Working the Weather: Challenges to Forecasting and Fishing in Newfoundland

Authors: James Shewmake*, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Joel Finnis, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Canada, Social Geography
Keywords: Weather Communication, Marine Hazards, Canada, Fisheries
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon B3, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Commercial fishing often occurs in a highly dynamic marine environment. This presentation examines the role of marine forecasting in guiding the decision-making processes used by fish harvesters in Newfoundland, Canada. Drawing from a mixed methods research approach, we piece together the current state of challenges faced as fish harvesters "work the weather", examining the spatial and temporal arrangement of fishing effort and forecasting. We explore the myriad of information sources and coping strategies harvesters employ as they engage in the process of commercial fishing. We will also compare and contrast qualitative data obtained from interviews, with quantified data sets on hazard climatology, weather warning thresholds, and fishing vessel activity. Through this process we will identify opportunities for improving the way in which marine weather hazards are both forecast and communicated to those whose lives and livelihoods depend so much on the weather.

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