Funding pledged to encourage more women into Scottish aquaculture

Published on
November 6, 2019

New funding totaling GBP 50,000 (USD 64,593, EUR 57,880) has been pledged to increase the number of women working in Scotland’s aquaculture industry.

The money will deliver a mentoring scheme to support women already working in the sector to develop their careers, and a website to promote aquaculture and job opportunities to women.

The Scottish government will provide GBP 20,000 (USD 25,837, EUR 23,152) to Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA), with a further GBP 30,000 (USD 38,756, EUR 34,729) of industry sponsorship.

In 2018, only 11 percent of salmon farm workers and 15 percent of shellfish farm workers were women.

Making the announcement at the annual conference of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers in Oban, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said, “It cannot be right that there are so few women working in Scottish aquaculture. In any professional industry it is important to nurture a workforce that is diverse, and that means having a healthy gender balance.

“Women in Scottish Aquaculture was developed in close collaboration with industry because there is a growing desire by all to break down the barriers stopping women from moving into this thriving sector,” Gourgeon added. “The funding I am announcing today will help to kick-start this work. I hope it will lead to many more women considering a career in aquaculture.”

“I am passionate about supporting and promoting the role of women in Scottish aquaculture,” said Heather Jones, CEO of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). “I believe it is a vital step in helping the industry to grow. It’s been fantastic to secure financial support for this initiative from both the Scottish Government and the aquaculture industry in Scotland. The resources announced today will allow us to build capacity, confidence and capability amongst women working in Scottish aquaculture.”

WiSA was launched by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, and SAIC on International Women’s Day in March.

Photo courtesy of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) and Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA)

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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