place on Nov. 21.

Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, University Research Professor, and project director of Too Big To Ignore, and Dr. Barbara Neis, John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professor, and project director, On the Move Partnership, are organizing the event.

Both co-lead an OFI research module focused on informing governance responses in order to achieve sustainable fisheries.

They invite all members of the university community to attend.

“World Fisheries Day is celebrated each year to acknowledge the important contribution of millions of men and women whose work in the fisheries, along the value chain, has supplied global populations with food that is high in nutritional value,” Dr. Chuenpagdee told the Gazette.

“It is also an opportunity to discuss issues related to fisheries sustainability, especially from the perspective of people whose livelihoods depend on them.”

Dr. Neis says fisheries encompass everything from fish harvesting through processing and marketing, as well as fisheries research, science and management.

“Gender and other forms of inequality limit our access to talent, insight and creativity – all essential to addressing the challenges of achieving sustainable fisheries in the context of changing oceans, markets, technologies and labour forces,” she said.

“Inequality contributes to both vulnerability and to waste and we can afford neither. Join us as we talk about how to address this challenge.”

Raising awareness

Organizers want to promote the value of fisheries, in particular small-scale fisheries, to the economic, environmental and social well-being of Newfoundland and Labrador, acknowledging the critical role of women in fisheries.

A number of researchers, as well as community-based organizations, will be on hand to showcase aquatic-related research and educational materials with interactive information booths, video and photo displays.

They will also highlight how local fish and seafood and equitable fisheries can be part of healthy lifestyles and viable communities around the world.

Interactive displays

Among those participating are the Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science; the Oceans Learning PartnershipWorld Wildlife Fund Canada; the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society; Fish Food & Allied Workers UnionN.L. fish harvesting associationsFishing for Success; and the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The event will also include the 100% FISH Recipe Contest. Those attending can taste various fish dishes, made from parts of fish that are not normally used, and vote for their favourite.

Panel discussion

Later in the evening, a panel discussion will encourage conversation and discussion about zero waste in Newfoundland and Labrador’s fisheries from the standpoint of women involved in diverse aspects of fisheries.

The event gets underway at 7 p.m. in IIC-2001, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation. Dr. Chuenpagdee will chair the discussion.

Panellists scheduled to participate include Dr. Neis; Joanne Smyth, regional director, policy and economics branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Kimberly Orren, co-founder/board member, Fishing for Success; Doretta Strickland, vice-president, industrial, retail and offshore, Fish, Food and Allied Workers; and Jane Adey, Memorial alumna and host of The Broadcast.

They will share their reflections on how to minimize fish waste through fuller utilization of fish and the fuller utilization of human potential and creativity by promoting gender equality. A reception will take place afterwards.

More details about the free event are available online. Free parking is available in lot 18.

Jeff Green is a senior communications advisor with the Office of the Vice-President (Research). He can be reached at



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