Aquaculture for all

Greece hosts women in aquaculture event

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An initiative that aims to inspire more women to join – and thrive in – the aquaculture sector is currently taking place in Greece.

Participants in this year's "empowering women towards sustainable aquaculture development" event

The event aims to inspire women from the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions to pursue successful aquaculture careers © Intissare Aamri GFCM

Organised by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) and the Hellenic Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO), the “Empowering women towards sustainable aquaculture development” programme, is taking place from 11 to 18 June.

Building on the achievements of an inaugural event held in Tunisia in 2022, this second instalment remains dedicated to the ongoing empowerment and comprehensive support of young women in the aquaculture sector.

Aquaculture plays a critical role in the economic development and food security of the Mediterranean and Black Sea region, with women making significant contributions across various areas of the industry, from production to research. However, according to the organisers, their contributions often go unrecognised and they face limited opportunities for education and advancement.

The GFCM 2030 Strategy for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea acknowledges the importance of women's contributions and, along with Resolution GFCM/45/2022/1 on empowering women in the aquaculture sector, emphasises the need to address the existing disparities and limited opportunities they face.

"Women are a powerhouse of untapped potential in the aquaculture sector. Their unique perspectives and skills can drive Blue transformation and sustainable growth," said Houssam Hamza, GFCM aquaculture officer.

The event in Greece will provide a platform for young women from the region to acquire valuable knowledge and hands-on experience in the field of aquaculture. It will consist of a series of theoretical sessions focused on sharing best practices, highlighting the importance of women's involvement in the sector and showcasing the GFCM, FEAP and HAPO` approach to sustainable aquaculture development. Furthermore, the participants will have the opportunity to engage in field visits across Greece to enhance their understanding of the sector by exploring different Mediterranean aquaculture environments, species and production systems.

"Enabling women to advance their education and experience in aquaculture, while connecting them with top industry professionals from different regions in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, is vital for nurturing the next generation of aquaculture experts," said Lara Barazi, FEAP president.

By empowering women in aquaculture, the GFCM, FEAP and HAPO strive to advance FAO's Blue Transformation vision, which aims to establish resilient and sustainable aquatic food systems benefiting both people and the planet, and to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular those related to food security, gender equality, sustainable resource management and economic growth.