Kvarøy opens application period for Women in Aquaculture scholarships

Published on
March 31, 2021

For the second year in a row, Kvarøy, Norway-based Kvaroy Arctic is hosting its Women in Aquaculture Scholarship program.

Starting on 13 April, applicants from any country can apply for two USD 10,000 (EUR 8,533) scholarships and a paid, one-month summer internship on the Kvarøy Arctic farm site in Norway. Recipients can continue their internship each year that they are in school, and will be considered for employment upon graduation.

One scholarship will be dedicated to an applicant from any country and a second will be designated for applicants from Africa.

The scholarship is hosted in partnership with Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE), a non-profit initiative founded by former Fair Trade USA director Julie Kuchepatov with a mission to build a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive seafood industry and sustainable seafood movement, Kvarøy said in a press release.

The inaugural program, hosted in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation, received “a swell” of applications, motivating Kvarøy Arctic to go beyond its plan to award one scholarship. The result was Kvarøy Arctic awarding scholarships to three women in 2020, from Tunisia, South Africa, and the United States. 

The scholarship program is needed, Kvaroy said, because women represent only 19 percent of the 20.5 million people employed in aquaculture as of 2018, according to FAO.

“We started this scholarship program at the beginning of 2020 because we recognize it’s harder for women to break into the farm-level operations of aquaculture globally,” Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen said. “The pandemic delayed our plans for last year’s recipients to join us on the farm but not our dedication to supporting them in their career development and to continuing this program.”

By 2050, half of the world’s population growth will occur in Africa, according to an United Nations report.

“Aquaculture is a burgeoning industry in this part of the world,” Kvarøy Arctic Strategic Development Officer Jennifer Bushman said. "It’s within the Kvarøy Arctic value system to take a collaborative approach to advancing aquaculture and we’ve chosen to dedicate one of our scholarships to African women who are permanent residents on the continent and who are committed to supporting that region’s development in one of the most efficient and nutritious animal protein sources available.”

The company also hosted a private virtual aquaculture dinner on 18 March with celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, Oceans 2050 President and Co-Founder Alexandra Cousteau, and Springtide Seaweed CEO Sarah Redmond.

Attendees included executives and journalists from Aquabyte, Aspen Institute, Bloomin’ Brands, CBS News, Compass Group, The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute, Corbion, Eater.com, Euclid Fish, Global Aquaculture Alliance, The Hollywood Reporter, KeHe, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Fish, San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Monica Seafood, and Stavis Seafoods, among others. 

The group discussed aquaculture’s role in combating climate change and “the challenges humanity faces as the global food system is transformed,” according to Kvarøy Arctic.

Photo courtesy of Kvaroy Arctic

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