ASMI winning photo, 2014 
     By  Malerie Gunderson, Sand Point

Highlighting the contributions of women in the seafood industry is the goal of an international video competition.

It includes all segments of the industry – fishing on boats, fish farming, processing, selling, managing, monitoring, teaching and any related services.

It’s the second round for the contest that was launched last year by the group Women in the Seafood Industry.

“Women are very numerous in the industry, but not very visible. That was the main motivation for the organization. I started looking into this issue with men and women colleagues to talk about the unbalance.”

Marie Christine Monfort is president and co-founder of WSI which started in Paris two years ago.

Studies show that one in two workers in the seafood industry is a woman, but they remain largely invisible. Most are over-represented in low skilled, low paying positions, and account for less than 10 percent of company directors and just 1 percent of CEOs.

The first video contest followed a survey on gender equality last year that got 700 responses from around the world from workers on slime lines to CEOs. Thirty percent of respondents were men; 27 percent came from North America.

One of the most important findings, Monfort says, was that 61 percent of women reported perceptions of gender inequality compared to 48 percent of men.

“One women out of 3 consider they are facing discrimination at work – less than one men in 10 consider women are facing discrimination.  What is important is to see that men and women do not share the same diagnosis. So, if the diagnosis is not shared, things cannot change.”   


March 28-30 in Kodiak

Raising awareness of gender biases is the first step towards making positive changes. And that, Montfort says, is what the film contest is all about.

Last year’s winner showcased women who mend nets for a living in Vigo, Spain. Second place went to a film about California women who formed a clam farming cooperative. Tied for third place were films about female fishing mentors in Newfoundland and women in India who started food trucks to sell their husbands’ catches.

One entry from Alaska called Copper River featured veteran Cordova fisherman, Thea Thomas.

Individuals and groups are invited to contribute videos of four minutes or less showing women at work in the industry.

Winners receive 1000 euros along with two 500 euro prizes and the films are shown at events around the world. Deadline to enter is August 2.     Learn more at