Environmental Initiatives



Tony Charles focuses on the dual themes of uncertainty and sustainability in marine systems, drawing on methods of natural resource modeling, systems research, ecological economics and policy analysis. He has an extensive record of interdisciplinary research and teaching on fisheries, aquaculture and coastal management combined with practical experience with fishery agencies and fisher organizations at local, national and international levels. His current research focuses on three areas: community-based management; development of fishery indicators and developing policies that support the sustainability of fisheries and coastal areas.

Charles has worked on a wide variety of fishery matters on Canada's Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Following the collapse of the Northern cod in Atlantic Canada, he was appointed in 1993 to a newly created co-management body, the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, charged with developing conservation measures to deal with the fishery crisis. He served on the FRCC for five years, chairing its Management and Regulations Committee and helping to produce a ground-breaking conservation framework for Atlantic Canadian groundfish. Charles has become well-known as an analyst and commentator on sustainability issues in Atlantic Canadian fisheries.

Since 2001, he has served as Director of Canada's Ocean Management Research Network (OMRN), a network supporting research on human uses of the ocean and the management of those uses and linking researchers and research users across Canada.

Internationally, Charles has worked for many years on projects for Canada's International Development Research Centre, the International Oceans Institute, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and other agencies, notably on interdisciplinary team projects examining aquatic biodiversity conservation, integrated aquaculture and fishery socioeconomics as well as on studies of sustainability indicators in fisheries, coastal zones and watershed systems.

He has been a professor of Finance, Management Science and Environmental Studies at Saint Mary's University, in Halifax, Canada, since 1985. He is the author or co-author of more than 80 publications, including the book Sustainable Fishery Systems, as well as Canadian Marine Fisheries in a Changing and Uncertain World, and a component of the FAO Fishery Manager's Guidebook.



Ph.D., University of British Columbia
1982 - Mathematics, Canada

Bachelor of Science, Carleton University
1978 - Mathematical Sciences, Canada


Fish and Fisheries
2000-PRESENT- Editorial Board

Bay of Fundy Fisheries Council
1998-PRESENT- Advisory Committee Member

Fundy Fixed Gear Council
1996-PRESENT- Research and Advisory Committee Member

Natural Resource Modeling
1991-PRESENT- Associate Editor

Ocean Management Research Network
2001-PRESENT- Director

Resource Modeling Association
2001-2002- President

Fisheries Resource Conservation Council
1993-1998- Ministerial Appointment

Coastal Zone Management Committee
1996-1998- Nova Scotia Round Table on Environment and Economy Member

Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Global Change Program
1996-1998- Panel on Change and Canadian Marine Fisheries Member

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Member- Industrial Engineering Committee

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Member- Industrial Engineering Committee


2001 - Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation


Resource Modeling Association

Canadian Operations Research Society

International Association for the Study of Common Property

International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade

International Society for Ecological Economics


Copes P and Charles A. 2004. Socioeconomics of individual transferable quotas and community-based fishery management. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 33(2): 171-181

Charles, A.T. 2002. Use Rights and Responsible Fisheries: Limiting Access and Harvesting through Rights-based Management. (Cochrane, K ed.). FAO Fisheries Technical Paper, No. 424, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, 231 pp

Charles, A.T., Boyd, H., Lavers, A., and Benjamin, C. 2002. The Nova Scotia GPI Fisheries and Marine Environment Accounts: A Preliminary Set of Ecological, Socioeconomic and Institutional Indicators for Nova Scotia's Fisheries and Marine Environment. GPI Atlantic, Tantallon, NS, Canada

Charles. A.T. 2002. The Precautionary Approach and 'Burden of Proof' Challenges in Fishery Management. Bulletin of Marine Science 70(2): 683-694

Sumaila, U.R., and Charles, A.T (editors). 2002. Special Issues of Natural Resource Modeling: An Introduction. Natural Resource Modeling 15(3)

Sumaila, U.R., and Charles, A.T. 2002. Economic Models of Marine Protected Areas: An Introduction. Natural Resource Modeling 15(3): 261-272

Charles, A.T. 2001. Sustainable Fishery Systems. Blackwell Science, Oxford UK

Charles, A.T. and Leith, J. 1999. Social and Economic Approaches to Biodiversity Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography with Emphasis on Aquaculture. International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada

de Young, B., R. M. Peterman, A. R. Dobell, E. Pinkerton, Y. Breton, A. T. Charles, M. J. Fogarty, G. R. Munro and C. Taggart. 1999. Canadian Marine Fisheries in a Changing and Uncertain World. Canadian special publication of fisheries and aquatic sciences 129

Charles, A.T. 1998. Beyond the status quo: Re-thinking fishery management. In: Re-inventing Fisheries Management (T. Pitcher, D. Pauly and P. Hart eds.). Kluwer Academic Publishers

Charles, A.T. 1998. Fisheries in transition. In: Ocean Yearbook 13 (E.M. Borgese, A. Chircop, M. McConnell and J.R. Morgan eds.). University of Chicago Press

Charles, A.T. 1998. Living with uncertainty in fisheries: Analytical methods, management priorities and the Canadian groundfishery experience. Fisheries Research 37:37-50

Charles, A.T. 1997. Sustainability indicators: An annotated bibliography with emphasis on fishery systems, coastal zones and watersheds. In: Strategy for International Fisheries Research. FAO, Ottawa, Canada

Charles, A.T. 1995. The Atlantic Canadian groundfishery: Roots of a collapse. Dalhousie law journal 18:65-83

Charles, A.T. 1994. Towards sustainability: The fishery experience. Ecological Economics 11:201-211

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