Aquaculture for all

WiSA awards celebrate female aquaculture success

Awards +1 more

Championing diversity and the role of women in delivering one of Scotland’s most valuable exports, Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) has today announced a series of awards for inspirational female figures from across the sector.

Prof Elizabeth Cottier-Cook was presented with the outstanding contribution award

She is a marine biologist who established the Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree in aquaculture, ACES-STAR, which takes students to Oban, Crete and Nantes.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the network invited nominations from over 300 WiSA group members across a range of categories, giving recognition to the positive and impactful role that women play in Scottish aquaculture.

Elizabeth Cottier-Cook, professor in marine biology at SAMS, was presented with the outstanding contribution award. The judging panel highlighted her work to deliver impactful research alongside initiatives to improve inclusion across higher education and academia.

Ingrid Kelling, chair of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and assistant professor at Heriot-Watt University, was named academic champion of the year. In 2022, Ingrid helped to shine a light on gender issues as part of the MASTS annual conference and by co-authoring a report on diversity in Scottish aquaculture.

Donald Waring, learning and development manager at Mowi, was named ally of the year, with the panel recognising his efforts to provide practical support and encouragement to WiSA members, including taking part in the group’s successful mentoring scheme.

Charlotte Bolton, freshwater optimiser at Bakkafrost Scotland, was named rising star of the year, while Connie Patillo, Western Isles area manager for Mowi, was presented with the role model of the year award.

The WiSA network – which was founded by the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) on International Women’s Day 2019 – represents all areas of the sector – from producers and the supply chain to academia – and continues to champion the diverse range of career opportunities for women in aquaculture.

“These awards provide a great opportunity to celebrate the important role that women play across the aquaculture sector and all recipients are well deserving of the recognition. WiSA was established as a network where women can support one another in a typically male-dominated sector and, four years later, our focus remains on raising awareness of the societal and commercial benefits that come from a diverse workforce, fairly offering opportunities for all,” said Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, in a press release.

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