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Enhancing Marine Conservation through Adaptive Management in the Northern Shelf Bioregion MPA Network: Insights from a Commercial Fisherman

February 16 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Enhancing Marine Conservation through Adaptive Management in the Northern Shelf Bioregion MPA Network: Insights from a Commercial Fisherman

Speaker: Fraser McDonald, Commercial Fisherman and IOF Adjunct Faculty member

This seminar explores the perspective of a small-scale commercial fisherman operating within the Northern Shelf Bioregion in British Columbia regarding the implementation of static conservation models in a dynamic ecological system. The existing approach to MPA implementation is limited by siloed governance structures and the lack of stakeholder insight on localized impacts of climate change, migratory species dynamics, and fisheries management. This talk will describe the importance of incorporating local knowledge into decision-making processes, fostering integration with existing fisheries management, and promoting adaptive conservation strategies that consider ecological variability and uncertainty. The nuanced experience and insight of local fisher’s highlights the critical role of stakeholders in balancing political objectives, conservation, food security, and the sustainability of coastal economies. This approach advocates for a holistic coastal management framework that enhances ecological resilience, supports coastal economies, and ensures the long-term sustainability of marine resources in the Northern Shelf Bioregion.

Fraser MacDonald is a small-scale commercial fisherman focused on BC’s most sustainable fisheries. Drawing on almost 20 years of hands-on experience across multiple fisheries, he now owns a small group of boats based in Vancouver and is the proud owner of GoodFish Seafood Co. Ltd. Fraser’s expertise extends beyond the operational sphere, as he actively engages in the fishery advisory board process, offering his insights and experience to further the sustainable management of BC’s albacore tuna, halibut, and spot prawn fisheries. His dedication to contributing to strong fisheries policy is evident through his testimony before the Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans, where he advocated for progressive licensing policies in the Pacific region. Fraser’s passion for BC’s small-scale fisheries and the abundance of our coastal resources fuels his optimism for the future of BC’s blue economy. Most recently Fraser has had the privilege of joining UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries in an Adjunct Professor role where he is excited to learn and share knowledge. Through business, mentorship and advocacy Fraser enjoys his place in the industry and looks forward to contributing what he can to towards the sustainability and prosperity of BC’s coastal economy.