Note: This report was scanned from a hard copy.
Thirty-five students from the Fisheries Centre, UBC, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, UM (University of Minnesota), the School of Fisheries (SOF) and the Center for Qualitative Science (CQS), UW, the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, OSU (Oregon State University), and the School of Resource and Environmental Management (REM), SFU (Simon Fraser University) attended the meeting. 18 papers were presented. The meeting began on the Saturday morning with 'Modelling in Fisheries Assessment', followed by two shorter sessions in the afternoon, 'Decision Analysis' and 'Policy'. The two sessions on Sunday morning, 'Estimation and Survey Methods' and 'Ecosystem Management' ended the meeting. The quality and interest of all the papers was high, stimulating many questions and discussions which extended into the coffee and lunch breaks. In addition, we ended Saturday with an informal discussion session.
The discussion concerned the interdisciplinary nature of fisheries science. It was first noted that the sessions and papers in the Symposium covered a wide number of disciplines, including biology, modelling, economics, socio-economics, law and social science. However, it was questioned how well these disciplines are integrated into fisheries management, science and teaching and how effective communication between disciplines is. This was followed by a question about how much the individual fisheries scientist should know of other disciplines. Opinion was mixed. Some expressed the view that fisheries biologists should have a reasonable knowledge of the social, economic and political aspects of fisheries to enable them to better understand fisheries problems and issues and place them in an advantaged position to advise managers. Considerable discussion ensued concerning the view that effective fisheries management depends on understanding the behaviour of fishers, but whether fisheries biologists should or could study fisher's behaviour was questioned. Many discussants considered overspecialisation and discipline isolation to be negative. However, others disagreed. They felt that biologists should stay within their own discipline, in order that biological advice to management be independent and objective. They also considered that the social aspects of fisheries should be studied by the appropriate specialists. They did not however negate the role of the other disciplines in fisheries science.
The majority considered the social and economic side of fisheries to be very important. It was generally agreed that fisheries science must be multidisciplinary and that in order for fisheries science, and therefore management of fisheries to be successful, scientists from different disciplines must have a sufficient knowledge of the other "fisheries" disciplines to enable effective communication and understanding. The lack of communication and understanding between disciplines was identified as key problem area in today's science, which seems to consist of a tripartite, but separate, structure of biology, economics and sociology. Although this is an improvement on the old unitary biological approach, effective links need to be further built and maintained.
The implications of the multidisciplinarity of fisheries science for graduate teaching programs was also discussed. Again it was generally agreed that programs need improvement, that they should include discipline options and that the connection between disciplines should be explicitly considered.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Photograph of Symposium in Progress
Summary of the Symposium
Next Years Symposium
One Page Summaries
List of Participants