On International Women’s Day, BioMar announced the support of WiCA, Women in Caribbean Aquaculture and the extended organization of the Caribbean Aquaculture Network (CAN). Both organizations have recently been formed to support collaboration in the region and ensure the responsible expansion of aquaculture and blue food, which is expected.
The Caribbean aquaculture industry, although relatively underdeveloped, is ideally situated next to one of the biggest seafood markets in the world, North America. The tropical waters of the region can support a large variety of blue foods, however, to grow the region, knowledge and infrastructure are required.
Advanced education, especially for women, is a challenge in the Caribbean region and many women seeking to become marine scientists leave for education opportunities in North America and Europe. These women are now scattered around the world but still hold a desire to bring their knowledge home to help make this area a blue foods powerhouse.
Juli-Anne Russo formed WiCA in hopes of uniting women, and together, they could bring about positive change in their homelands. “There is so much potential in the Caribbean for sustainable aquaculture, and if we unite as an industry, driven by strong women and others from this region, I believe there is nothing we can’t achieve together. We are extremely happy that BioMar sees our vision and is willing to support our journey,” said Juli-Anne Russo, founder of WiCA and the Caribbean Aquaculture Network.
Besides initial establishment funds to get WiCA and CAN up and running, BioMar will be promoting the organization and its members, including sponsoring their attendance at various international aquaculture events. BioMar will also provide internal expertise through collaboration and knowledge sharing, and Katherine Bryar, BioMar’s global marketing director will sit on the organization’s board.
“BioMar is deeply proud to support this amazing group of talented women from the Caribbean. They are all driven by a deep passion for the marine environment, improving their countries and giving back to their communities. We at BioMar intend to support them on their vital journey,” concluded Katherine Bryar.