Shannon Bower, TBTI PhD candidate successfully defends her thesis

December 2017

Shannon Bower, TBTI PhD student, successfully defended her thesis on 'Advancing an integrated framework for assessment of emerging catch-and-release recreational fisheries in the developing world'. Shannon was studying at the Carlton University, Canada under the supervision of Dr. Steven Cooke. She is also one of coordinators of the TBTI 'Inland Fisheries' research cluster.

Shannon studies the growth of recreational fisheries in developing and emerging economies, an undervalued and understudied sector with enormous potential for both benefit and impact. In this research, she uses a social-ecological systems approach to understand the biological, social, and economic dynamics of catch-and-release fisheries using a variety of methods to provide fisheries stakeholders with the information they need to manage these target populations sustainably. The mahseer recreational fishery of India is the backbone of this research, and Shannon has fallen under the spell of these remarkable fish and the incredible Cauvery River. Shannon believes there is a pressing need for study of recreational fishing that adopts transdisciplinary and participatory research approaches to address key issues in the sector. Issues such as conflicts situations, concerns regarding fishing rights and subsistence harvest needs, cultural norms related to catch and release practices, and data deficiencies surrounding species-specific responses to typical recreational fishing activities need to be addressed to support sustainable management of fish populations and benefit fishing communities.

Shannon’s research works to address these data deficiencies by developing an integrated (biological, social, economic) framework for rapid recreational fishery assessments. The blue-finned mahseer (Tor khudree) catch-and-release fishery of the Cauvery River, India forms the backbone of this research. She firmly supports co-operative research and community engagement and so incorporates these relationships into all aspects of her work, including highlighting SSF and fish conservation through social media channels. You can follow her on Twitter @shannonbfishin, and on Facebook or Instagram at Rec_Fish_Reels.Save