Lily Zhao is a recipient of the Summer 2017 and Academic Year 2017-2018 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
In East Africa, octopus are a common food, and increasingly, a source of economic security as demand from international markets grow. In fact, in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique the export of octopus weaves a thread between the livelihoods of fishermen, small-scale traders, and distributors across national boundaries. However, little is known about the exporting actors, a key link between small-scale fishery supply chains and their global markets. FLAS Fellowships from the Center for Global Studies have made it possible for me to help uncover this information by interviewing octopus traders and large-scale distributors in Swahili. This research is being done in collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Center in Sweden and Pwani University in Kenya. The opportunity to participate in this international collaboration to inform fishery improvement efforts would not have been possible without the language and regional knowledge I gained through the Center for Global Studies FLAS fellowships.