13. T. Buck Suzuki Foundation: BC Fisheries 101


Project Title

BC Fisheries 101

Organization Name

T. Buck Suzuki Foundation


Related Course Concepts

Food security, Asset based community development

Organization Information

Organization Name

T Buck Suzuki Foundation

Mission and Vision of Organization

The T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation works to protect habitat, prevent pollution and promote sustainable fisheries for future generations. We envision a future of abundant, sustainable fisheries and healthy ecosystems that support thriving coastal communities in B.C.

Guiding Principles + Values

We believe that healthy marine ecosystems and the well-being of coastal communities depend on each other and are inherently valuable. Local fisheries are essential to the physical, economic, nutritional, cultural, social, and spiritual well-being of B.C.'s coastal communities and steward healthy marine ecosystems.

Contact Information

Preferred Method of Contact

  • Best method(s) to contact: Email
  • Best day(s) to contact:Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
  • Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons

Project Description

Context: What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?

Small-scale fishermen are akin to small-scale farmers. Fishing provides meaningful livelihoods to those on the water, along the seafood value chain, and in supporting industry services such as boat building, welding, carpentry, shipwrighting and more. But fishing is more than an economic driver. Fisheries play an important role in a sustainable food systems and local food security, and have woven the social and cultural fabric of our communities; creating tight social networks, a sense of pride, connection, and identity.

Yet the fleet is “greying”, meaning that the average age of a fish harvester is increasing. Over the last 30 years, shifts in management, resource availability, and distribution of access have led to a decline in the participation of the fishery. In 2016, only 23% of BC’s fish harvesters were under the age of 30. British Columbia is losing our intergenerational connection to fishing, and there is a greater need for facilitated skill and community building opportunities.

The BC Young Fishermen’s Network fills a unique gap in community programs and government policies, and is the first of its kind in Canada. We believe that supporting young fishermen means supporting the health and wellbeing of our coastal communities. This project was identified as a need by the BC Young Fishermen's Network steering committee.

Main Project Activities

The goal of this project is to research and creatively communicate aspects of BC's commercial fisheries. Extensive resources, knowledge and information about BC’s fisheries exists across a multitude of platforms and stakeholders. Students will compile existing information in an easily understandable format to aid in navigating the complexities of the fishing industry. Students will research and write a guide on the basics of B.C.'s fisheries, including fish species, harvesting methods, legal and management framework, user groups, and more. Student(s) will conduct online research and interviews with Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) staff and fishermen.

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

A written guide on the basics of BC’s fisheries. The exact format of which is flexible and to be determined.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • This project would be best suited for students with interest in resource management and/or fisheries knowledge, strong research and writing skills.

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)

  • Students will likely develop skills in research and writing, stakeholder engagement, as well as fisheries knowledge, and non-profit work experience.

Are there any mandatory attendance dates (e.g. special event)?

  • No

Is a criminal record check required?

  • No

Project Location

  • Work location is flexible. Work space is available at our Vancouver office, but students may choose to work elsewhere if they prefer

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • Work will primarily be during business hours

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Required Reading

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:

Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials

The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:

  • In-person orientation and introduction to key project contacts

General Resources

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • how to build relationships with key stakeholders across the industry from harvesters and shoreworkers to fishery managers. They will learn to navigate the political landscape of fisheries.

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • the benefits and challenges to life as a fish harvester on the BC coast.

Through this project, students will develop...

  • a well-rounded understanding of BC’s commercial fisheries.

Organizational Outcomes

Intended Project Outcome (short term outcome)

  • This guide will be shared as an online resource to aid new entrants in navigating the complex barriers to a career in fishing. New entrants will have increased support and clarity at the beginning of their careers. The guide will also be used as training and orientation to the fishing industry for new staff and volunteers at the T.Buck Suzuki Foundation. New staff will have increased awareness of the industry complexities and context in which they are situated.

How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?

  • The project will contribute directly to the mission of the BC Young Fishermen’s Network in fostering learning, networking and growth among young fishermen. Our program aims to create connections to the people and resources that harvesters need to succeed, and the guide will serve as a resource offering a clear path forward for folks looking to enter or grow in the industry.
source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2020/BuckSuzuki