Canadian Fisheries Research Network

Dr. Wiber’s work with the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (see is in the wrap up stages. This network was a unique collaboration of academic researchers, the fishing industry, and government researchers and managers from across Canada. Dr. Wiber was one of over 30 academics from 15 universities working closely with representatives of fishing fleets from Canada’s Atlantic, Pacific and freshwater fisheries, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). This partnership was industry-driven and built around projects that involve the active collaboration of each sector.

Lobster fishing on the Bay of Fundy
Photo Courtesy of Donna Curtis

The Network was launched in 2010 with five years of support from the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Strategic Network Grants program. It was recognized that better knowledge of aquatic ecosystems, as they relate to management and industry operations, was needed to reduce environmental impacts, inform decision-making, and evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies on sustainability.


Salmon aquaculture cages near Deer Island, NB.
Photo Courtesy of Donna Curtis

The Network was designed to focus on issues of direct relevance to industry, and was aimed at increasing knowledge that will enhance the ecological sustainability, socio-economic viability and management of Canadian fisheries. The research objectives of the Network were to:
1. overcome information gaps for important commercial fisheries and improve the use of industry information in assessment and management;
2. enhance ecological sustainability while achieving operational efficiency; and
3. improve the basis for the ecosystem approach to fisheries management.


Abandoned fishing boats with salmon cages in the background, Campobello Island.
Photo Courtesy of Melanie Wiber

The Network provided a forum for sharing research objectives and results that built capacity in each sector. It established collaborative, strategic fisheries research in Canada that outlasted the Network. The Network also train a cohort of new researchers that are equipped to meet the challenges of fisheries research in the future.

Dr. Wiber served on the Scientific Committee, and along with her former doctoral student, Courtenay Parlee, was involved with Project 1.1, which focused on Enhanced fisheries knowledge for an evolving management regime.

2016 Courtenay Parlee. Resolving Conflict Over Risk Management in the Marine Environment: Strengthening Governance Institutions. PhD Dissertation. UNB Interdisciplinary Studies.

2016 Rob Stephenson, Stacey Paul, Martin Pastoors, Marloes Kraan, Petter Holm, Steven Mackinson, Dorothy J. Dankel, Kate Brooks, Melanie Wiber, Ashleen Benson. Integrating Fishers’ Knowledge Research in science and management. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73(1): 459– 1465.

2017 Robert L. Stephenson, Melanie Wiber, Ashleen J. Benson, Kate Brooks, Anthony Charles, Poul Degnbol, Catherine M. Dichmont, Marloes Kraan, Sean Pascoe, Stacey D. Paul, Anna Rindorf. Practical steps toward integrating economic, social and institutional objectives and indicators in fisheries management. ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Submitted August 2017 - Robert Stephenson, Melanie Wiber, Marc Allain, Stacey Paul, Eric Angel, Ashleen Benson, Anthony Charles, Omer Chouinard, Dan Edwards, Paul Foley, Dan Lane, Jim McIsaac, Barb Neis, Courtenay Parlee, Evelyn Pinkerton, Mark Saunders, Kevin Squires and U. Rashid Sumaila. Integrating diverse objectives for sustainable fisheries in Canada. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

In Progress - Special Feature in Ecology & Society: Full-spectrum evaluation of sustainability:  Insights from fisheries in Canada. Editors: Drs Melanie Wiber (University of New Brunswick), Evelyn Pinkerton (Simon Fraser University), Paul Foley (MUN, Grenfell Campus) and Robert Stephenson (UNB and DFO St. Andr