Our lab works at the intersection of public and private policies related to fish and seafood production and consumption in order to contribute to more equitable seafood governance regimes.
We are motivated by notions of equity and fairness, and believe that the way humans use the ocean, and the resources within, should be governed in ways that ensure both ecological resilience and social wellbeing.
Within Canadian waters, our work focuses on fisheries and ecosystems in the North Atlantic, Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, and coastal British Columbia. Globally, we also research fisheries and seafood supply chains in the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. We work with both small-scale fisheries that land only a couple tonnes per year as well as the largest fisheries in the world.
We are economists, marine biologists, and social scientists who get out of bed every morning to conduct sound, meaningful, and applied interdisciplinary science in pursuit of sustainable and prosperous ecosystems, fisheries, and societies.
Professor – Lab Director
I grew up in London Ontario, completing my Bachelors in Zoology at Western University in 2003. I have always been interested in the natural world, and fancied myself destined to be a vet, primatologist or marine biologist.
With that mission in mind, I spent a year in Suriname working on a capuchin monkey field study in a remote location on the Coppename River. Armed with idealism and a pair of binoculars, I thought I’d save the rainforest. What struck me after only a couple of weeks in the field was the coupled nature of social and ecological systems. Saving the rainforests because of ideology can also mean destroying local livelihoods and cultures. To have the largest conservation impact, I realized that I needed to expand my studies to include social and economic systems.
In 2005 I attended the Fisheries Centre at UBC to pursue graduate school under the supervision of Dr. Rashid Sumaila in the Fisheries Economics Research Unit. I completed my Masters in 2007 and my Doctorate in 2012. My PhD focused on solutions to global tuna governance through the lens of game theory and economics.
In July of 2015, I wrapped up a three year Postdoc with the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands where I helped to lead the BESTTuna and IFITT projects (www.besttuna.org; www.ifittuna.info). With my studies spanning zoology, fisheries economics and environmental policy, I have a unique perspective on the issues facing marine resource use, as well as a unique vision for how solutions to these issues can be developed.
I am always looking for opportunities to supervise students and collaborate with partners and colleagues. I can be reached at:
Megan Bailey, Associate Professor, Marine Affairs Program
Canada Research Chair Integrated Ocean and Coastal Governance
Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus PI
Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford St, Life Sciences Centre 801
Halifax, NS, B3H 1R2 Canada
Phone: +1 (902) 494-6906
Associate Professor of the Marine Affairs Program andWilf Swartz is an Associate Professor of the Marine Affairs Program, and the Deputy Director of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Program
The Nexus program is an international partnership of ocean research institutes that studies the changes, responses and solutions to societal issues of oceans.
A marine ecologist by original intention, a fisheries economist by final decision, Wilf examines the role of public policies in shaping economic security and livelihoods for coastal communities. His previous research interests include globalization and seafood trade, fisheries subsidies, and Corporate Social Responsibilities in the seafood sectors.
Born in Canada and raised in Japan, Wilf is enthusiastic about seafood, from smoked salmon to skipjack sashimi.
Postdoc (United States)
Hekia Bodwitch is a human geographer and a postdoctoral fellow with Marine Affairs at Dalhousie University. Her studies examine how environmental governance can advance justice, with a particular focus on Indigenous fishery development. Her projects have included collaborations with Indigenous fishers, leaders, and scientists in New Zealand, with whom she examined how Maori can use Treaty protected rights to re-establish indigenous-run fisheries. She has also collaborated with interdisciplinary teams of natural and social scientists to identify how California can regulate cannabis production to minimize impacts to downstream, Indigenous owned and claimed fisheries. Currently, she is working with Inuit youth and leaders in the Canadian Arctic to explore how Indigenous-scientist knowledge co-production initiatives can support Inuit-led marine spatial planning. Her research has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed publications, and she has presented her findings to government officials and public audiences through reports, webinars, and radio shows.
Sinan is a post-doctoral fellow with the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Program.
His research is focused on equitable governance in transboundary species, particularly tuna and tuna-like species in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). It includes identifying legal, economic, political and institutional barriers to equitable tuna governance, political powerplay in RFMOs, and solutions for better participation of developing coastal States in the RFMO decision-making process.
Sinan has represented the Maldives in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission prior to his research. Apart from IOTC, he has participated in various international forums such as FAO’s Committee on Fisheries and the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ).
Sinan chaired the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) and also chaired the 2021 performance review panel for the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT).
Doctoral Student (Canada)
Kayla is a PhD Candidate in Biology, broadly interested in public participation in science, and relationships between people and the natural world. She is an NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate scholar, Killam doctoral scholar, and fellow with the Ocean Frontier Institute (Module D – Valued Fisheries).
Originally from the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario, Kayla holds a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Dalhousie University and an MSc in Biology (Aquatic Ecology) from McGill University. She also brings 7+ years of work experience in science communication and NGO leadership to her work.
Kayla’s PhD research explores how unconventional data sources and coastal community engagement can inform scientific assessments, management protocols, and conservation actions for fish species of socioeconomic importance in Atlantic Canada. She is excited for the opportunity to merge her passion for the ocean and its weird and wonderful creatures, with her concern and care for fishing heritage and rural economic development.
Abdirahim Ibrahim Sheike
Abdirahim is interested in the sustainable utilization of fisheries and marine resources, particularly tuna and tuna-like species of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). He is a Research Fellow with the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center and a member of Bailey Lab.
He has earned a BSc in Biology and Chemistry and an MBA at the Northern University of Malaysia. Abdirahim Ibrahim is a graduate MMM student at the Dalhousie University of Marine Affairs Program.
His research interest is the inequitable burdens and incompetence of developing coastal states and the nature of RMFOs governance systems towards shared fisheries resources. He continued to study and develop an interest in the human dimensions of resource use, particularly engagement related to resource conflict, corruption, and justice. Abdirahim was a regular attendant of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Head of the delegation for Somalia. He won numerous scholarships and international travel grants to attend conferences. His Ph.D. aims to identify the links and interactions among RFMOs and state policy on resource governance and management for better regional fisheries management.
Marine is a Master of Marine Management (MMM) candidate (2021-2022) at Dalhousie University, coming from the South of France. In 2020, she graduated with an international MSc in Marine Biological Resources after studying in different countries. Her master thesis research project focused on depredation interactions between killer whales and longline fisheries in south-eastern Australia. Her work helped provide primary recommendations to adapt fishing practices and minimize these interactions, paving the way toward her growing interests in fisheries management and policies.
As part of her MMM graduate project, she is working on a systematic review of socioeconomic outcomes of the European Union’s trade-based measure for seafood sustainability under the supervision of Wilf Swartz and Megan Bailey. The research aims at summarizing all recorded effects of these policies on the fishing communities of exporting states while assessing their effectiveness in addressing the illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries. Marine is also a research fellow with the Nippon Ocean Nexus Program and a project coordinator with the Deep Cove Aqua Farms Ltd. company, where she has been working on creating sustainable regenerative shellfish aquaculture along the southern Scotian shore, expanding her competencies in the private aquaculture sector.
Doctoral Student (Canada)
Cailey is a Master of Marine Management Candidate at Dalhousie University. Her graduate research is supervised by Wilf Swartz and is titled: Fishing Fairness: The Case of Class B Lobster Fishing Licenses.
Her project focuses on reviewing the theoretical underpinnings of the concepts of fairness, justice and property and examining how they are applied in the case of the Class B lobster license in Atlantic Canada.
Cailey is a research fellow with the Nippon Ocean Nexus Program and is also a research associate with the Maximum Estimated Time of Rescue Project with Dalhousie’s Industrial Engineering Faculty.
This project aims to estimate the response time for mass search and rescue missions in Canada’s Arctic.
Dylan Seidler (United States)
Dylan Seidler has long had a passion for marine conservation. As a history-environmental studies major at Whitman College, much of Dylan’s honors thesis, Cultural Staples in Crisis: A Historical Analysis of Southern Resident Orcas and Chinook Salmon, emphasized the value of examining Indigenous history and cultural attitudes alongside colonial perspectives to develop successful collaborative partnerships to aid in the recovery of endangered southern resident orcas and Chinook salmon. As a Master of Marine Management Candidate at Dalhousie University she is excited to work as an intern for the Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures Project. This collaborative initiative focuses on addressing the impacts of climate change on local communities by partnering with community members to share knowledge about effective ways to monitor, and manage, Arctic marine ecosystems. Dylan’s current project entitled Marine Based Research in a Changing Climate: Lessons and Methods for Community Engagement in Nunatsiavut focuses on gathering perspectives on the process of community engagement to explore how research conducted in the region can best support Inuit community goals. Dylan’s research interests include endangered species survival/protection, marine mammal and salmonid conservation, mitigating climate change/environmental impacts and relationships with Indigenous communities and small-scale fisheries.
Masters Student (Nigeria)
Grace Akinrinola is a Master of Marine Management Candidate at Dalhousie University (2022-2023), a Research Assistant with the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center, Research Assistant to Dr. Megan Bailey, and a member of the Bailey Lab. She is an awardee of the Sobey Fund for Oceans scholarship. She earned an M.Sc. in Marine Pollution and Management (Distinction) and a B.Sc.(Hons.) in Marine Biology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Grace is passionate about the well-being of the environment, particularly the marine environment.
A lover of new places with over 7 years of experience in environmental impact assessment, implementation of ecosystem-based approach programs, and strategic marine-related research, in addition to her 6 months undergraduate internship with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
She will be working under the supervision of Dr. Megan Bailey on a Two-Eyed Seeing Evaluation of the DFO (Maritimes Region) Ecosystem-Based Management Framework Applied to Treaty Fisheries Implementation.
Former lab members
- Laurenne Schiller
- Helen Packer
- Shannon Landovskis