Our student, Sebastian, shares his internship experience at NAFO

On the 23rdof April, I started my internship at NAFO. I am now halfway through it, and I don’t look forward to the ending of it. I have enjoyed it immensely, with both different projects and with wonderful people to welcome me. But a little background information on NAFO.

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization is a regional fisheries management organization with 12 member countries and regulates 19 stocks from 11 different marine species in the northwest Atlantic outside of the Canadian, US and Greenland exclusive economic zones. NAFO doesn’t do scientific research per say, but rather compiles catch and bycatch data, compliance reports and produces the yearly reports. Several different work groups and organization bodies exists within NAFO. The two I have had most experience with is the STACTIC and the SC.

STACTIC, NAFO Fisheries Commission Standing Committee on International Control, reviews and manages the CEM (Conservation and Enforcement Measures handbook). This handbook details everything, from the NAFO secretariat, bycatch rules, restoration strategies to logbook/port inspection rules and examples of these. The SC, International Scientific Council, meets every year and consists mainly of the STACFAD and the STACFIS. STACFAD, the NAFO Scientific Council Standing Committee on Fisheries Environment, presents and reviews survey results conducted by several member countries, and discuss the presented models used. STACFIS, the NAFO Scientific Council Standing Committee on Fisheries Science, is concentrated on fish stocks assessments instead.

My work within NAFO has varied from fishery management to fisheries science tasks, but I have helped prepare material for both STACTIC and the SC meeting. For the SC, I helped prepare a Scientific Council Research document. I can recommend looking through the SCR documents, as they contain some interesting studies (https://www.nafo.int/Library/Documents/Scientific-Council-SC/SCR). However, most will first be available some weeks after the end of the SC meeting, to correct mistakes or add extra data analysis.

The work has been challenging and fun and with the enthusiastic people who welcomed me, it has been nothing but a fantastic experience, and I have had a chance to get new contacts and extend my professional network.

Halifax itself has proved to be much like Aarhus as a university city. However, it out does Aarhus, as Halifax has no less than 3 universities at least, possibly more. I haven’t had much chance for exploring the surrounding area, but after the 14th of June with the end of SC, I hope to have more time, including a kayaking trip and SCUBA diving tours. Different events start at the end of June and beginning of July as well, including the Halifax Military Tattoo, Canada Day on the 1st of July and a Jazz festival.

But what the internship has provided me the most is an insight into fisheries management and science I didn’t get during my studies. And that has given me a clearer vision of what I would like to work with in the future.

If you want to know more about NAFO and maybe apply for the internship yourself, you can find it on the following links.

https://www.nafo.int/

https://www.nafo.int/Portals/0/PDFs/Internship-Info.pdf

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