Elizabeth Baker - 2015 Winning Essay

Elizabeth Baker

While completing a science degree in Animal Science and Aquaculture, I began work with the Fishermen and Scientists Research Society, an NGO focused on collecting scientific data in partnership with fishers in order to gain valuable insight into the fishing industry. I began to see the huge value this work along with other co-management strategies could have in successfully regulating the important resources that our oceans provide us with.

Through research in my final year of undergrad, I further experienced how valuable the knowledge of fishers can be as I completed research concerning a pathogen of American lobsters on the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia. I decided to pursue this interest in the fisheries and fisheries management through further studies, leading me into a Masters of Marine Management degree at Dalhousie University.

Through graduate research focused on community based co-management and the organization of fishers in the Maritimes, I am working toward a career in fisheries management. When fishers work alongside government regulatory bodies, management decisions may be greatly improved in order to prevent fisheries collapse, improve marketability and quality of the resources being exploited, and ensure a sustainable industry.

My graduate research will focus on these topics through collaboration with both the highest levels of management and the grass-roots level of the fishery, including; fishers, plant owners and other industry workers. These studies will push me in the direction of my career goal, in creating management strategies for the fisheries that create increased sustainability of the industry.