November 21, 2020 Sharing Perspectives on Vulnerability and Viability 

        In celebration of World Fisheries Day on Saturday, November 21st, 2020 the V2V Global Partnership lead a webinar for early career researchers called “Sharing Perspective on Vulnerability to Viability”. There is a great need for transdisciplinary research to examine vulnerabilities as individual disciplines provide narrow focus. In light of this, early career researchers were asked to respond to two questions regarding vulnerability and viability and how their research responds to this transition in the context of SSF. A variety of speakers took part in this event from a wide range of countries including Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Senegal, and Nigeria. This speaks to the international capacity of V2V and how all members are working together towards a common goal. On top of having so many speakers from a variety of countries, each speaker had a unique research topic and perspective on V2V and what it means. Topics ranged from conservation genetics, natural disasters, eco-tourism, cetacean bycatch and many more. Natasha Serrao from the University of Waterloo was one of the speakers whose background is in conservation genetics and spoke on how the use of genetics may be used to help SSF move more towards viability. Natasha believes genetics may be used in the pursuit of vulnerability to viability by helping to determine how healthy a fish population is, as well as what factors may contribute to moving towards viability. She also spoke to the connected relationship between fishers and the fish they catch and how each depend on each other for potential mutual benefits. Emily Filinska was another speaker from the University of Waterloo who explained her definition of vulnerability to viability as using the strengths of local communities currently responding to vulnerabilities and building on these to help guide other communities. She went on to say how the sharing of knowledge on vulnerabilities would not only benefit the long-term viability of each local community but the sustainability of the whole planet. Open discussions lead to questions regarding the variety and diversity of research topics and how they can still be used together to help SSF. Many speakers agreed that although each research topic has a specific focus and complex in its own way, there is still great potential for overlapping ideas/innovations. The strength of local communities was apparent for almost all research topics. The idea of using the strengths of local communities and the power of transdisciplinary research was brought to light by this webinar.

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