Who We Are

The Bay of Fundy Marine Resource Centre (MRC) is a community-based, citizen-run institution that supports the social, economic and ecological resilience of coastal communities. The MRC is a registered non-profit charity that was founded in 1997 by a coalition made up of Bear River First Nation, the Fundy Fixed Gear Council, the Bay of Fundy Fixed Gear Council, the Digby-Annapolis Clam Diggers Association and the Western Valley Development Authority.

The MRC primarily serves Digby and Annapolis Counties in Nova Scotia, but also works in the region of the Bay of Fundy and the bioregion of the Gulf of Maine, and on the national and international levels.

In the course of its work over more than 15 years, the MRC has developed a number of guiding principles:

  • we are on unceded Mi’kmaw territory
  • there is an inextricable interconnection between healthy coastal communities and health marine ecosystems
  • that citizen engagement requires public spaces dedicated to public deliberation
  • that learning is always the basis for social change
  • that there is a need for safe places for diverse communities engage with each other
  • that the voices of individuals and communities that have been historically excluded are critical to well-being of our communities
  • that communities have the capacity to address social, economics and environmental issues through social innovation
  • that artisanal small-scale fisheries have a primary role to play in ensuring a future with health coastal communities and healthy marine ecosystems
  • that communities, community-based organizations and individuals have a key role to play in research and knowledge production

Since 1997 the MRC’s work has included:

Learning Networks and Exchanges

  • study tours
  • learning networks on the regional, national and international level
  • learning exchanges bringing together diverse participants

Learning Opportunities

  • learning circles
  • workshops
  • courses
  • leadership training
  • summer institutes

Knowledge Production

  • community/university research alliances
  • local ecological knowledge projects
  • mapping
  • cross-cultural awareness
  • support for local artists and musicians working on fisheries and marine issues

Support for Community-Based Livelihoods Fisheries

  • support for community-based fisheries by local small boat fishermen and intertidal harvesters and First Nations
  • co-founding of a grant-making, capacity building network supporting community-based fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine
  • support for the world small-scale fisheries movement

Support for Ecosystem Based Management

  • working with fishermen’s groups to identify the principles of ecosystem-based management
  • working with fishermen’s group on endangered species projects
  • coordinating ecosystem mapping projects
  • supporting First Nations stream habitat restoration projects

Dialogue and Conflict Resolution

  • facilitating cross-cultural dialogue between First Nations and non-native fishermen following the Supreme Court Marshal Decision
  • conflict resolution between groups with competing resource-user interests

Public Policy

  • providing a public forum for citizen engagement on marine issues
  • participating in policy research projects
  • providing learning opportunities for citizen engagement