International Women’s Day 2017
Women in Seafood
I am currently the Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Products Specialist at Seafood Products Association, where my main objective is to research interventions against Listeria monocytogenes in RTE seafood products. I also help examine representative samples of commercially packed canned salmon as part of the Salmon Control Plan (SCP), provide guidance in food safety, and coordinate training and outreach.
When and how did you get involved in the seafood industry?
While I was doing my graduate studies, I was able to also test seafood products for pathogens and toxins. After some time of consistently testing various seafood companies’ products, it occurred to me that this industry cared deeply about not only the safety of their food but also the safety of the public. That was a value I could stand behind! And so after I graduated, I knew I wanted to be a part of something that was not about me, but rather was about the world and the connection we all have with each other.
What is your biggest reward working in the seafood industry?
People in the seafood industry are the hardest working individuals I have encountered. It does not matter how many hours straight they will have to work or how dreadful the weather is, their minds are so strong that they can overcome the pain in their bodies just so they can accomplish what they set out to do. They are resilient, humble, and enthusiastic people, and it is an honor and privilege for me to be able to provide support so that I can help make their passion a success.
Would you encourage women to follow a career in the seafood industry? Why?
Yes, most definitely. The seafood industry is a hidden gem and offers career and personal growth, a sustainable and healthy food source for the world population, and so many possibilities. Even though the seafood industry is still male dominated, I believe they know that there will be a change in the tide soon and so they are more eager to pass on their knowledge. So my advice is to find a trustworthy mentor and start learning, because your credibility is partly linked to how wise you are; and the more credible you are, the more seriously people will take you.
I hope the ocean calls for you, and I hope you allow yourself to listen. Cheers!