SIRF event tackles child labor and trafficking issues in Ghana’s pelagic sector

A dinner hosted to benefit the Seafood Industry Research Fund focused on the organization’s work to combat child labor and trafficking in Ghana.

The SIRF Soirée took place in conjunction with the National Fisheries Institute’s Global Seafood Market Conference taking place 22 to 25 January in Miami, Florida. The dinner served to recognize SIRF’s work and raise funds for the newly established Mike Gorton Living Tribute Fund.

SIRF established in 1964 to fund research grants to colleges, universities, and other institutions for research related to the seafood industry and the consumers of its products. SIRF is supported entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals and companies in and related to the seafood industry, according to a press release.

During the event, SIRF Chairman Russ Mentzer outlined SIRF’s portfolio of scientific studies, detailing the business applications of ongoing research in DNA species identification, decomposition testing, carbon-footprint analysis, and nutrition. 

“The seafood industry is a diverse marketplace,” Mentzer said. “SIRF’s variety of research is designed to keep pace with our business’ manifold issues. It takes a strong mixture of support to keep that mission moving forward.”

The evening’s keynote address, by Kristine Beran, a research associate at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, profiled SIRF’s work to combat child labor and trafficking in Ghana. Beran’s talk outlined SIRF-sponsored activities to combat labor issues in Ghana’s pelagic fishery. 

“Community involvement is essential to eliminating trafficking in fisheries,” Beran said. “The collective effort of friends and family members towards education and prevention makes this social science effort an ideal area of focus for the communally-oriented SIRF.”


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