World Aquaculture - June 2023

26 JUNE 2023 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG and allowing the asynchronous online course to cover a large portion of the training curriculum. New York Sea Grant has managed the online course since its launch and over 20,000 participants have completed the course between 2001 and 2023. Sea Grant Aquaculture Leadership Academy Over the last five years, Sea Grant has added education and engagement capacity or replaced personnel who have retired or changed jobs. A Sea Grant Aquaculture Leadership Academy (SGALA) is being established to increase the aquaculture knowledge, skills and abilities of Sea Grant-supported aquaculture education and engagement professionals (communications, extension and legal) to better serve the aquaculture community. Based on input from the Sea Grant Aquaculture Network and the broader aquaculture community, a SGALA is needed to provide professional development opportunities to an increasing number of early- and mid-career Sea Grant education and engagement professionals who work with the aquaculture community. The program will include two training cycles (2024-25 and 2025-2026) consisting of up to 30 participants per cycle. The program will include instruction, group activities and aquaculture field experiences totaling 80-100 contact hours per cycle. The program will be evaluated based on feedback from trainees to make any changes necessary to meet the needs of future training cycles. Minorities in Aquaculture Minorities In Aquaculture (MIA) has a mission to educate minority women about the environmental benefits provided by local and global aquaculture to promote a more diverse, inclusive aquaculture industry by bridging the gap between minority women and sustainable seafood by providing the following support for women of color in high school, college and beyond. Membership programs include live and virtual workshops, training and certification assistance, academic and professional mentoring, networking and access to job postings. MIA also provides paid internship initiatives with partner aquaculture organizations to provide opportunities free of financial barriers and mini-grants for women of color beginning careers in one of the multidisciplinary fields of aquaculture. Feedback from Workforce Sessions After the session presentations at Aquaculture America 2023, a series of questions were asked of session attendees. The audience responses from 19 people who participated in the group activity to each of seven questions provide a starting point for understanding some of the workforce needs of the US aquaculture sector. 1) How would you rank the need for workforce programs to teach knowledge, skills and abilities? Increasing skills ranked higher than FIGURE 5. Conceptual model of a national aquaculture workforce training system. The system would be needs-based and could be implemented at the national or regional level.