Maritime issues have been climbing the political agendas of Arctic states like Canada and Norway since the early 2000s. With the rapid changes underway across the Arctic and interlinked maritime domains such as the North Atlantic, questions are being asked about the profitability and sustainability of northern economic ventures, together with conditions for local and regional development. Especially relevant in this context are communities in the Canadian Atlantic, as well as Northern Norway. The cornerstone of both societies has been economic activity centred around the ocean, predominantly fisheries. This industry is currently changing, with a new focus on the ‘blue economy’, sustainability and expanding new markets transforming a millennia-old activity.
With the CANNOR-START 2.0 project, we aim to discuss the various blue economy related challenges and opportunities with Canadian researchers and stakeholders in a one-day workshop in Halifax, Canada. Based on the workshop's findings, discussions and contacts made, we then aim to develop a project proposal (CANNOR) for the Norwegian Research Council’s call for 'Samarbeidsprosjekt for å møte utfordringer i samfunn og næringsliv' in 2023.
The overall objective is to enhance knowledge and contribute to the sustainable management of marine resources in Arctic/northern waters, at a time when these are becoming increasingly relevant for both Arctic and non-Arctic actors. This knowledge is crucial in improving the way states – in this instance Norway and Canada – approach management of their own resources. This knowledge is also not only relevant for academia or a small group of ocean-focused decision-makers; it is relevant to society at large. Avoiding escalation of disputes at sea as well as a 'tragedy of the commons'-situation concerning marine resources have arguably never been more important. The envisioned workshop of CANNOR-START 2.0 is the first step towards a project that aims to help achieve this.