Profile: Barbara Paterson

Dr. Barbara Paterson, pictured above to the right of Conservation Corps intern Katherine Rundquist, is a researcher studying the industrial fishery in Namibia. In 2011 she was working on a postdoctoral fellowship with the Marine Research Institute of the University of Cape Town when the opportunity came up to collaborate with the Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance (CURRA) based at Memorial University. In the picture on the right, Barb and Kate are watching Bonne Bay fishermen loading a mackerel trap.

Barbara¡¯s research involved a socio-ecological analysis of the small pelagic fisheries for capelin, herring, and mackerel on the west coast of Newfoundland. Her investigation had three goals:
1) to strengthen collaboration between fisheries researchers in Namibia and Newfoundland;
2) to document the knowledge of fishers in the purse-seine fishery of Bonne Bay, Newfoundland; and
3) to use the study results to develop an appropriate research methodology to document fisher knowledge in the purse seine fishery of Walvis Bay, Namibia.

The research methodology combined social and ecological data from various resource users, including active and retired fish harvesters; other stakeholders; fisheries data; and historical sources. Barbara noted the value of merging the ¡°human dimension of fisheries¡± with bio-physical fisheries research. ¡°Experiencing firsthand how social, economic and bio-ecological data can be combined to conduct social-ecological analyses of fisheries and to integrate scientific and stakeholder knowledge has been invaluable for our work in Namibia.¡±

The Walvis Bay small pelagic fishery has a similar history to that of Bonne Bay and it is anticipated that with some adaptation the study can be replicated in Namibia.

¡°The close collaboration with Canadian researchers has been very inspiring and will be highly valuable for my further research career in Namibia. I would like to thank the Robin Rigby Trust for their support; without it this collaboration would have been impossible.¡±

Barbara is currently back in Namibia where she is working with the Benguala Current Commission on a project that aims to incorporate stakeholders' knowledge into the management of the Namibian Hake fishery and the Angolan sardinella and horsmackerel fishery.

Paterson Final Report (pdf)
4R small pelagics CURRA report 2014 (pdf)