Category Archives: Conservation

Report from the Thematic Symposium on Gender and Fisheries @ World Women’s Congress

From left to right: Cibele Silveira; Adriana Eidt; Adriana Abreu; Luceni Hellebrandt; Maria
Aparecida Souza Couto; Maria Helena Santana Cruz; Suzana Mary de Andrade
Nunes; Melina Chiba Galvão; Maria do Rosário de Fátima Andrade Leitão; Ivan
Costa Lima; Suelen Ribeiro de Souza; Estêfano Ribeiro; Carmen Pedroza.

On 1 August, at the 13th World Women’s Congress, held in Florianopolis, Brazil, Maria do Rosário de Fátima Andrade Leitão and Maria Helena Santana Cruz coordinated the Gender and Fisheries Thematic Symposium. Researchers at the Symposium  presented studies about Brazilian women in fishery activities, plus a  contribution on women in fisheries in Mexico. The report of the Symposium (LINK), includes the abstracts of each presentation. Thanks to Luceni  Hellebrandt for the report.

The thematic Symposium was entitled: Transformations, connections, displacements of feminism regarding sex, work, educational formation and traditional communities (fisherwomen, fishermen, “quilombola” and indigenous communities, and family farmers), and was coordinated by Maria do Rosário de Fátima Andrade Leitão (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco), Maria Helena Santana Cruz (Universidade Federal de Sergipe).

The presentations were:

  • Ma. del Carmen Pedroza Gutiérrez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) Women’s contribution and struggle in inland and marine fisheries in Mexico
  • Joao Luis Joventino do Nascimento (Estudante), Ivan Costa Lima (Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira) Na pesca e na luta: mulheres pescadoras quilombolas do mangue do Cumbe contra as injustiças ambientais [In fishing and fighting: Cumbe mangrove quilombola women against environmental injustices]
  • Adriana Guimarães Abreu (Universidade Federal do Pará), Edna Ferreira Alencar (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3) Environment, periods and locations of gender in pirarucus managed fishing: an analysis of the construction process of the Jaruá fisheries agreement / Mamirauá-AM Sustainable development reserve
  • Melina Chiba Galvão (Instituto Federal de Santa Catarina (IFSC)) Livelihoods Adaptive strategies and the roles of women in an artisanal fishing socioecological system in southern Brazil
  • Luceni Medeiros Hellebrandt (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro) Contributions from Women of Z3 experiences to the Gender and Fisheries field of study
  • Antônia Mara Raposo Diógenes (Universidade Federal do Amazonas), Christiane Perira Rodrigues (ISNTITUTO FEDERAL DE EDUCAÇÃO , CIENCIA E TECNOLOGIA DO AMAZONAS), Elenise Faria Scherer (Universidade Federal do Amazonas) The shrimp fishers in Parintins-AM: work and way of life in the Amazonian fishing environment
  • Suelen Ribeiro de Souza (Universidade Estadual Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro – UENF), Marcelo Carlos Gantos (UENF), Silvia Alicia Martínez (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense) Fishing women: an analysis of bibliographic productions about gender relations in the universe of craft fishing

The last time a gender and fisheries session was held at a World Women’s Congress was in 2011, with the  “Why the Coast Matters to Women” session.

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!

Join GAFS!

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Join the new Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society and become part of a community of people committed to equitable and effective cooperation in research and practice on gender in aquaculture and fisheries issues!

We are proud to launch the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAFS) of the Asian Fisheries Society (AFS). This is the first formal gender section ever to be created in a professional fisheries or aquaculture society and is the culmination of over 20 years of developments within AFS in addressing women and gender in fisheries and aquaculture. The fundamentals of GAFS have been developed by two teams of volunteers from among the attendees at GAF5 and GAF6 who we gratefully acknowledge.

The objectives of GAFS are to promote equitable and effective cooperation among scientists/academics, technicians, fisheries officers and non-governmental organization experts involved in issues related to gender in fisheries and aquaculture so as to advance research and practice in Asia-Pacific and other regions of the world. For more detail see the full objectives and mechanisms.

Wherever you come from, we welcome your membership in GAFS. If you join before the end of 2017, you can become a Founding Member of the AFS Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAFS). Here is how to join.

You can become a GAFS member through either of two pathways.

The first pathway is for existing AFS members in good standing who are interested in advancing the GAFS objectives. For AFS members to become a GAFS member, simply send a short message indicating you wish to join GAFS to the AFS Executive Officer –info@asianfisheriessociety.org. Your AFS membership details will be amended to include membership of GAFS.

The second pathway if you are currently not an AFS member. In this case, you can easily join AFS by visiting the membership page and joining AFS. On joining, you will be asked to indicate which sections or branches of AFS you wish to join, including GAFS.

Generous member discounts at AFS and GAFS events such as the triennial aquaculture and fisheries forums and other AFS conferences, workshops and forums. What you will get from becoming a member of GAFS:

  • Opportunity to take a leadership role by nominating for the GAFS Executive Committee
  • Voting rights in electing GAFS, and AFS officers
  • Chance to contribute to and receive periodic the GAFS Newsletter, AFS Newsletter, special interest news and information on gender in aquaculture and fisheries, including through social media
  • Access to a strong, participatory community of like-minded people committed to the objectives of GAFS and AFS, including senior experts and mentors
  • Ability to advance research and practice in gender and women’s issues in aquaculture and fisheries
  • Access to  with other like-minded organisations regionally and globally

Asian Fisheries Science publishes Special Issue of GAF4 papers

A fishing family in the Pichavaram mangroves, Tamil Nadu, India, taking part in a gendered ecological economics  study by Piyashi DebRoy and colleagues. Photo: Piyashi DebRoy.

A fishing family in the Pichavaram mangroves, Tamil Nadu, India, taking part in a gendered ecological economics study by Piyashi DebRoy and colleagues. Photo: Piyashi DebRoy.

Charting the progress on gender equality in aquaculture and fisheries, this Asian Fisheries Science journal Special Issue gives a reasonably upbeat assessment, despite the huge challenges, especially for women.

Based on the 2013 4th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4), Dr Nikita Gopal, the chief Guest Editor, said that “gender is now more firmly on some key policy agendas, is embedded in certain major normative international documents, such as the Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines, and is receiving early institutional, policy and donor support. Attention is also being given to methodological and methods development as more practitioners engage in gender work.” The Guest Editorial, however, points out that gender will not be fully integrated into programs and institutions until agencies face up to implementation challenges such as lack of leadership and resources, and the fish sector recognizes the worth of engendering fisheries. Dr Gopal pointed out that “the current position is still much better than when researchers and activists were still struggling to get gender on the agenda, which was the assessment by experts after the 2011 GAF3 Symposium.”

The Special Issue containing GAF4 papers can be downloaded for free , in total or by individual papers. Click here for the links.

Report recommends integrating fish into food security and nutrition


HLPE-Report-7_Cover-smA new report, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition, has provided probably “the most comprehensive recent attempt to review and synthesize the current knowledge” said Dr Christophe Béné. Dr Béné, of the Institute of Development Studies, chaired the team of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security that produced the report.

The report recommends that fish need to be fully integrated into all aspects of food security and nutrition policies and programmes. It pays special attention to all dimensions of food security and nutrition and promotes small-scale production and local arrangements, as local markets, e.g. for procuring school meals, and other policy tools, including nutrition education and gender equality.

The report is dedicated to Chandrika Sharma who was one of the peer reviewers of the report.

HLPE Team for fish, food security and nutrition report. Left to right: Gro-Ingunn Hemre, Modadugu V. Gupta, Moenieba Isaacs, Chris Béné, Meryl Williams, Ningsheng Yang and Vincent Gitz (Secretary)

HLPE Team for fish, food security and nutrition report. Left to right: Gro-Ingunn Hemre, Modadugu V. Gupta, Moenieba Isaacs, Chris Béné, Meryl Williams, Ningsheng Yang and Vincent Gitz (Secretary)

Download the report here

Extract of the FOREWORD by Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Chair of HLPE Steering Committee

This report addresses a frequently overlooked but extremely important part of world food and nutrition security: the role and importance of fish in seeking food and nutrition security for all. Fisheries and aquaculture have often been arbitrarily separated from other parts of the food and agricultural systems in food security studies, debates and policy-making. I applaud the Committee on World Food Security for its decision to bring fisheries and aquaculture fully into the debate about food and nutrition security.

The report presents a synthesis of existing evidence regarding the complex pathways between fisheries and aquaculture and food and nutrition security, including the environmental, economic and social dimensions, as well as issues related to governance. It provides insights on what needs to be done to achieve sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in order to strengthen their positive impact on food and nutrition security.

The ambition of this compact yet comprehensive report is to help the international community to share and understand the wide spectrum of issues that make fisheries and aquaculture such an important part of efforts to assure food security for all.

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) was created in 2010 to provide the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) with evidence-based and policy-oriented analysis to underpin policy debates and policy formulation. While specific policy interventions should be based on context-specific understanding, HLPE reports provide evidence relevant to the diversity of contexts, with recommendations aiming to be useful to guide context-specific policy interventions.

The main findings of the report cover the themes:

  • Fish as a critical food source
  • Fish has received little attention in food security and nutrition strategies
  • Risks and pressures affecting the world fisheries
  • Opportunities and challenges in aquaculture
  • Small vs large scale fishing operations
  • Unsettled debates on fish trade
  • Social protection and labour rights
  • Gender equity
  • Governance

In the Executive Summary, the report says the following on Gender Equity (paras 27-29; the body of the report contains more detail)

  • 27. The first comprehensive attempt to estimate the number of fish workers found that 56 million, near half of the 120 million people who work in the capture fisheries sector and its supply chains, are women. This is essentially due to the very high number of female workers engaged in fish processing (including in processing factories) and in (informal) small-scale fish trading operations. However, small-scale fisheries and supply-chain jobs outside production are not well recorded, so the actual number of women may be higher. Comparable estimates are not yet available for the 38 million aquaculture sector workers.
  • 28. Gender, along with intersectional factors (such as economic class, ethnic group, age or religion), is a key determinant of the many different ways by which fisheries and aquaculture affect food security and nutrition outcomes, availability, access, stability and diet adequacy, for the population groups directly involved in fish production and supply chains, but also beyond.
  • 29. Men are dominant in direct production work in fisheries and aquaculture. Much of women’s work, such as gleaning, diving, post-harvest processing and vending, is not recognized or not well recorded, despite its economic and other contributions. Gender disaggregated data are not routinely collected and, partly as a result of this, little policy attention is given to women and to the gender dimension of the sector.

In the Recommendations, item 7 addressed Gender Equity with the following recommendation (7)

States should

  • 7a) Ensure that their aquaculture and fisheries policies and interventions do not create negative impacts on women and encourage gender equality.
  • 7b) Enshrine gender equity in all fisheries rights systems, including licensing and access rights. The definitions of fishing must cover all forms of harvest including the forms typically practised by women and small-scale operators, such as inshore and inland harvesting of invertebrates by hand and the use of very small-scale gear.

Draft GAF5 Programme released!

The GAF5 Programme Sub-Committee, Chaired by Dr Nikita Gopal, has released the draft GAF5 Themes to help you prepare your abstracts, papers, posters, videos and workshops. Check out the themes on our GAF5 Themes page! They include:

  • a wide range of themes on “Experience sharing on gender inclusion in Aquaculture & Fisheries”
  • a Special Workshop on GAF 101 : Mainstreaming Gender into Aquaculture & Fisheries Education
  • a day of Focus India
  • the Special Workshop on NACA-MARKET Thematic Studies on gender in aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam 
  • Films, videos and lots more

Visa information for GAF5 attendees

Other than Indian nationals, most people wanting to attend GAF5 (the 5th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries) will need to obtain an Indian visa. If you are planning to attend, then you will need to obtain the necessary invitation from the organizers, and provide them with relevant passport and other details.

For GAF5, The 10IFAF Chair, Dr J.K. Jena (e-mail: jkjena2@rediffmail.com) and Dr Lalit Tyagi  (e-mail: tyagilk@gmail.com), the Chair of our GAF5 Host Country Team, will assist. You should allow a minimum of 2 months to get your visa. 

You should click here to download the document for passport particular to facilitate the invitation and visa, fill it in and return it directly to Dr Jena and Dr Tyagi by e-mail. Also, please direct your visa inquiries to Dr Tyagi.