Q&A with Bonnie Waycott, Aquaculture Writer

Editor’s note: This year, the Global Aquaculture Alliance will spotlight various members dedicated to GAA’s mission of responsible aquaculture. Membership starts at only $50 for individuals and $5,000 for businessesStart utilizing our extensive benefits. Featured this month is Bonnie Waycott, a freelance writer in aquaculture and fisheries, and contributor to the Global Aquaculture Advocate.

Bonnie Waycott
Bonnie Waycott
Tell us a bit about your background.

I became interested in marine life when my father taught me how to snorkel off the Sea of Japan coast near my mother’s hometown. I also have a background in media, and in 2015 decided to bring this and my interest in the sea together to become a freelance writer in aquaculture and fisheries with a focus on Japan. At the same time, I started an MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture with the University of St Andrews in Scotland. I have a keen interest in the adaptation, revival and resilience of aquaculture after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Why did you join GAA?

I joined GAA to be part of a community that’s committed to responsibly farmed seafood and makes clear that aquaculture can be positive and sustainable. Since becoming a member and writer for the Advocate, I’ve been able to further my own knowledge of sustainable aquaculture and through my writing, share information that hopefully makes people feel more confident about aquaculture and farmed seafood.

What solutions does responsible aquaculture provide?

Aquaculture contributes to the growing global demand for seafood and high quality protein, lessens the need to catch wild fish for food, thus helping to reduce overfishing, and generates positive economic effects through seafood exports and job opportunities. I also believe that the latest innovations at the forefront of aquaculture, such as RAS, genetics and research into fishmeal alternatives, are behind responsible aquaculture and productivity gains worldwide.

What are the three words that best describe the future of the industry?

Innovation, Transparency, Sustainability

Where is the most interesting place you have travelled to?

After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan’s Tohoku region, I went to the area as a volunteer diver to pull rubble out of the ocean. I also worked with seaweed and scallop farmers and was struck by the extent of Tohoku’s aquaculture and marine resources, not to mention the locals’ strength and determination and efforts to get aquaculture back on its feet. My time there had such an impact that it became the theme of my MSc thesis on aquaculture and disaster management.

Thanks for being a GAA member, Bonnie!