We strive to be an independent “Centre of Excellence” for fisheries assessment and management, recognized and trusted by First Nations, governments and all users of fisheries resources.
Our mission is to report on stock status, evaluate stresses on fish populations and habitats, offer management recommendations, and facilitate information sharing and participation among all stakeholders to promote sustainable fisheries and resolve conflict.
In 1995, the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/OFRC) was established to serve as an independent source of information on fisheries assessment, conservation and management, promoting the value of both western science and traditional ecological knowledge. The A/OFRC is a not for profit corporation controlled by a Board with equal representation from Native and non-Native Directors.
The roles of the Centre are to report on stock status, evaluate stresses on fish populations and habitats, promote the use of state of the art science and technology, and to provide a forum for information sharing and participation with stakeholders. The Centre also plays an important role in offering management recommendations to promote sustainable fisheries and resolve conflict.
The demonstrated strength of the Centre is its ability to design and carry out field fisheries assessment studies, integrating traditional knowledge with scientific models. As well, a broad range of expertise enables the Centre to professionally analyze and interpret assessment information, and then communicate the results to First Nation communities and interested stakeholders. The assessment studies conducted by the Centre, and its analysis of existing assessment data often lead to recommendations for management authority consideration. The A/OFRC has built an enviable relationship based on trust with its First Nation, government and other partners.
As a “Centre of Excellence” for fisheries assessment and management, the A/OFRC employs standardized assessment tools, innovative science and technology and traditional knowledge to evaluate stock status and stresses on fish populations and their habitats. The Centre’s studies integrate western science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), and lead to recommendations to management authorities. As a partnership between the Union of Ontario Indians and Ontario, the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre is well positioned to undertake many different fisheries projects.
In the past six years, the Centre has completed over 150 fisheries projects with First Nations and government agencies. These include creel surveys, index netting projects, tagging studies, fish habitat inventories and synthesis of existing fisheries data for the purpose of formulating Resource Management Plans. Most of these projects were carried out by the host First Nation with assistance from the A/OFRC while some were completed by the A/OFRC on behalf of the host First Nation.
A dedicated staff of professionals with a wide range of experience is available to tackle complex field studies, data reviews, and fisheries technology training. With a complete spectrum of expertise and backgrounds, our staff is well positioned to field a diverse team and complete challenging projects. A solid administrative and data management team supports the field staff. The Centre has a staff of 9 people.
A Board of Directors composed of academic leaders, fishers, fisheries researchers, and tourism and resource managers provide progressive program direction. Both Native and non-Native Directors are represented in equal numbers, bringing a balanced approach to all decision making. The Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and the Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Nation each approve 4 directors and the chairperson is jointly approved.
The A/OFRC has established a solid working relationship with First Nations, provincial agencies and community organizations by earning a reputation as a trusted independent source of fisheries information. We will continue to strive to maintain and strengthen these relationships in any future endeavours.