Results of the Canadian Fisheries Research Network to be released in Halifax on Nov. 17.

The Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN)—a network of Canada’s academic researchers, the fishing industry and government representatives—has wrapped up nearly a dozen research projects that are advancing more sustainable fisheries practices and policies in Canada.

Based at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton, but with projects across Canada, the CFRN is holding its final AGM on November 17-20 at the Prince George Hotel in Halifax, N.S., where the results of their work will be on display for the public.

The CFRN started in 2010 after receiving a $5 million investment from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and $5 million more from federal and provincial governments and industry. The goal of the network was to re-shape fisheries research in Canada by bringing together academia, government and industry to undertake collaborative research.

Rob Stephenson, principal investigator and visiting research professor at UNB, says he’s very proud of the work accomplished over the past five years.

“Sustainability of our fisheries is a challenge,” said Dr. Stephenson. “It requires more and different information, and that we combine the research capacities of government, industry and academia. The CFRN has created the change needed to reach our collaborative goals in the fisheries industry. We’ve proven that this approach works and we’re hopeful what we’ve started will continue in a more permanent capacity.”

Involving more than 30 academic researchers, 50 students and industry and government partners, the CFRN conducted nearly a dozen research projects including the following:

  • Novel research on lobster genetics—the first study of its kind in the world— to sequence the entire genome of the Atlantic lobster and to determine whether sub-populations of lobsters exist in different areas in Eastern Canada. This research involved data-collection from fishermen on more than 400 fishing trips across five provinces.
  • Unifying much of the commercial fishing industry in Canada around research priorities.
  • Novel research on the effective management and monitoring of fisheries and marine protected areas.
  • Integration of social and economic aspects in fisheries evaluation.

One of the components of next week’s meeting will be to decide on next steps now that the CFRN’s five-year term is up.

“A component of the AGM will be to determine next steps and see how we can continue the great work we’ve started in Canada,” said Dr. Stephenson.

During the AGM their work will be on display on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. in the Prince George Hotel’s Windsor Room. This research showcase, dubbed the ´CFRN Fish Market´, will feature many diverse projects and displays and the public is invited to come interact with the researchers, government and industry.

For more information, contact Susan Thompson at susant@unb.ca.

Media requests: Natasha Ashfield

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