IRES Seminar Series
Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)
Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall
Fisheries subsidies and economic viability of small-scale fisheries
Small-scale fisheries (SSF) provide food and jobs for millions of people worldwide and therefore contribute to the wellbeing of many coastal communities. However, they are currently threatened by overfishing, climate change, industrialization and global market shifts. SSF are politically and economically marginalized as well as understudied. I argue that understanding and improving the economic viability of these fisheries will help prepare them withstand the barrage of threats they face. Unlike financial viability which focuses on profit maximization, economic viability is accomplished when non-negative net benefits to society are achieved. I have identified fisheries subsidies as the main distortion between financial and economic viability. Therefore, I carried out a first global bottom-up assessment that splits subsidy amounts into those received by small- and large-scale fisheries. Results reveal a major imbalance in subsidy distribution. This disproportionate division of subsidies impairs the economic viability of already vulnerable SSF. The results help bridge the current knowledge gap in SSF research essential to policy making and management that would not only improve economic viability but also the sustainability of the fish stocks upon which they rely.
My career as a fisheries scientist started with the German Fisheries Department in Hamburg in 2002. I have worked in northern Peru (2005), finished my MSc at the University of Bremen in Germany (2006), worked in the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (until 2008) and then in the Charles Darwin Foundation on the Galapagos Islands (until 2012). After my work in Galapagos, which focussed mainly on the ecological aspects of fisheries, I decided to study global fisheries economics, focussing on small-scale fisheries and their economic viability. Since 2012 I have been at the Fisheries Centre, now Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at UBC as a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. U. Rashid Sumaila with the Fisheries Economic Research Unit.
Deliberating Climate Change Mitigation Options and Policies in British Columbia’s forests
Forests have attracted substantial policy interest in recent years because of their climate change mitigation potential. While the province of British Columbia (BC) acknowledges the potential of its 55 million hectares of forested areas at mitigating climate change, it still lacks a forest carbon mitigation strategy and largely fails to leverage the opportunities provided by its immense forest sector. Before long, failure to act might even prove a double-edge sword; in the last decade, forests in BC have been transformed from a carbon sink to a carbon source, largely as a result of climate change. In this context, my research aims to shed new light on the advantages and issues associated with existing and prospective climate change mitigation policies and strategies in BC’s forest sector. To be effective and credible, such strategies will not only have to be informed by the best available science, but also to be endorsed by strong public and political support and acceptability. Building on this premise, I also describe a deliberative-analytical process that is currently being carried out with stakeholders in a range of sectors and First Nations across the province to better understand preferences for, and perceived acceptability, credibility and effectiveness of, carbon mitigation options in BC’s forests.
Guillaume Peterson is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, a Liu Scholar and a SSHRC fellow (Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral award). His PhD research, supervised by Dr. George Hoberg, is part of a larger research project supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) with the foremost objective to generate recommendations for regionally-differentiated climate change mitigation options for BC’s forest sector.
Guillaume’s broad research interests bring together natural resource management, territorial governance, environmental policies, landscape ecology, climate change mitigation and adaptation and the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the extractive industries. Guillaume holds an MSc from McGill University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and a graduate diploma in management from HEC Montréal. Previously to starting his PhD, he also worked as a conservation project manager for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).
Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent
Photo credit: Laura Blankenship from flickr/Creative Commons