Sustainable Oceans Conference


Reflections on Sustainable Oceans 2019

Sustainable Oceans conference 2019 organizing committee; MMM class of 2018-2019 

Sustainable Oceans is the annual conference organized by Master of Marine Management students of the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University, and is supported by the Sobey Fund for Oceans. This year, the eighth annual conference took place on Friday, September 27th and Saturday the 28th, at Dalhousie University, located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. The conference explored the theme One Ocean, Infinite Connections, bringing together a diverse audience of students, faculty, members of the marine community, and the public.

Through a panel discussion, Reconciling different interests in Atlantic Canada’s marine and coastal resources, the organizing class of Marine Affairs students brought together diverse knowledge groups in order to highlight the multiplicity of ways that people are connected to the ocean. Moderated by Megan Bailey (Assistant Professor, Marine Affairs Program), panelists Rachel Bailey (Mayor, Town of Lunenburg), Ramon Filgueira (Assistant Professor, Marine Affairs Program), Colin Sproul (President, Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association), and Sigrid Kuehnemund (VP of Ocean Conservation, WWF Canada) discussed their connections to Atlantic Canada’s marine space. The engaging panel discussion touched on topics including unexpected allies, envisioning a path forward, and tips for the next generation of marine managers. The panel was graphic recorded by Mind’s Eye Creative, resulting in a wonderful depiction of key themes and concepts that emerged.

Graphic Recording of Sustainable Oceans 2019 Panel Discussion: Reconciling different interests in Atlantic Canada’s Marine & Coastal Resources

Saturday included a full day of engaging student oral and poster research presentations, which represented a wide array of ocean connections - from incorporating traditional knowledge systems into marine management, exploring social license requirements in the aquaculture sector, to understanding governance systems surrounding single use plastic reduction. Huge congratulations to Elissama De Oliveira Menezes (Master of Marine Management Candidate) and Gillian Curren (Master of Marine Management Candidate) for winning 1st place for their oral and poster presentation, respectively.

During the Saturday, a community fair also took place which provided conference attendees the opportunity to connect with local marine related organizations, providing them with a first-hand look at the type of work that is taking place throughout Atlantic Canada. Other engagement activities included an ocean connections wall, where attendees wrote a word or phrase describing what the ocean signified for them. Additionally, a photography contests was held, where conference attendees voted on their favourite image from a series of photos submitted from individuals all over the world. First place was awarded to Maryann Watson for her photo entitled “Floating Forests”.

Floating Forests, first place winner in the Sustainable Oceans 2019 photography contest

The conference was brought to a close with an inspiring keynote address by Dr. Emma McKinley, Research Fellow at Cardiff University and Chair of the Marine Social Sciences Network. Dr. McKinley’s talk, “One Ocean, Infinite Connections: Connecting People and the Sea,” discussed how human connections to the ocean can play a significant and impactful role in the future of our ocean. It was the perfect synthesis of the variety of connections expressed throughout the weekend. 

The organizing committee for the 2019 Sustainable Oceans conference would like to thank all the panelists, judges, volunteers, and speakers for devoting their time and energy towards the weekend. This conference was made possible by generous sponsorships and donations from the following organizations and individuals: Dalhousie University’s College of Sustainability, Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students, Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Science, the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network, Nexus Coastal Resource Management, Labatt’s Brewery, Landeck Properties Ltd, the Ocean Tracking Network, Good Robot Brewing Company, Enercare, Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters, Torpedo Rays, B-yoga, SK Agencies, East Coast Lifestyle, Stillsane, Bath and Body Works, 4Ocean, Anchored Coffee, Glacier Pearl, Tare Shop, Murphy’s on the Water, House of Eights Dance Studio, Laughing Whale Coffee, Lost Cod, Andrea’s Jewellery Design, Earth Elements, Ylang Ylang, Final Straw, Cape Clasp, Laura Carmichael, and Jessica Harvey.

Stay tuned for exciting announcements to come regarding Sustainable Oceans 2020!

Check out the 2019 Sustainable Oceans Conference program here!


Panel Discussion

Friday, September 27th

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Emma McKinley

Saturday, September 28th

Panel Theme: Reconciling different interests in Nova Scotia's marine and coastal resources


Rachel Bailey: Mayor of Lunenburg

Sigrid Kuehnemund: VP of Ocean Conservation WWF Canada

Colin Sproul: President of the Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association







Keynote Title: One Ocean, Infinite Connections: Connecting People and the Sea

Dr. Emma McKinley is a Research Fellow at Cardiff University in Wales, UK, focusing on how society interacts with the global seas and coasts.

The organizers of the 2019 Sustainable Oceans Conference acknowledge that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.