GAF7 First Call for Abstracts, GAF 101 Training Workshops and Session Proposals

Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Expanding the Horizons

GAF7 – the 7th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries

18-20 October, 2018 @ Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

The journey of the GAF network over 20 years has been slow but steady and has partnered with the Asian Fisheries Societies Triennial Forum throughout its evolution. Today the GAF is a formal Section of the Asian Fisheries Society and is embarking upon its independent journey. The first of its activities is organizing the standalone GAF7 – the 7th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries. As a standalone event, participants will have more time to interact, meet new people with similar interests, and will be able to focus more on GAF7, without having to go off to present at or chair other sessions. Participants will find that the AIT environment is very conducive to meeting, interacting and  developing future collaborations.

The theme for this Symposium is ‘Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Expanding the Horizons’.

Through the long journey to bringing gender to the fore to be included in the general discourse in fisheries, new insights have been gained. However challenges continue – some as old as the debate itself and some relatively new and emerging in the face of sector dynamics. Real change can come only with strong policies translated into sensible and implementable programmes and long term commitment. While a lot of lip service is given to the issues, very little translates into funding for work on the ground. Gender is generally a tail-end component in projects. However, several examples of gender inclusion right from inception are beginning to emerge, and this is a welcome change. GAF7 will try expanding our scope of debate in gender and fisheries and explore the need for expanding gender inclusiveness and equity.

A new GAF 101 training workshop is proposed. This time, we are calling for proposals for such a course and the selection will be made on the topic and proposal for conducting the workshop. At the first GAF 101 at GAF6, the participants were exposed to asking the ‘why’ question and the focus was on developing the right hypothesis for their research work so as to lay the foundation for robust work and results. This GAF 101 should take the learning forward.

The GAF7 will also have General Sessions with oral and poster presentations (poster presenters will also be given an opportunity to present brief oral summaries of their posters); and Special Sessions, panels or workshops of invited presenters.

Here are the broad themes for the general sessions under which paper writers and poster presenters can submit abstracts. Several themes which remain relevant continue from previous GAFs. If a topic you think is important is not on the list, we welcome a short proposal for inclusion on the list.

  • Gender and fisheries & aquaculture governance
  • SSF Guidelines – implementation
  • Gender and climate change with reference to fisheries & aquaculture (also will address natural and man-made disasters)
  • Gender and the seafood industry (fishing/ fish processing/ ancillary work, at all scales)
  • Strategies and negotiations women and men use in navigating livelihoods within, into and out of fisheries
  • Focus on SDG5, and other SDGs, in fisheries and aquaculture
  • Gender research methods in fisheries & aquaculture
  • Gender assessments in fisheries and aquaculture
  • Learning exchanges – experiences and lessons – suggestions welcome
  • Suggestions on Special Session themes
  • Gender issues identified as not receiving sufficient attention:
    • violence against women
    • fish processing
    • impacts on women of changes in resources and climate
    • linkages between fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture
    • household impacts of women’s success in technology adoption
    • how to transform gender relationships and norms, and
    • the effect of global processes on gender relations in the fish sectors.

You may submit your abstracts by March 31, 2018. On how to submit, see the advice for formatting and uploading your submissions by downloading the instructions document from this link.  For any inquiries, send an E-mail to

As indicated above, in addition to Abstracts, interested individuals/ teams/ institutions working in aquaculture and fisheries are invited to propose GAF 101 Training Workshops and Special Sessions for the GAF7. The sessions must be broadly related to the overall theme of the Symposium; and can be based on projects or programmes either specific to Gender or may have a component on gender. The Proposals may be sent in by 31 March 2017 and will be assessed by the GAF7 Programme Committee.

Gender Section officially launched in Kochi

We are pleased to share some photos of the official launch of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society in Kochi on 21 November 2017, as part of the Inaugural Function of the 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum, and as a prelude to GAF-India.

02. Countdown to the launch of the GAF Section logo.

Click on the LINK to see the photos.

Celebrating the artworks of school children

2nd prize snr

“The role of women and youth in aquaculture development or sustainable fisheries management.” Painting by Ms. Narumol Damrongsiriphakdee and Ms. Oranut Sangpiya, Sripruetta School. Teacher: Ms. Sumitra Kanapang

Take a moment to browse this delightful book that celebrates the imagination, perceptions and vision of junior and senior high school students from Thailand who, during GAF6 in August 2016 in Bangkok, were asked to paint their impressions of “The role of women and youth in aquaculture development or sustainable fisheries management,” or “The impact of aquaculture or fisheries on men, women and youth in the community or along fish value chains.”

3rd Prize snr-2

“The role of women and youth in aquaculture development or sustainable fisheries management.” Painting by Ms. Duenpen Pansukha and Ms. Pitchatorn Wawilai, Wat Nang Sao School. Teacher: Ms. Onnicha Bunyasitphichai

The book of winning entries, presented in vivid colors, can be  be seen in this excellent volume containing the paintings. It has been produced by the Network of Aquaculture and Fisheries Centres in Asia-Pacific, GAF6, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Faculty of Fisheries Kasesart University and USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership.

The book can be downloaded here.

To find our more about the art competition, and see photos of the students working on their art projects, visits this page.

“Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture” Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Journal online

Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Science journal, Volume 30S, has just been released online, presenting 25 papers, plus a Guest Editorial and other information based on GAF6 – the 6th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (2016, Bangkok, India).

The Special Issue is “Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture.” Dr Nikita Gopal, Chief Guest Editor of the Special Issue, and her co-editors, highlight that, as applied research, “most of the work published represents on-the-ground efforts to empower women and men to improve their livelihoods. These applied studies are complemented by others of a deeper theoretical and more exploratory nature addressing women‟s and men‟s personal perceptions of themselves within the fish sectors.

The papers cover many angles, including the impacts on fishermen’s perceptions of their masculinity under strict new fisheries regulations, women’s and men’s strategies and niches in aquaculture, a large tuna port, following a major land reclamation project, a tsunami and in seaweed production. In exploring the paucity of sex-disaggregated data, aquaculture publishing by women, and women’s needs after disasters, the papers range from global in scope, to the national and local.

Visit this page to gain an overview of the Special Issue and download the whole volume or individual papers. LINK

Congratulations to all the authors!

GAF-India Prizes and Launch of GAF Section at 11IFAF

GAF-India was held in Kochi, Kerala, India from 21-24 November 2017. Previously, the prize winners of the M.C. Nandeesha Photo Competition were announced (link). Now we are happy to announce the student prize winners for GAF-India presentations and posters, and the winner of the first Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch Prof. M.C. Nandeesha Gender Justice and Equality Award.

See photos and details of all the prize winners here.

Winner of First Prize, Best Student Presentation at GAF-India, B.M.R.L. Basnayake, receiving her prize from Dr J.K. Jena, President of Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch and Asian Fisheries Society, at the closing ceremony 11IFAF, 24 November 2017, Kochi, India.


1st Prize: B.M.R.L. Basnayake and D..M. De Silva – “Gendered Timeline of the Market Landscape of the Fisheries Industry in Sri Lanka.”

2nd Prize: Asha S. Karunaratne, I.C. Hettiarachchi and D.A.M. De Silva – “Gender Sensitive Value Chain Selection: Fish, Banana and Cinnamon, Which Provide Best Opportunities for Women?”


1st Prize: Mrudula, K.M., P.K. Sajeenamol, Jiswin Joseph, M.V. Neelima, Bindu J., S Sreejith, Sajesh, V.K., and Nikita Gopal– “Traditional Fish Recipes of Fisher Households and Their Significance.”

2nd Prize: Manju Lekshmi N., Archana G., Saly N. Thomas and Leela Edwin – “Rural Women Participation in Pre and Post-Harvest Operations of Stakenet (Estuarine Set Bag) along Aroor Fishing Village, Alappuzha, Kerala.”


Dr Meryl J Williams, Honorary Life Member, Asian Fisheries Society, “In recognition of her pioneering and sustaining efforts towards drawing international attention and developing impacting interventions in  gender justice and equality in the Asian Aquaculture and Fisheries sector.”

Lives of women in the Sunderabans under climate change

By Professor Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Resource, Environment and Development Program, Crawford School for Public Policy, Australian National University

The film is based on my ongoing research on the effects of climate change on women living in the villages of the Sundarbans, focusing on how they are facing up to the challenges thrown by the rising sea levels, higher tidal surges that breach through the embankments that protect villages and farmlands, more frequent and more intense cyclonic storms and so on. 

Although everyone’s life is changing, women are affected more than men as they carry out the daily chores – collecting fresh water as salinity creeps into the soil and underground aquifers.

The film was made in collaboration with my colleague, Ronodeb Paul, of Kolkata, India. 

Rono and I were in the Sundarbans at the height of the monsoons; the rivers were swollen and the tides was fierce. It was very scary to cross some of the river channels to get to the chars or river islands. Once in the villages, it was not much easier; the fine-grained clay that covered everything like a veneer was extremely slippery. During one of the shoots, I slipped on the wet clay and fell, causing much fun amongst the village women who had better practice at tiptoeing on the mud than me. 

To see the video, click here.

Save the date: GAF-7 18-20 October 2018, @ AIT Bangkok

Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Expanding the horizons

059. A fisherwoman and her son share their joy of a day well spent. Description: Photo shot in a fishing village in West Bengal, India, where the entire village engages in processing dry fish. Photo: Pradip Kumar Mahato, graphic artist

GAF-7 – the 7th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries – will be held from 18-20 October, 2018, hosted at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand.

Plan to be there! GAF-7 is a stand-alone event, that will be packed with  a variety of different activities and sessions covering all aspects – truly expanding the horizons.

The GAF7 session and event themes, call for abstracts and other information will be available shortly.

Watch this page!