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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 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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Posted on December 12, 2018 - 1:49pm, by abrown

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.

Read the full blog HERE

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Posted on December 12, 2018 - 1:44pm, by abrown

By Brittany Hoedemaker

As Washington—and the rest of the world—buzzes about the declining Southern Resident Killer Whale population, I find myself thinking ever more about another predator in our waters: the sixgill shark.

The bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus), with its fluorescent green eyes and six (as opposed to the common five) gills can be found in temperate and tropical waters globally. The usually sluggish sharks live along the ocean floor, rendering them out of sight and out of mind for most people despite their wide distribution. However, these sharks still find themselves listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to depletion from incidental bycatch and sport fishing.

Read the full blog HERE

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Posted on November 30, 2018 - 10:31am, by abrown

By Jessica Knoth

Tigers, elephants, gorillas, dolphins, sharks…you can picture each one, right? That’s because they are charismatic megafauna, or, in other words, species that are compelling because they are viewed as beautiful, impressive, or cute. Ironically, many of these species also happen to be endangered. A 2001 study by Anna Gunnthorsdottir found that there are stronger efforts to conserve some endangered species over others, simply because the animal is perceived to be physically attractive. The increased funding, habitat protection, and policy support for these species due to their perception by the general public can lead to more conservation successes.

Read the full blog HERE

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Posted on June 6, 2018 - 1:28pm, by abrown

By Spencer Showalter

Mark your calendars for 2020—it could be the beginning of the largest dam removal project in American history. While dams in California have been used for generations to stabilize long-term water availability to settlers, their inherent role of restricting flow affects humans and ecosystems downstream. Because of these impacts, four dams in the Klamath River Basin are slated to be removed in a $450 million project that would re-open 500 miles of spawning grounds to coho and Chinook salmon. The gains from the removal could be huge. Reopening spawning grounds would help rebuild depleted salmon fisheries, and higher flow would mean cleaner water with fewer viral infections and toxic algae blooms. Because the future costs of upkeep of the dams represent a net loss to their owner, PacifiCorp, removal would be economically positive in a corporate sense. Additionally, the water and salmon fisheries were historically used by native tribes of the Klamath Basin, including the Yurok and Karuk Tribes, who stand to regain clean water and increased harvests if the dams are removed.

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