Fisheries & Aquaculture News

WiSA Awards Celebrate Female Success on International Women’s Day 2023

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 figures from across the sector.

To celebrate International Women’s Day (8th March), the network invited nominations from over 300 WiSA group members across a range of categories, giving recognition to the positive and impactful role the winners 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 recognizing his efforts to provide practical support and encouragement to WiSA members, including taking part in the group’s successful mentoring scheme.

Charlotte Bolton, freshwater optimizer at Bakkafrost Scotland, was also named rising star of the year, while Connie Patillo, Western Isles area manager for Mowi, was awarded role model of the year.

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.

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “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.”


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