L-R Teresa Garzon and Rowena Hoare

WOMEN in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) has announced the appointment of two new co-chairs.

The grassroots network is aimed at promoting diversity, supporting men and women in their careers, and encouraging new talent into the burgeoning sector

Teresa Garzon, a key account manager for Patogen, and Rowena Hoare, a senior research fellow at the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture will share leadership of the group as it enters a second year of activity. The pair have more than 30 years’ combined experience of working in the aquaculture sector.

Teresa holds a PhD in biology and biochemistry, and was previously a laboratory manager for Marine Harvest Scotland – now known as Mowi.

Rowena joined the Aquatic Vaccine Unit at the Institute of Aquaculture in 2001, where she works closely with industry partners and SAIC (the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre) to develop vaccines and processes that can help manage and enhance fish health.

Teresa Garzon said:  “WiSA aims to show young women and men that there is a wide variety of career opportunities available, while also creating a platform for discussion. I’m proud to play a part in championing the role of women in one of Scotland’s most interesting and rewarding sectors.”

After securing a £50,000 investment – comprising of Scottish Government funding and sector sponsorships – WiSA launched an inaugural mentoring programme which concluded in April 2020. 38 mentors and mentees took part in the programme of one-to-one support, discussing career goals and aspirations, as well as some of the challenges and opportunities of life in aquaculture.

Rowena Hoare added: “Aquaculture is a forward-thinking, innovative industry and diversity should be considered an important part of that.

“By creating a welcoming forum for advice and support, as well as providing workshops to help professional development and confidence-building, we hope to make a positive impact on the future of the sector.”