New Initiative Fights Gender Inequality In The Seafood Industry


Leading as much as International Women’s Day on March eighth, we spotlight the contributions of girls all over the world. Although they make up half of the seafood workforce, girls are underrepresented in decision-making, and only a few are in management roles. Until just lately, conversations about seafood sustainability have targeted on environmental duty, excluding social justice. The Seafood and Gender Equality (S.A.G.E) initiative launched in October goals to realize gender equality in at the very least 75% of worldwide seafood manufacturing by 2030, a lofty purpose, however in accordance with founder Julie Kuchepatov, an attainable one. 

After all, there is no such thing as a higher time to ignite the dialog about gender inequality within the trade, says Kuchepatov. According to The International Organisation for Women in the Seafood Industry, girls’s position within the trade is critical, but typically undervalued and missed, that means that girls are sometimes present in low-paid roles reasonably than on the prime.

The international pandemic has catalyzed large shifts in how enterprise is finished, and large selections are being made. According to Kuchepatov, girls should be concerned in making these selections with a purpose to obtain social and environmental duty in our meals provide chains. She stresses that the trade is evolving and prepared for this transformation. Diverse voices within the trade will deliver elevated profitability, increased morale within the office, and stronger management. 

Largely a one-woman present since its early days, S.A.G.E has been bolstered by unprecedented quantities of group backing: “The support I’ve received has been incredible,” she says, “it proves that this is necessary”. 

Sustainability requirements focus extra on environmental components

When a fishery is evaluated for sustainability certification towards requirements set forth by one of many main certification our bodies, such because the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a number of environmental components are assessed.  If a fishery has environmental sustainability shortcomings, it’s enrolled in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) to assist deal with these points.

FIPs assist to determine finest practices to mitigate environmental hurt. Certifying businesses work with group leaders to set trade targets and consider progress measurements. “The problem is that most of these leaders are not women, and women tend not to have decision-making powers and opportunities in these communities,” says Kuchepatov. This retains girls out of rooms the place the choices are made.

Additionally, these certification requirements don’t deal with social duty to the identical extent that they do environmental duty. S.A.G.E hopes to work with certifying our bodies to recommend extra requirements that replicate these essential issues.

“As an environmental standard setter, the Marine Stewardship Council’s mission is to end the global crisis in overfishing which is threatening the world’s fish stocks and with it, the livelihoods and food security of millions of people,” says Jackie Marks, senior PR supervisor on the MSC, in an e-mail, “Some of the fisheries and supply chain partners that are engaged with the MSC sustainable fishing standard are actively supporting women’s livelihoods, such as Namibia Hake and Indonesia Blue Swimmer crab…the MSC continues to engage with those that are developing social standards for fisheries”.

The seafood sustainability motion is evolving

Kuchepatov believes that the give attention to social duty is the pure evolution of the seafood sustainability motion, which has traditionally targeted on environmental duty. Now that seafood sustainability certification has grow to be so ubiquitous, the subsequent step is enhancing therapy and illustration for folks working within the trade. 

“I’m leaning towards the advocacy, education, and communication focus…and building the capacity and opportunities for leadership for women in the industry” It’s about ensuring that everybody is concerned in [fisheries management], and which means girls as nicely”. As a primary step, S.A.G.E will launch a digital journal and podcast with the intention of uplifting and amplifying girls’s voices.