By Ian Stanfield
Here are some words that you’ve probably heard: economic opportunity. The ability to take part in the global market is considered a benefit. We want job growth, we want opportunities to make money and better our living conditions. In this day and age, money makes the world go ‘round. So, what do you do if you’re locked out of the economic opportunities that most of us take for granted?
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 But Japan has also withdrawn from the IWC, and is thus no longer bound by their requirements, at least when operating in Japanese waters.
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.
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.
By Sallie Lau
“Probably a horizontal line,” says Valerie Portefaix, an artist who looks at physical and imaginary territories and how humans subvert and appropriate them. “I don’t think people see the ocean as a 3D space. They just see it as a 2D blue surface that creates distance.”
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.
By Alexandra Stote
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?
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By Lou Forristall
What do Orcas have to do with I-1631? Nothing, yet. That’s a problem. Photo Credit: Oregon State University
I-1631, the second attempt to put a price on carbon emissions in Washington state via ballot initiative, was rejected by voters this November. 1631 sought to place a fee on carbon emissions and use the revenue to fund programs and projects related to the environment. The oil and gas industry spent $31 million to defeat it, annihilating the record in Washington for spending on a ballot initiative.
Despite what has been characterized as 1631’s “resounding defeat,” there is reason for optimism regarding climate action in Washington after 1631. Yes, it lost by about 6 points. But it performed well compared to its 2016 predecessor, I-732. 732 was a revenue neutral carbon tax that lost by almost 10 percent. That’s progress! Small progress, admittedly, but 1631 faced some major hurdles that 732 did not.
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