This year marked the the sixth annual Ocean Tracking Network Symposium, which took place in Halifax, N.S. and saw senior researchers and their students from OTN’s national and international arenas synthesize their research projects for fellow scientists, industry professionals and policymakers.
Assistant Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Trevor Swerdfager, delivered the opening plenary. His talk focused on the value of fostering fisheries, government and industry partnerships and updated attendees on the department’s strategic direction and upcoming opportunities for involvement.
Throughout the day, OTN Canada researchers presented the latest challenges and findings from OTN research in the field, reporting on themes central to OTN’s mandate of innovation, tracking and partnerships.
Anna Metaxas (CHONe) and Nigel Hussey (OTN Arctic-U Windsor) rounded out the plenaries with talks on the evolution of CHONe, and progress on ideasOTN (a group of collaborators tasked with synthesizing OTN research), respectively.
Megan Leslie, a Senior Consultant with World Wildlife Fund Canada, ended the symposium on a high note by emphasizing the importance of bringing scientists and politicians to the same table, creating a platform for dialogue and facilitating more informed decision-making practices.
Leslie reminded the attendees that there were challenges present in knowledge mobilization, but also opportunities to share their findings with policymakers and community members, allowing scientific research to contribute to decision-making on local, provincial and federal levels of government.
The symposium was informative, engaging and an overall success. Ocean Tracking Network looks forward to seeing long-term and continued participation and growth of its network.