Blogs

OpenChannels has a team of dedicated bloggers addressing targeted aspects of ocean planning and management, including communication, technology, ocean uses, and more. Our bloggers are experts in the field, drawing from their own knowledge and experience.

The OpenChannels community can also benefit from your knowledge and experience. We appreciate the diversity of perspectives in this field and welcome the use of OpenChannels for sharing these views. Do you have a perspective on ocean planning you would like to share? We'll help you do that right now: just click the button above and follow the prompts. If you are interested in blogging but have questions, please email Raye Evrard at raye [at] octogroup.org. We look forward to your contribution!

The OpenChannels Team


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Posted on February 26, 2019 - 3:55pm, by abrown

By TJ Kennedy

Back in December, Japan decided to resume commercial whaling. It was an extremely controversial decision, at least in terms of environmental protection and conservation. The International Whaling Commission (IWC), of which Japan was a member, has banned commercial whaling since 1986. But Japan has also withdrawn from the IWC, and is thus no longer bound by their requirements, at least when operating in Japanese waters.

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Posted on February 15, 2019 - 11:55am, by abrown

By Angela Cruz

When you hear “fisherman,” what do you picture? I would expect you see an image of a burly man in a yellow raincoat, struggling on a hazardous sea. Men have been the face of the marine resource industry and discourse for decades, with the assumption that it is a strictly male sphere. Previously, reports stated that the global fishing industry was overwhelmingly dominated by men. However, this statistic has been turned on its head. Today, the World Bank acknowledges that when pre-harvest, post-harvest and subsistence activities are considered, the fishing industry is nearly 50% women. As Currents recognizes and discusses women in STEM, it’s equally important to include women that work in the fisheries industry and the biases they experience in that discussion as well. When we don’t understand women’s roles in fisheries, this can render them invisible in the industry. These biases and invisibility can lead to exclusion of women in fisheries management, even though they hold great stake in marine resources and are more vulnerable to environmental degradation than men. This can have negative repercussions both for management outcomes and for communities.

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Posted on February 15, 2019 - 11:54am, by abrown

By Kelly Martin

A little over a year ago, I went to a job interview that I was confident I was qualified for: my resume matched up almost perfectly with the “desired qualifications” listed in the job posting. However, right before I walked in to the interview, I had a moment of self-doubt and quickly pulled my long, blonde hair back into low bun. I had straightened my hair that morning to make it look more professional than my usual untidy waves did, but under the glare of the fluorescent lights of the waiting room I suddenly became self-conscious: I was concerned that this time I spent on my appearance would make me look too feminine, and therefore, I wouldn’t be taken seriously. But with skills and experience that certainly qualified me for the job, something as trivial as my appearance wouldn’t affect whether or not my interviewers thought I was qualified enough, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case: a 2016 study found that women with “feminine appearance” were perceived as less likely to be professional scientists.

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Posted on February 4, 2019 - 6:58pm, by Anonymous (not verified)

By Jenny Seifert

It’s a no-brainer that science is critical for managing ocean resources. But actually applying science in ways that are useful to managers is not always easy. Differences in pace, scale, and priorities can thwart a clean science-to-management application.

This is not a story about the magic solution for this predicament (sorry), but it is a story about how the power of connection – specifically between data and people – can be a key ingredient.

It doesn’t hurt that this story takes place in Hawai’i, whose magical waters draw people in droves. In 2017 alone, 9.4 million tourists generated nearly US$17 billion in direct tourism revenue for the state, and 89 percent of its residents participate in ocean activities at least once a month.

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Posted on January 24, 2019 - 2:03pm, by raye

by Celeste Barnes-Crouse

Allow me to preface this article with this: I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of promoting the “sustainable lifestyle” (refusing single-use plastics, buying organic foods, driving less often, etc.) as trendy and achievable. While this comes from a genuine desire to make better choices for the planet, it is flawed. Writing this piece is a way to acknowledge my privilege to engage in sustainable living and discuss where the movement could improve. When I say “my privilege”, I’m referring to the “unearned cultural, legal, social, and institutional rights [or benefits] extended to a group [or individual] based on their group [race, class, ability, etc.] membership”. I recognize that my race and socio-economic position enable me to participate in sustainability more readily than others.

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Posted on January 15, 2019 - 4:19pm, by abrown

By Charlotte Dohrn

Perched at the end of a narrow, low-lying peninsula on the Washington coast, the city of Westport is no stranger to exposure. The sleepy fishing town gets about twice as much rain as Seattle, and in the winter it’s often pummeled by fierce gales, king tides, and swells that easily exceed 10 feet.

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Posted on December 17, 2018 - 3:39pm, by abrown

By Henry Bell

Do you know where your favorite seafood comes from? I grew up in Minnesota, and aside from the occasional walleye or perch that came from a nearby lake, I certainly didn’t. Perhaps the grocery store label would tell me if my fish was farmed or wild-caught, but what about the fishery it came from? How about where it was processed or who imported it? Dare I question who caught it or what type of gear was used? Should I care?

Read the full text HERE

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