IWISH for fish

International Western and Indigenous Science Hub for Fish

The IWISH for Fish network aims to facilitate the exchange of the cultural and traditional knowledge on fish, fisheries and rivers between indigenous people and western scientists to improve fisheries management and conservation of aquatic systems. 


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Mission statement for IWISH for Fish

Worldwide sustenance fisheries resources are declining, strongly compromising global food security. This decline also represents a loss of historical, traditional and cultural fisheries practices and connections for indigenous communities.

Throughout the developed world, the process of maintaining and restoring fisheries has historically been based on western science ontology and epistemology, often ignorant of the divergent and diverse indigenous knowledge and cultural connections that Indigenous people have with the living world. Integration of indigenous knowledge into western science based conservation will help to bolster these global efforts. This “Two-Eyed Seeing” will increase mutual trust and respect, and will help establish meaningful, sustainable relationships and partnerships for fisheries management and restoration.

The IWISH for Fish network aims to facilitate the exchange of the cultural and traditional knowledge on fish, fisheries and rivers between indigenous people and western scientists to improve fisheries management and conservation of aquatic systems. 
We plan to invite community leaders from around the globe to assemble in a circle to share and discuss their personal connections with fish and rivers. We will also organize meetings, workshops and academic programs to facilitate this dialogue.

If you are interested in joining the network, contact Ana T. Silva or one of the other members of the team. 

The Organization Team

Ana T. Silva

Ana is a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) in Norway. Originally from Portugal, she completed her PhD in 2010 at the University of Lisbon (UL). She then moved to Canada to pursue her interests in fish conservation, and worked at the University of Manitoba (UofM) and at Carleton University. After, she took on the opportunity to work on fish conservation at NINA. Ana´s research is based on an interdisciplinary approach to fish conservation and river restoration that draws from the fields of ecology, physiology, biophysics, biomechanics, and eco-hydraulics. She has been working on several projects that aim to mitigate the impact of anthropogenic changes on aquatic systems and biodiversity, all from an eco-ethological conservational perspective. Currently, Ana is leading the Ecological connectivity for fish in regulated rivers of the Norwegian Research Centre for Hydropower Technology (Hydrocen). Among her interests are fish conservation, river restoration, fish behavior and ecohydraulics. Ana is also passionate for the integration of indigenous knowledge into western science based conservation, as she believes in the importance of the cultural and traditional knowledge for fisheries management and restoration.

Abigail (Abby) Lynch

Abby is a Research Fish Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Climate Adaptation Science Center.  Working primarily in inland systems, Abby's research examines the impacts of global change on fish at local, national, and global scales using field-collected and remotely-sensed data. Abby received her Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University on climate impacts to Great Lakes Lake Whitefish, M.S. in marine science on Atlantic Menhaden population genetics at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, and B.S. in biology and B.A. in English literature from the University of Virginia.  She also served as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Fisheries Program.  Her work comprises three main research themes on fisheries and global change: effects of global change on anadromous and inland U.S. fish species; effects of drought on ecosystems; and, Integration of climate change science with more traditional conservation assessment to identify approaches for prioritizing conservation action (e.g., protection, restoration, adaptation) specific to fish and wildlife species. She also served as a fellow and author for the Intergovernmental. Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Global Assessment; and currently is an adjunct/affiliate faculty member at Michigan State University, New Mexico State University, and North Carolina State University; on the executive committee for the International Fisheries Section of the American Fisheries Society; and as coordinator for the international 'InFish' research network.

Daniel McCaw

Daniel is the Fisheries Biologist for the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine, USA. Dan was raised in Burnham, Maine on the banks of the Sebasticook River and attended the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. Dan worked from 2001-2010 as an Atlantic salmon biologist for the State Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission and the State of Maine Dept. of Marine Resources. Dan currently manages the fisheries program of the Penobscot Indian Nation and works cooperatively with state, federal and conservation groups to execute the Penobscot River Restoration project and all other fisheries management plans and restoration projects within the Penobscot River. Dan was born to an Irish father and an English mother, and is a humble student of Tribal history in Maine and New England, USA.

Phil Duncan

Phil is from Moree New South Wales and is a member of the Gomeroi Nation and is an elected leader of the Gomeroi Nation Native Title Claimant Group: his homelands are Moree and Terry Hie Hie. Phil has over 38 years of experience working with Aboriginal people and Government to improve the lives of Aboriginal people through recognition of our rich cultural history, the return of our lands, the improvement of our living conditions and education of our next generation, both through his employment and his volunteer community work. Phil has provided high-level policy and strategic advice to key Indigenous representative organisations and State and Federal government agencies. The strategic advice regards issues of culture and heritage significance, the design, delivery and implementation of programs in partnership with government, regarding the range of issues required to address, particularly in the area of natural resource management, native fish regeneration, fish passage and Aboriginal water rights. Phil is currently the Aboriginal Cultural Training Coordinator for Macquarie University, Walanga Muru Indigenous Strategy and Policy