As the Summer Ends…

Sadly my summer internships have come to a close and I will use this final blog post to reflect on my experience.

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

I am very proud project I completed with the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. I created a master list of relevant laws and conventions concerning social responsibility in the seafood/ fishing industry. I then completed a document of detailed findings where the laws were defined, and a synthesis of findings was created to identify areas in the industry where more work needs to be done, and to also highlight the legality or lack there of on the varying topics relating to socially responsible seafood (Human rights, worker rights, gender rights, child protection, human trafficking, seafarer and ocean safety, social responsibility, and food security and nutrition). This document will be used by the Alliance to educate and orient member organizations to the relevant laws and conventions they should be aware of.

I learned a lot during my time with Monterey Bay Seaweeds, and found the different projects I worked on to be very useful. I worked on varying documents, in industries which the company is hoping to explore such as. recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), plant based foods, and public benefit corporations. I accomplished this work through much research, and help from my advisor at MB seaweeds. The impact of this work will benefit the company tremendously, as they will use the research I did, and the informational documents I created in order to educate themselves on the industry, and decide in which direction they will take the company.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you, professionally and personally.

Both organizations helped me gain much experience in research, and how to create informational and concise documents in a timely manner. Through the Conservation Alliance I was able to really enhance my knowledge of the laws surrounding the seafood industry and which organizations are involved in creating more transparency in the seafood supply chain. Professionally, I think that I can bring the knowledge of these laws and conventions into any other organization involved with social responsibility and sustainable fisheries. Monterey Bay Seaweeds taught me that the beginning stages of a start-up company are very important to the long term success of any company. It is important to have a social mission, such as becoming a certified B corporation and creating a public benefit statement, to show your consumers how your company is going above and beyond to be socially responsible, and what your future goals will be. I also learned about the up and coming plant based food companies, as well as the innovation of the technology behind RAS, with this information I can join a plethora of companies in the seafood industry.

Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self- reflection, or epiphany?

My experience with both organizations helped enhance my knowledge of the seafood industry, and only further my commitment and eagerness to begin working. I realized that there are many hurdles facing seafood, especially when, in 2020, the industry is still plagued with many human rights abuses globally. Knowing that, I learned that I am not only passionate about ocean conservation, but also protecting the vulnerable workers in this industry. After graduation, I hope to be apart of an organization driven by a social mission, and determined to create transparency in the seafood supply chain.

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