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Understanding the Complexity of Fisheries Information Use at the Science-Policy Interface

Suzuette Soomai
School of Information Management, Dalhousie University

Lecture Details
Thursday, October 6th, 2016
5:35-6:35pm *embedded in the class INFO 5500: Information in Society
Room 1011, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Avenue

Abstract: The factors influencing scientific communication are contingent on the characteristics of the many dynamic and iterative science-policy interfaces among decision-makers, scientists, and other stakeholders as revealed in case studies of the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This talk presents the important drivers to information production and the key enablers and barriers to communication based on direct observations at the organizations' meetings coupled with interviews of fisheries scientists and managers. Unique features of decision-making and information use enable the production of credible, relevant, and legitimate information in each organization, including trade-offs in these attributes to support fisheries governance objectives. Understanding the interface can equip the organizations to evaluate or modify practices to increase the uptake of their information in decision-making and enable stakeholders to determine their most appropriate entry point in a decision-making process.

Biography: Dr. Suzuette S. Soomai is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Environmental Information: Use and Influence (EIUI) research program at Dalhousie University. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the role of scientific information-produced by fisheries management organizations- in policy- and decision-making for marine fisheries management. She holds an Interdisciplinary PhD and a Master in Marine Management (MMM) from Dalhousie University. She also holds a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Zoology and a BSc (Hons) from the University of the West Indies.

Dr. Soomai has considerable experience in fisheries resource assessment and management as she was a government fisheries scientist in Trinidad and Tobago. She has worked closely with commercial/large-scale and small-scale fishers in the Caribbean as well as regional an international fisheries management organizations in a range of research activities including fish stock assessments, freshwater aquaculture farming, and at-sea testing of marine bycatch reduction gear technologies.

Kim Humes, BPR
Administrative Assistant
School of Information Management
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue, Suite 4010
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

Tel: 902.494.3656
Fax: 902.494.2451
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