Category Archives: Events

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!

Mapping the action on International Women’s Day ’17

Map showing the locations (mainly at country resolution level) for events and news about women in aquaculture, fisheries and seafood in honor of International Women’s Day 2017. If you have more events from 8 March 2017 to put on this map, please let us know at: e-mail genderaquafish@gmail.com.

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Click this LINK to view the interactive version of of the above map, created with eSpatial mapping software.

Before, during and after 8 March 2017 (International Women’s Day), news, tweets and posts flooded in relating to the Day. Our group shared these events via two roundup messages. We have now put the events onto the map above, using eSpatial mapping software, and generous assistance from Ciara at eSpatial (thank you Ciara!).

To read the details of any event, click on the marker for it. We have placed the event marker on the country (sometimes city or state) where the event happened, although many have global or regional significance.

This seemed to be the most active IWD ever from a fisheries, aquaculture and seafood industry perspective. Let’s hope it is a sign of an active and fruitful year ahead for gender equality in the sector!

Women’s voices, gender equity champions and a gender lens all matter – converging messages from GAF6

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A Thai woman gets ready to process threadfin salmon for the market. Photo: Supaporn Anuchiracheeva, the Small-scale Fishers and Organic Fisheries Products Project.

In bold outline, the take home messages from the GAF6 full report – Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture – converge on the following: women’s voices and gender equity champions  can make a real difference; and a gender lens lets us see inequalities and how to remedy them. These points were woven through the 68 rich and varied presentations, panels, posters and workshops of GAF6. Read the full report here, see the take home messages below.

  • Participants were urged to focus on gender relationships, not simply roles, and on intersectionality, as women’s and men’s lives were interconnected and gender interacted with other systems in society, e.g., cultural, political and economic structures.
  • The 2014 Small-Scale Fisheries Voluntary Guidelines are opening up new policy space on gender equality. Yet, in implementing the Guidelines, women have been deterred from taking part in decision-making, are invisible in most fisheries statistics and their interests excluded from national policies – unless NGOs and women’s groups have advocated for inclusion. Even when women’s needs are recognized, money and expertise may not have been allocated. In a hopeful sign, some recent projects are committed to gender equality.
  • Aquaculture is gendered. Gender roles and relationships in aquaculture follow typical social patterns of ownership, rights and power. Unless they break out as entrepreneurs, women are positioned in small-scale, near-home, and low technology aquaculture, or as low-paid labour in medium and industrial scale operations. Nevertheless, small-scale household aquaculture can fulfill important subsistence roles and be improved to better satisfy food security and nutrition.
  • A persistent thread on fair livelihoods in fish value chains was that gender equality and equity must be fought for, and protected by active measures, rather than expecting it to happen through a sense of natural justice.
  • Using a gender lens brings deeper understanding of climate and disaster adaptation. Flexibility, versatility and agency are keys to people’s resilience. Gender-blind efforts to help people adapt should always be challenged.
  • Real progress in securing gender equality will not be achieved unless social norms are transformed.

Read the whole GAF6 report here – Link

MARE & Oceans Past: Proposal for gender panel

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Mariscodoras (shellfish gatherers) of Galicia. Photo: @AKTEA

For the 2017 MARE Conference 2017 (People & the Sea IXDealing with Maritime Mobilities), Katia Frangoudes and colleagues propose a panel – are you interested in taking part?

Date: 5-7 July, 2017, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Panel title: From Past to Present Gender/women relations within coastal and fisheries Communities

Panel proposal to the conference People and the Sea 9: dealing with maritime mobilities, Amsterdam 5-7 of July, 2017.

Panel Organise by Katia Frangoudes, Siri Gerrard, Danika Kleiber, Cristina Pita

Panel abstract:

The coastal areas and communities have experienced major changes over recent decades. Some are under pressure by the rapid development and urbanisation, industrialisation, climate change, mass tourism, etc. Others have suffered economic depression as the activities that traditionally sustained coastal communities become increasingly unsustainable. These changes had economic impacts on the fishing; aquaculture and others related activities and modified the social role within coastal societies, with new social organisations and cultural processes emerging in coastal areas.

Research on gender and gender relations, as well as on women, in fisheries and aquaculture and their role in communities is not abundant. And this despite the fact that change has impacted men and women differently, the construction of gender and gender relations has consequences on the division of labour in fisheries, in coastal communities and also in the relationships in the community.

The interconnection between gender relations, work and community can include many topics and can vary from place to place dependent on the history, “materialities”, social and cultural conditions. Coastal and gender studies can be valuable for research, and for the economic and social development of coastal communities, and fishery related activities and work. So gender relations and communities can be studied in many ways, the propose panel aims to bring together scientists, practitioners, .working on the following themes: gender migration/immigration, changes in job opportunities (eg. paid and unpaid contribution of women in fisheries and aquaculture), women’s organisations and participation in the public sphere, property rights in fisheries and aquaculture, gender and climate changes, women’s capacity building, etc…

Note: The panel is organizing by the TBTI (Too Big to Ignore) cluster on women/gender in fisheries and aquaculture and the Working group Gendered Oceans Past Platform. If you wish to be part of this panel please send your send your abstract Katia Frangoudes Katia.Frangoudes@univ-brest.fr before the 27 of January. We need to know if we ask for one panel or more… in depends on the number of interested participants.

Women in aquaculture and fisheries at World Aquaculture 2015, Jeju, Korea

Group of presenters and attendees at WA2015 Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries Session. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

Group of presenters and attendees at WA2015 Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries Session. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

These reports on the Women in Aquaculture and Fishery Session at WA2015, held at the ICC Jeju, Korea, 27 May 2015, have been written by Jin Yeong Kim, Bibha Kumari and Jenny Cobcroft. Thanks also to Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) Women’s Network, World Aquaculture Society, Roy Palmer and all the presenters.

Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries Presentations

By Jin Yeong Kim and Bibha Kumari

The World Aquaculture 2015 (WA2015) session on Women in Aquaculture and Fisheries was held in the ICC Jeju, Korea, in Samda hall ‘A’ from 11:30 am to 17:10 pm and chaired by Jin Yeong Kim and Bibha Kumari. Seven oral presentations were made in the session, and, in relation to women’s labor, one oral presentation was made in the cage culture session and added to this summary. The session also held a panel discussion, led by Jennifer Cobcroft and followed this by the presentation of the awards WAS-APC/AwF Travel grants and AwF Woman of the Month by Mr. R. D. Palmer, President of AwF and World Aquaculture Society Director.

The main points from the presentations were as follows:

Haenyeo in Jeju. Photo: Hye-Kyung Choa.

Haenyeo in Jeju. Photo: Hye-Kyung Choa.

1. Hye-Kyung Choa (Korea) introduced Jeju’s unique culture of the haenyeo’s life using a short film on these female divers of Jeju Island who collect seafood and seaweed without using any breathing equipment. Although these women follow a lifelong profession that has endured and been supporting their families for many centuries, present haenyeo are no longer passing diving skills to the next generation. Recently challenges to the traditional haenyeo culture is how to manage marine resources and find effective ways to pass down their community culture.

2. Seungmok Ha (Korea) showed that site-specific MSY of turban shell harvesting by fisherwomen tended to be high where the biomass of the brown algal species was generally high. To understand the causes of the declining stock of turban shell, a long-term program is required to monitor the status of algal species and environmental and human factors that impact on them.

Haenyeo, Jeju. Source: Hye-Kyung Choa presentation.

Haenyeo, Jeju. Source: Hye-Kyung Choa presentation.

Jin Yeong Kim presenting. Photo: Roy Palmer.

Jin Yeong Kim presenting. Photo: Roy Palmer.

3. Jin Yeong Kim (Korea)  summarized recent changes for fisherwomen’s contribution and to the small scale fisheries in Korea. It is a commonly emerging trend in the coastal long line, jigging and gill drift net fisheries of married fisher couples for husbands to drive a boat and operate fishing gear and for wives to support the netting and collecting of products on board on the fishing grounds. Traditionally, women did not work on the boats. Issues were concentrated on the women’s new perspectives on the environmental, social, economic and livelihood changes from a fishing community.

4. Arlene Satapornvanit (NACA)  explained the assessment of gender in aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam under the MARKET project. Insufficient gender/sex-disaggregated data are available in aquaculture in these countries. Participation exist in varying degrees but very few women are in top positions. Therefore detailed research planning & design with statistics and data collections are needed. Information exchange among countries and practitioners, including curriculum and training development will be helpful to strengthen capacities.

Paul Liew, Bibha Kumari, Arlene Satapornvit, Roy Palmer at WA2015. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

Paul Liew, Bibha Kumari, Arlene Satapornvit, Roy Palmer at WA2015. Photo: Roy Palmer, AwF.

5. Arlene Satapornvanit (NACA)  also explained women’s involvement in selected aquaculture value chains in three countries vis. Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, to identify and analyze the role and activities of women and men in the grow-out stage of aquaculture. In the case studies, she summarized, for a few women, their status apart from their families, the social and economic problems they face, and how they are successful in aquaculture in these countries.

6. Zumilah Zainalaludin (Malaysia)  expressed the need for the active involvement of women in aquaculture for future family wellbeing. For this there should be research networking for gender analysis based on activities for good aquaculture practices. She proposed a policy and program to the government that would enhance the development of the aquaculture industry. Sharing of gender training materials is also important.

7. T. V. Anna Mercy (India)  emphasized that engagement of women in ornamental fish culture would help the rural poor to earn a regular income and thus to remove the evils of poverty. Women entrepreneurs are now aware of the schemes for the promotion of ornamental fish culture in India. Thewomen can play a predominant role in ornamental fish culture. Successful Women could also manage both the household activities and the entrepreneurship together.

8. Young-Jin Park (Korea)  described abalone sea cage culture trends and women’s role in the related job sector in the largest abalone growing area of Korea, Wando, Jeonnam Province in the southwestern area of Korea. In order to empower women, information sharing, and a stable living environment, the women asked for the support of the government for the construction of a social infrastructure, such as, women only cultural lectures, community activities, technical training program, child care facilities, pediatrics, entertainment complex etc.

Panel session report 

by Dr Jennifer Cobcroft

The panel session commenced with Dr. Bibha Kumari summarizing the earlier presentations, especially for the benefit of those who could not attend the whole session.

A series of questions was asked of the panel members, with a focus on the WAS-APC/AwF travel award winners (Nantaporn Sutthi, Gladys Ludevese Pascual, Mya ZinOo), and then opened for a group discussion with the audience.

1. What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in aquaculture in your country?

Gladys indicated that traditionally women in the Philippines were focused on household tasks, but are more educated now and wanting to get out into the workforce.

Mya Zin discussed education, investment and cultural issues that are barriers to women being involved in aquaculture in Myanmar.
Nantaporn suggested that women in Thailand have more power in business now.

A comment from a male hatchery director from Indonesia was that there are many small hatcheries and the majority of their staff are women, largely because of their valued attention to detail. He noted that working in aquaculture grow out and in the field is problematic as these are both traditionally a “man’s world”.

The group discussed the need for women-oriented equipment to encourage their participation in different sectors. We also noted the need for us as individuals to change our mindset in relation to the role that we as women can play, and the way that we see other women in industry.

Our role is to encourage leadership skills in more women; leading by example and encouraging others.

2. What benefit would arise for the aquaculture industry by changing the situation, and if the challenge for women was overcome?

We noted that women tend to be more creative, and with education can complement the activities of men in aquaculture. The group discussed that through increased participation by women in aquaculture, production volume and efficiency could be increased. This would also improve the security of household and community nutrition. In Myanmar, the opportunity for internships has been provided by the USAID grant, allowing women to engage with industry and better understand opportunities and pathways to employment outside the university sector, which is where they traditionally stay in employment, if they stay in fisheries and aquaculture. Another of the men in the audience indicated that in Western culture, if more women become involved in the industry, they will promote seafood, leading to increased consumption – which is good for community nutrition and seafood sales. The group also discussed the need for a change in mindset of employers, across many cultures and countries, to consider the skills and value that women can bring to the industry. An observation from the Philippines was that about 10 years ago there was a difference in the proportion of women reaching higher management levels, with men and women both represented at middle management, but men being promoted to senior levels even when the women may be more competent. It was considered that this situation has improved, however the ‘glass ceiling’ still exists for many women.

3. What potential solutions do you see to addressing the challenge?

One proposed solution was access to investment funds and bank funding, promoting programs for women. Mobilizing investment through women was considered a likely way to increase aquaculture production.

Other discussion

One participant working with indigenous women in the Northern Territory in Australia asked the group for suggestions on how to encourage a balance for women who may be interested in fisheries and aquaculture. The women have many other cultural roles and they cannot always find time to engage in development programs. She also commented that payment or potential income from a new industry is not a primary motivator, and that cultural roles take precedence. This seems an area needing more discussion and insights from other researchers and development project leaders, specifically around how to find the right projects/opportunities and motivate engagement.

One academic reported on a study of her students over 20 years in the Philippines, and reported that in that time less than 1% of women trained in aquaculture were employed in aquaculture. It was suggested that while the current generation is suffering from differences in early childhood (expectations and roles being different according to gender), that this situation is now improving.

The Panel Discussion was then followed by the presentation of the awards by Mr. R. D. Palmer (AwF):

1. WAS-APC/AwF travel grants for 2 students and 1 senior category. They are Nantaporn Sutthi, Gladys Ludevese Pascual, Mya Zin Oo respectively.

2. AwF for Women of the Month Awardees (see AwF for details)

  • Dr Jennifer Cobcroft – December 2014
  • Dr T.V. Anna Mercy – February 2015
  • May Myat Noe Lwin – March 2015
  • Dr. Flower Ezekiel Msuya – April 2015 (Was not present)
  • Ass Professor Arlyn Mandas – May 2015

A vote of thanks for all for their contributions was given by Dr. Jin Yeong Kim.

GAF5 Photos available on our Flickr group

A set of GAF5 photos are now available on our Flickr group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/genderaquafish/

Check them out! They include group photos, presenters photos, people asking questions, participants in working groups, ceremony, prize winners, etc etc..

The photos are courtesy of our hosts in India, the National Bureau of Fish Genetics Resources. Thank you!

Dedicated extension scientist and team win Outstanding Interdisciplinary Team Award

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Dr. B. Shanthi receiving the award from Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, and (r.) Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture. The Chief Guest at the ICAR awards programme was the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.

Dr. B. Shanthi, Principal Scientist (Home Science), and team, Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai (India), recently won the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Award for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Team Research in Agricultural and Allied Sciences – 2011-12, for work done under the Department of Bio-Technology funded project on Diversification of Livelihoods among Women Self Help Groups through Coastal Aquaculture Technologies.

This project was implemented at the field level, in Pulicat Village, Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu, for 3 years during 2007-2010. Three key technologies, crab fattening as an alternative livelihood in various environments, design, development, fabrication of prototype and installation of mini shrimp feed plant of 200 kg/ day capacity and establishment of fish pickle making unit were introduced. The highlight of this project was the last mile connectivity established through NGO’s working in the district and also ensuring the end to end supply chain of inputs and assured buy back of different output. The project resulted in a 50% increase in the number of days of gainful employment, 28.35% improvement in money income, enhanced awareness of the importance of education, health and hygiene, linkages with bank finance and also resulted in recognition of outstanding work done in the project by stakeholders by important organisations and institutions.

Dr. Shanthi led from the front and the success of the project can be largely attributed to her single handed effort. Hearty congratulations to a dedicated extension scientist!

[Thank you to Dr Mohan Krishnan for this information on “The Fisheries Social Scientists” Facebook page.

Here are two recent outputs from Dr Shanthi and her team:

Picture1Polyculture of Mudcrabs and Asian Seabass by Irular Tribal People in a Community Pond”    Download here

CIBA-e- publications series No. 27 “Opportunities for social mobilization among the irular tribal people using common water bodies for aqua farming” by B. Shanthi, M. Kailasam, V.S.Chandrasekaran, P. Mahalakshimi, C.P.Balasubramanian, K. Ambasankar, Ravichandran and A.G. Ponniah.    Download here [Caution: 7MB file]

For some of our past posts on Dr Shanthi and her team’s work, click here