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Institute of Fisheries Analysis

  • Corporate body
  • 1980 - 2001

The Institute of Fisheries Analysis (IFA) was founded in 1980 by Dr. Parzival Copes, an economist and charter faculty member at Simon Fraser University (SFU), with the support of faculty members who held a common interest in fisheries research. The IFA was established to promote interdisciplinary study and research on fisheries questions among SFU faculty, staff, and students. Topical areas of interest included, but were not limited to, the basic biology, ecology, and population dynamics of exploitable fish stocks; the bio-economic and socio-political framework of fisheries regulation and management; the socio-economic well-being of fishing communities; industrial and commercial developments related to fisheries; and the political economy of the fishing industry. In 2001, the IFA was dissolved and succeeded by the Centre for Coastal Studies.

In conjunction with its objective to promote interdisciplinary fisheries studies and research, the IFA sponsored interdisciplinary research seminars in fisheries and encouraged research cooperation among persons from relevant disciplines. The Institute also assisted in securing and administering resources for fisheries research conducted at the University. Although the IFA did not have a formal teaching role, it did encourage and support teaching programs in fisheries analysis by providing background research as well as guidance and academic supervision to students admitted to master’s or doctoral programs in fisheries management under Special Arrangements (i.e., graduate studies programs outside or between existing graduate programs, administered by the Dean of Graduate Studies).

The Institute, through using the services and expertise of its members, undertook research contracts external to the University. In order to disseminate research carried out by its members, the IFA published a Discussion Paper Series, which later evolved into the series titled Fisheries Research Papers.

When the IFA was first founded, the directorship and administration were combined with that of the Centre for Canadian Studies (CNS) as Copes was the director of CNS at the time. CNS received resources from the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Information Systems to support all of the IFA’s administrative needs. Around 1988, CNS and the IFA were separated, and the IFA was allocated its own physical space where a library and fisheries-related bibliography were developed and maintained for the use of researchers. This separation resulted in a lack of support staff and regular budget for the IFA.

In 1989, the IFA entered into a Collaborative Research and Training Agreement with Simon Fraser University and the Asian Fisheries and Social Science Research Network (AFSSRN), which was sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The purpose of this agreement was to provide opportunities at SFU for members of the AFSSRN to obtain master’s and doctoral qualifications in fisheries economics under the supervision of SFU faculty members from the IFA. This was a major source of IFA funding, along with a small amount of funding provided through the Faculty of Arts, and various research grants obtained by individual members of the Institute for various projects.

The administration of the IFA consisted of a Governing Committee—initially comprised of the Deans of Arts, Graduate Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Science—a Director, and an Associate Director. The Director and Associate Director were appointed by the Governing Committee in consultation with the regular members of the Institute (i.e., persons holding faculty or research appointments at SFU) and the associate members of the Institute (i.e., students of the University who were directly involved in the work of the Institute). Nominations made to the Governing Committee for the Director and Associate Director were made by majority vote of the members. Applications for membership to the Institution were made to the Director and approved by majority vote of the Institute’s regular members. The Director reported directly to the Dean of Arts.

The Institute was dissolved in 2001, and its successor, the Centre for Coastal Studies, expanded the IFA’s original mandate, taking a broader ecosystem approach to coastal resource research and management.

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