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woman farming oysters in Mexico

This Co-op Is Happy as an Oyster

A long-standing, sustainable shellfish farming cooperative in the Gulf of California is about so much more than seafood.

Authored by

by Bryan Nelson

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On the Gulf of California’s shores, women in gumboots wade into a shallow estuary to stack crates full of tomato-seed-sized larvae. The women move with the confidence of knowledge accumulated over decades: they belong to Única de Mujeres (which translates to Women Only), the longest-running oyster farming cooperative in the region.

Since the early 1980s, members have sustainably reared oysters in the Morua Estuary, just beyond the town of Puerto Peñasco. In this video, we meet the people behind the cooperative, including María Isabel Cervantes Rivas, a founding member, who reflects on how the work fosters women’s independence and connection to the environment.