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The Arousa Sea Women: together we are visible

‘In Arousa estuary, there has always been an historical relationship of women with the sea. We are the main actors of the fishing activity.’

WSI video competition 2019 awarded first prize to Women of the Arousa Sea, (Galicia). The video (below) won for its cinematic and poetic portrayal of women in aquaculture and seafood.

WSI (Women in Seafood), is a not-for-profit organisation, created by seafood and gender issues specialists. WSI highlights gender imbalance in the industry, sheds light on women’s real contribution in the industry, and promotes greater gender diversity and inclusiveness.

The Ría de Arousa, situated in Galicia, Spain, is a saline estuary that forms a firth (fjord). The Ría de Arousa estuary is the largest of five estuaries in Galicia.

Life in Galicia sways to the rhythm of the Arousa sea. The coastal towns and fishing villages in this part of North Western Spain depends on the fish and shellfish offered up by the sea. The people of Arousa’s life is determined by the ebb and flow of the estuary. Peek behind the lacy veil of its vibrant seafood culture and you will see the Arousa Sea Women. This video says it all:

In the liquid sea plain, the traces remain, the roots dip but they never grasp, they live on nothing but water, salt, and awareness.

The Arousa sea women.

I am a choice and I cannot break down. Under the elegant feminine mannequin, I hide the steely spring of a soul.

We are born of the Arousa sea, the sea that gives us life. We are brave, strong, positive and optimistic women of wit and professionalism.

We have extraordinary lives, we transform everyday dishes into something extraordinary

In Arousa estuary, there has always been an historical relationship of women with the sea. We are the main actors of the fishing activity.

Even though our job has always been considered irrelevant, almost invisible and undervalued in our society for a long time, today our effort has achieved Galicia to have its own entity, an entity that does not exist anywhere else in Europe.

Here, women have always been fishers aboard, workers in the canning industry, transporters, fish longshore women, saleswomen, marketers and ship owners, shellfish gatherers and net menders. Barnacles and seaweed pickers, business women, directors and managers.

The Fishing Local Action Group, the Arousa Estuary GALP, main aim is to work with the Sea Women, by spreading news of our situation in the past and the present as well as our future expectations.

The Arousa Seawomen Association, was created thanks to our support of each other. It is an open association in which there is a place for all women who may be interested in improving sea women professional, or personal, situations.

It is a place to work, and pursue our rights, share our problems tackle them and find solutions, together.

Together we are visible, together we are much stronger, and will defend our interest much better.

Together we will have more confidence, and we will be more active.

Together, we will pass on our grandmothers’ wisdom to our daughters.

Together we bring prestige, and give more value to the task of the world of the sea as a quality professional activity.

Together we are visible.

Together.