World Aquaculture Society Meetings

BUILDING HUMAN CAPACITY AND GENDER EQUITY AMONG GLOBAL AQUACULTURE STAKEHOLDERS

Kat Goetting, Susannah L. Bodman, Briana Goodwin, and Hillary Egna
 
AquaFish Innovation Lab
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
Kat.Goetting@oregonstate.edu

The development and strengthening of human capacity in partner countries is a central objective of the AquaFish Innovation Lab and one success of the many years of AquaFish is the development of an expansive collaborative network of international researchers and stakeholders dedicated to the sustainable development of aquaculture and fisheries. AquaFish provides support, mentoring, and academic guidance for students in post-secondary and graduate-degree programs in a wide array of disciplines, helping early-career scientists build and strengthen their professional networks. Since 2006, AquaFish has supported nearly 600 students in pursuit of post-secondary degrees, creating a pipeline of educated professionals who move on to careers in government, academia, and private enterprise upon graduation.

Short-term training courses and workshops are another way in which AquaFish partners teach end-users about innovative aquaculture technologies and provide farmers, extension agents, producers, and policy makers with knowledge and expertise to implement and adapt strategies to their conditions. More than 9,000 aquaculture and fisheries stakeholders have been trained by AquaFish partners since 2006 on a variety of topics, including fish harvesting and processing, record keeping, marketing, best management practices, value chain analysis, and business skills development.

Women have long been underrepresented in science, engineering, and technology careers and face marginalization within the aquaculture value chain. Although improved in recent years, collective quantitative data shows that women do not remain in science at the same rate as men and they lack access to resources and training opportunities, trapping them in vulnerable and poorly paid positions with little prospect of getting ahead. To address this, AquaFish sets a benchmark of women comprising at least 50% participation in both short- and long-term trainings, and designs interventions to engage women throughout the sector including research in universities, high level management in organizations, and private operators in lending, fish marketing, and farming. AquaFish has successfully increased the proportion of women's participation in short-term trainings from 37% in 2008 to 50% in 2016. Furthermore, 50% of all AquaFish-supported long-term students were women in 2016.

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