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Ocean Nexus Center

About Ocean Nexus

At Dalhousie University, Drs. Megan Bailey, Wilf Swartz, and Sherry Pictou are all Ocean Nexus Principal Investigators, supporting numerous postdoctoral fellows and masters students.

The Ocean Nexus Center at UW EarthLab is a 10-year, $32.5 million collaboration with The Nippon Foundation. Based on the philosophy of passing on sustainable oceans to future generations, The Nippon Foundation has been working for over three decades, with governments, international organizations, NGOs, and research institutions to foster 1430 ocean professionals from 150 countries. While Nexus is based at the University of Washington, it supports researchers all over the world at various partner universities. 

Bailey Lab Projects supported by Ocean Nexus include:

Future of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (led by Hussain Sinan, Nexus Fellow)

Hussain Sinan is working on publishing an edited book on “next generation Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMO)” with a special emphasis on equity. The edited book will aim to bring in scientists, researchers, and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to share their knowledge and unique experiences and provide innovative solutions to the challenges and threats faced by RFMOs. The book will be focused on equitable access to fishing opportunities, restructuring RFMO governance, innovations and improvements in data and science, RFMO’s role in compliance, enforcement and resolving conflicts, and the role of the private sector in RFMO reform.

Nexus Fellows posing for a photo together at the Sustainable Ocean Conference 2023.

Curious about Ocean Nexus?

Check out more information here.

Understanding strategies for justice in ocean governance through analysis of Indigenous rights recognition initiatives (Hekia Bodwitch, Nexus Fellow)

This project examines how rights allocated to Indigenous groups can advance justice in ocean governance, as defined by distributions of burdens and benefits from resources. Rights to be examined include: 1) allocations of fishing rights and regulations around how rights and fish can be traded; 2) opportunities for Indigenous groups to influence other resource users’ activities through cultural impact statements; 3) designation of coastal space for Indigenous-run aquaculture and conservation initiatives. The effects of these strategies will be examined via interviews with Indigenous resource users, policy makers, and scientists in New Zealand, a nation regarded as a leader for Indigenous rights. New Zealand has also completed one of the largest single transfers of fishing rights to an Indigenous group, as occurred though the 1992 Fisheries Settlement. Additionally, New Zealand’s resource management initiatives are unique in their legal requirements to consider cultural impacts when permitting development activities. New Zealand has also designated coastal space for Indigenous aquaculture and created opportunities for Maori to regulate fishing pressure in culturally significant fisheries. Through collaborations with researchers and Indigenous resource users based internationally, Maori experiences in New Zealand will be compared to experiences elsewhere, to build understanding of the ways Indigenous rights recognition initiatives can advance justice.


Social consequences of the Atlantic Canada lobster fisheries management: a case study on the 1976 Moonlight policy (Cailey Dyer, Student Fellow)

In Atlantic Canada, Class B lobster fishers are being phased out of the fishery they have generational ties due to a lack of policy review and different interpretations on what is fair. When a policy came about in 1976 to limit entry into the fishery because of conservation needs, those with employment outside of the fishery were demoted from full licenses (Class A) to part-time licenses (Class B) which cease upon the expiry of the license holder and are not sellable or transferrable. Because of this policy, lobster stocks were able to rebound and reach record landings and the healthiest stock numbers ever seen in Atlantic Canada. This research aims to discover what a fair way forward for this fishery is now that the policy has achieved its goals and determine if the burden of conservation should continue to remain on the shoulders of fishers and their families who sacrificed for the well-being of the stock.

4) Trade-based approach to IUU management: a review of the EU IUU Regulation (Marine Courtois, Student Fellow)

Over the past decade, predominant seafood market states have implemented trade-based measures to improve transparency throughout the supply chain and impose sustainability standards on the fishing practices in exporting states. Under the banner of “fighting IUU (Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated) fishing”, these trade-based measures leverage the access to their commercially important markets to enact changes in fisheries management beyond the jurisdictions of these states. The European Union’s IUU Regulation (EC No 1005/2008) is one such trade-based measure implemented in 2010, aiming at closing the European market to IUU through a system of yellow (warning) and red (import ban) cards unilaterally applied to 27 exporting countries in the past decade.

The objective of this research is to conduct a systematic literature review, based on nearly 75 peer-reviewed articles from 2010-2022, to summarize the observed socioeconomic outcomes of the EU-IUU Regulations on the fisheries and fishing communities of exporting states and to assess its effectiveness in addressing the IUU fisheries.

Illegal fishing activities by foreign fleets in the Somali waters (Abdirahim Ibrahim, Student Fellow)

A two-year analysis using AIS vessel tracking data of Chinese-flagged longline vessels: The analysis will focus on Chinese-flagged longline vessels that have previously held and currently hold fishing licenses to fish inside Somalia EEZ. While also looking more broadly at the most Somali EEZ-relevant Chinese-flagged vessels authorized to fish in the Indian Ocean region from 01st January 2020 to 31st December 2021. Conducting an estimation of current revenue generated from access fees compared to the likely harvests made during the license term. Therefore, this study also intends to estimate the total catch achieved by longline and purse seine vessels in Somali waters, thus suggesting what the Chinese-flagged longline fishing vessels operating may achieve in volume and market value while fishing within the Somali EEZ. Analyzing the structures and materials of dFADs recovered in Somalia waters quantify and document their IUU contribution through being linked to purse seine vessels not holding current licenses to fish within the Somali EEZ and not meeting regional regulations.

Ecosystem-Based Management in Rights-Based Fisheries (Grace Akinrinola, Student Fellow)

Grace Akinrinola will be joining as a Nexus intern in the fall of 2022. Her work will be in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and will be to apply their newly developed Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Framework to the issue of rights-based fisheries (for lobster, for example) in Atlantic Canada.  Using a two-eyed seeing approach, Grace will work to assess the potential social, ecological, economic, institutional, and relational outcomes of the EBM Framework when applied to Treaty fisheries, and provide potential recommendations to ensuring the Framework is used in a way consistent with Indigenous rights.

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