Women in Caribbean Aquaculture (WiCA), part of the Caribbean Aquaculture Network (CAN), has recently been launched to support collaboration and ensure the responsible expansion of aquaculture and blue food in the region.
In a statement, BioMar said that the marine environment of the Caribbean has the potential to support a wide variety of "blue foods", however the aquaculture industry in the region was as yet "relatively underdeveloped". This means more investment is required to bolster knowledge and infrastructure for aquaculture in the region. Aquaculture in the Caribbean also has one major advantage: the region's close proximity to one of the world's largest seafood markets, North America.
Commenting on the news, Juli-Anne Russo, Founder of WiCa and the Caribbean Aquaculture Network, said that advanced education is a challenge in the Caribbean region, especially for women. She explained that many women interested in marine science leave to pursue educational opportunities in North America and Europe, while few are able to return home to apply their knowledge.
Russo founded WiCA, she explained, to support women in bringing their knowledge back to their Caribbean homelands to bring about positive change.
"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," said Russo. "We are extremely happy that BioMar sees our vision and is willing to support our journey."
BioMar is to provide initial funds to help establish the twin organisations, and said it will also work to promote the organizations and their memberships. This will include sponsoring members' attendance at international aquaculture events, as well as providing internal expertise through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Katherine Bryar, BioMar's Global Marketing Director, will sit on the organisation's board.
"BioMar are deeply proud to support this amazing group of talented women from the Caribbean," said Bryar in a statement. "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," she said.
BioMar is a world leader in high performance diets for more than 45 different fish and shrimp species in more than 80 countries. Founded in 1962 by a group of Danish fish farmers, BioMar's heritage is a long-term commitment to developing the aquaculture industry in a responsible and sustainable way.