Aquaculture Canada and WAS North America 2022

August 15 - 18, 2022

St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada

USING EDUCATION NETWORKS TO BUILD PUBLIC TRUST AND ENHANCE AQUACULTURE LITERACY

 Brianna Shaughnessy*, Maggie Allen, Christos Michalopoulos Cynthia Sandoval

 

 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

 1335 E W Hwy

Silver Spring, MD 20910

 Brianna.Shaughnessy@noaa.gov

 



Evidence shows that support for aquaculture is associated with “its perceived benefits outweighing perceived risks, trust in scientists and the process of science, and perceived credibility of the sources providing public audiences with information” (Rickard 2020). In the United States, lack of widespread support, and in some communities, outright rejection of aquaculture as a sustainable industry demonstrates a need to strategically enhance public understanding of aquaculture (Wietzman 2020, Rickard 2020). U.S. public audiences’ limited understanding of base-level information about aquaculture and seafood production influences how communities understand, support, and make decisions about aquaculture products (Rickard 2020). By tackling these issues we can enhance public aquaculture literacy, and build more resilient aquaculture strategies.

¬†Aquaculture literacy within a community is generated by a familiarity with aquaculture topics and, in turn, encourages communities to confidently take ownership of their aquaculture-related decisions. In this interactive roundtable discussion, facilitators from NOAA’s Office of Education and Office of Aquaculture will first share lessons learned and next steps for the NOAA Community of Practice for Aquaculture Literacy (CoPAL). We will then open the floor to discuss how to disseminate accurate information about marine aquaculture more effectively and equitably across diverse stakeholder groups, including how to ensure aquaculture industry voice empowerment is integrated early on, and often, in planning. We will also discuss how environmental educators and informal learning institutions (e.g., aquariums) provide the necessary platforms through which to build trusting relationships with, and provide credible aquaculture inform ation to, the general public. No one sector can do this alone, so join us for this unique opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue that will work to strengthen coalitions for aquaculture education and literacy.¬†