Enhancing fisheries education through the Canadian Fisheries Research Network: a student perspective on interdisciplinarity, collaboration and inclusivity
Fisheries sciences and management involve complex problems not easily addressed by a single set of stakeholders or methodologies from one discipline; accordingly, the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN) was initiated to increase fisheries research capacity in Canada through interdisciplinary and inclusive research collaborations. We compared the value of the CFRN students' learning experience to that offered in traditional fisheries programs at Canadian universities in training
... training post-graduate students to tackle complex fisheries problems. This paper presents 1) a review of the current state of fisheries education across Canada and 2) reflections on our training within the CFRN, and challenges to implementing its innovative approach to fisheries education. We found few dedicated fisheries programs in Canada and concluded that fisheries research typically relies on securing a supervisor with an interest in fisheries. In contrast, the CFRN enhanced our university training through interdisciplinary and inclusive research collaborations, and by exposure to the realities of industry, government and academics collaborating for sustainable fisheries. We propose a new approach to post-graduate level fisheries education, one that combines interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and inclusivity to produce more capable fisheries scientists and managers. Furthermore, we made recommendations on how universities, researchers, and funding agencies can successfully incorporate these themes into fisheries education.