In the Herring School, we understand that the sustainable and equitable management of herring requires the input of people from diverse communities.  Thus, the “management team” within the Herring School, led by Jennifer Silver (University of Guelph), Murray Rutherford, and Dana Lepofsky (Simon Fraser University) is made of up of several social scientists with backgrounds in fisheries policy, aboriginal resource use and management, and indigenous governance and reconciliation.  In particular, these researchers are seeking to understand and build greater recognition of the knowledge, roles, management, and values of herring by coastal First Nations.

Alisha Gauvreau (Simon Fraser University, Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and Management) is working with the Heiltsuk First Nation to document the components (i.e. rules, regulations, enforcement, monitoring) of their traditional management system for Pacific herring, and how it has changed over time.  She has woven together archaeological, oral historical, and archival data to document:

  1. How local knowledge, ecological observations, and governance structures informed Heiltsuk herring management strategies in the past, and how this  has changed over time.
  2. How state-led herring management in BC has changed over time, and its impact on the role of local knowledge and traditional management of herring.
  3. How the practice of marine co-management (through partnerships between the Federal, Provincial and Aboriginal governments), may facilitate more transparent, equitable, and sustainable management arrangements. 

Wanli Ou’s (Simon Fraser University) interdisciplinary research uses an Adaptive Management approach to address the issue of declining Pacific herring populations in BC’s Central Coast. Adaptive management is a resource management strategy that uses repetitive and long-term experimentation, monitoring, and learning from previous management, to improve policy and practice. Wanli is interested in exploring the viability of transplanting herring spawn to rebuild herring populations. Such transplantation methods were used by several Coastal First Nations cultures including the Heiltsuk, Haida, and Tlingit.

Wanli’s research involves:

  1. A qualitative analysis of four prominent DFO Adaptive Management case studies to explore reasons behind the slow progress of Adaptive Management in BC fisheries, and suggest ways in which these barriers may be overcome.
  2. A documentation and analysis of the key requirements for developing a simulation model – an important step in Adaptive Management prior to field experimentation – that assesses if traditional herring transplanting methods can be used as a management intervention to rebuild Pacific herring populations.

Maria Shallard (University of Guelph) is documenting the role of herring in Heiltsuk well-being.  By interviewing community members, she has documented the many reasons spawn-on-kelp is valued: for trade, cultural continuity, food security, identity and holistic well-being.

Her interviews also demonstrated that community members support territorial management and economic development, especially when it prioritizes Heiltsuk identity and well-being.



Thursday, January 23, 2014