Striving for Racial Equity
The language of today's marine conservation movement is not written with racial equity and food justice in mind. And fisheries policies are from just and equitable. If we are serious about protecting the ocean, we must address inequities and injustices in the system.
Why do race and equity matter to marine conservation? Because race continues to be the major factor for how entire communities are treated, impacting access to resources and the cost of basic needs in communities of color. Race and equity are the reasons why many communities are treated unjustly or taken for granted, and often left with limited or non-existent choices when it comes to securing healthy, clean, fair food along the entire food chain.
Indonesian fishermen being held in slavery conditions off New Zealand; child labor used to grow the shrimp for Walmart; here in the US communities of color see access to seafood being limited to highly processed, boxed, and overpriced "seafood products" at the corner bodegas... all the while fishermen around the globe continue to fish under unjust price controls, fighting against corporate takeover and privatization strategies, and often ending up fishing in the red.
Without dealing with racial inequity and food injustice we will not succeed at our ultimate goal of marine conservation and will go on compromising the accessibility, viability and sustainability of the marine environment and our entire food system.
Racial equity is intertwined with each and every aspect of our work. This is why we’ve committed to racial equity and one of our organization’s core values is dignity for all people. As the only marine conservation organization addressing racial equity in the seafood chain, we are committed to lead others in this work as well.
To hone our own skills, we have been participating in the Food Solutions New England's 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building.