TBTI and the OceanCanada Partnership

OceanCanada is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded partnership dedicated to building resilient and sustainable oceans on all Canadian coasts and to supporting coastal communities as they respond to rapid and uncertain environmental changes. Our research synthesizes social, cultural, economic, and environmental knowledge about oceans and coasts nationally. Over the life of the project (2014 to 2020) and beyond, we are taking stock of what we know about Canada’s three oceans, building scenarios for the possible futures that await our coastal-ocean regions, and creating a national dialogue and shared vision for Canada’s oceans.

Too Big to Ignore has been a collaborator with the OceanCanada Partnership since its inception.

The OceanCanada Partnership is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) project that brings partners from across Canada together to holistically study the challenges and opportunities facing Canada's oceans and coastal communities.

OceanCanada website, www.oceancanada.org

Who we are 

Our researchers are based at UBC, University of Victoria, University of Winnipeg, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, Carleton University, and Dalhousie University. Our use of geographical regions, different scales, specific issues, and cross-cutting themes allows us to focus on collaborative and integrated research across disciplines and areas of expertise.

How we do what we do, locally and nationally

Integration of national and regional working groups through cross-cutting themes is the key to OceanCanada’s success at fulfilling its mandate. Our national cluster has three working groups: Law and Policy, National Data and Integrated Scenarios (NDIS), and Knowledge Mobilization (KM). Our regional cluster also has three working groups: Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic. The cross-cutting theme groups include Access to Resources, Governance, and Changing Oceans, all in relation to community wellbeing and the health of our oceans.

Working with communities 

OceanCanada, although research-based at universities throughout Canada, does not limit itself to the production of academic outputs. In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at academic conferences, we reach out to communities and the general public to make them aware of what’s happening to our oceans so that they can be an active part of solutions to problems facing our oceans today, such as climate change, pollution, overfishing, and industrialization. 

How we make research accessible to all

A major activity of our KM working group is creating films, with the active participation of community members, in and about communities that rely on fishing for their livelihoods. We have completed, or are in the process of completing, the following locally-based films:

  • Beyond Climate (BC), Documentary Video project (in-progress full feature film).
  • ᑕᕆᐅᖅ ᑕᑯᔭᓐᓂᒃ / Tariuq Takujanniq / The Ocean from My Eye (2018, 4:13).
  • Glwa: Resurgence of the Ocean-Going Canoe, Documentary full feature film (2017, 46:48).
  • Visualizing Changing Oceans: Inuit Knowledge and Participatory Video (2017, 3:10)
Speaker Series

OceanCanada has a speaker series to discuss ocean issues in a public forum. These events are free and open to the public. The 2017 series, 'Charting a Sustainable Course: Exploring Canada’s Fisheries', took place at the Vancouver Aquarium with four events held in conjunction with our partner Ocean Wise Conservation Association:

  • History of Aboriginal, Recreational and Commercial Fisheries on the Northwest Coast and Implications for the Future
  • Current Issues and Future Projections for Local, Aboriginal, Recreational and Commercial Fisheries
  • How Climate Change and Pollution Are Affecting Our Oceans
  • Making Sustainable Choices

In 2018, our series is being co-hosted by a different partner for each event:

  • Conserving Our Shorelines: Creating Solutions Through Collaboration, with World Wildlife Fund-Canada
  • Coastal Community Action: Then and Now, with T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation
  • An event being planned with Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery highlighting fisherfolk lives and stories
Media coverage

OceanCanada researchers are highlighted on a regular basis in the media, local and international. Our director, Rashid Sumaila, has been interviewed on television and radio regarding the work we do. For example:

OceanCanada Director, Dr. Rashid Sumaila

Dr. Sumaila is Professor with a joint appointment at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and the Liu Institute for Global Issues, and Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit (FERU) at the University of British Columbia. He specialized in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation, and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing, and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries.

Learn more about OceanCanada

Want to know more? Visit our website, and check out our social media:

Written by: Dr. Anne Marie Goodfellow, OceanCanada Coordinator