Category Archives: Cambodia

A welcome new FAO gender Handbook to support the Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines

A very welcome addition to the technical support for the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication – a handbook –  has just been released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  Called “Towards gender-equitable small-scale fisheries governance and development“, the handbook written by Nilanjana Biswas, of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), is a treasure trove of essential background knowledge on women, gender and small-scale fisheries, combined with practical advice and case examples on incorporating gender equality principles in small scale fisheries work. The target audience is broad – from government officers to fishers and their communities, fish worker groups and researchers, as befits a product of the very participatory development process the Handbook team took.

The Handbook is organised in 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Understanding gender and the role of women in small-scale fisheries
  • Part 2: Responsible fisheries and sustainable development through a gender lens
  • Part 3: Ensuring an enabling environment for gender equality and supporting implementation

Among the rich and varied advice and explanatory boxes are such gems as a guide to tried and tested FAO methods for assessing post-harvest losses, and disaster response and rehabilitation issues to target to help women. Throughout, the Handbook has action points for policy-makers and for community service organisations, offering a few key tips on each subject.

A particular highlight is the set of case studies, each containing a description of the case, followed by a gender-sensitive “Let’s analyse this…” section that gets to the heart of the gender issues.

Here is the list of Case Studies:

  1. Women in fishing communities on Lake Victoria
  2. Tenure rights of traditional fishing communities in Raigad, India
  3. Recognition of indigenous community-owned land in Nicaragua
  4. War-affected women in the fishing villages of the Mannar Coast,
    Sri Lanka
  5. Self-regulation by women harvesters in the Gulf of Mannar, India
  6. Mandira Marine Extractive Region, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  7. Transboundary issues and fishers – learning from India and Sri Lanka
  8. Transboundary issues and fishers – learning from the European Union
  9. Diversifying livelihoods for small-scale fishing communities in Uganda
  10. Pacific Fishing Company on Levuka Island, Fiji
  11. Migrant Chinese women workers employed in oyster shucking in Japan
  12. Growing violence and abuse in small-scale fisheries in South Africa
  13. Reclaiming the Marol fish market in Mumbai, India
  14. Impact of harbour fishing on fish trade in Kerala, India
  15. Impact of competition along Lake Victoria in Kenya and on inland
    fisheries in Zambia
  16. Impact of industrialization on women in small-scale post-harvest
    fisheries in South Africa
  17. Issues of cross-border trade for traditional women fish vendors in
    Cambodia
  18. The risks of neglecting women in policy implementation
  19. Post-tsunami rehabilitation in Aceh, Indonesia
  20. Impact of mine pollution in Buyat Bay, Indonesia
  21. Matsyafed in Kerala, India – an apex cooperative for small-scale fisheries
  22. Impact of seasonal fishing ban on women fish traders in
    Puducherry, India
  23. Marshall Point, a coastal indigenous fishing/farming community in
    Nicaragua
  24. Women fishers fight corruption in the Sunderbans, India
  25. An example of value chain analysis (VCA) (in Malawi)
  26. Public hearing on issues of women in the fish trade in Kerala, India
  27. Enabling women’s participation in meetings in Kigombe, the United
    Republic of Tanzania
  28. Fisherwomen in Brazil organize for their rights
  29. Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast
    Asia (RFLP)
  30. Mainstreaming gender in the BOBLME project

Download the full Handbook at this LINK.

“The Long Journey to Gender Equality” – GAF5 Volume published

Kerala fisher couple with cast net and scoop net. Photo: Sruthi P.

Kerala fisher couple with cast net and scoop net. Photo: Sruthi P.

We are delighted to announce the release of a Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Science journal, volume 29S, containing 12 papers, plus a guest editorial and other information based on GAF5 – the 5th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (2014, Lucknow, India).

The Special Issue is titled “The Long Journey to Gender Equality” and contains many practical and theoretical insights. In the Guest Editorial, Dr Nikita Gopal and her co-editors conclude that the “regular GAF events of the Asian Fisheries Society … show that more and more researchers are interested in studying gender and fisheries/aquaculture, both from among the social scientists and fisheries biologists. Thus the GAF events create a unique forum for social and natural sciences to meet and discuss, which is often not the case in other disciplines.”

We hope you enjoy and find useful this wide range of papers covering such topics as the impacts of film-making on the empowerment of women divers in Timor Leste, to the roles of resident and non-resident women in Barotse Floodplain fisheries in Zambia and the intricacies of women’s fish marketing  relations in Bihar India and in Cambodia, plus much more.

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!

 

 

 

Milestones for women in fisheries

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, Yemaya, the gender in fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, collected a set of regional summaries of milestones for women in fisheries. In her overview for this issue of Yemaya, the editor, Nilanjana Biswas, concluded that while we take stock of, and celebrate the achievements, we should also reflect on the long road of struggle ahead—a struggle for the rights of small-scale fisheries; for the rights of women engaged in fishing, fish trade and fish-work. 

Cartoon courtesy ICSF, Yemaya Issue 51.

Cartoon courtesy ICSF, Yemaya Issue 51.

Read these summaries, plus other articles at: Yemaya. Here are the contents.

  1. Counting on Women by Sarah Harper and Danika Kleiber
  2. Women in Aquaculture by Arlene Nietes
    Satapornvanit et al
  3. Women in Fisheries in Africa: 1999-2015 by Jackie Sunde
  4. A Historic Journey by Cornelie Quist and Katia Frangoudes
  5. Profile: A.G. Chitrani: Transforming others’ lives with her courage
    Leader from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka 
    by Herman Kumara
  6. Milestones: General Recommendation on the Rights of Rural Women by Ramya Rajagopalan
  7. Cooperative Action by Suhas Wasave and Arpita Sharma
  8. Evocations of the Sea by Vipul Rikhi
  9. Women in Fisheries in Asia: 1978 – 2016 by Meryl Williams et al
  10. Q & A: Mercy Antony of Kerala by Venugopalan N
  11. Yemaya Recommends: Film – Oceans, the Voice of the Invisible by Alain Le Sann (translated Daniele Le Sann).

A Tribute to Prof MC Nandeesha (1957 – 2012)

Presented at the International course on Advanced Lessons on Fisheries and Aquaculture Economics: A Tribute to Prof. M. C. Nandeesha (1957 – 2012) held at Santander, Spain from 22 to 26 July 2013.

By Piyashi DebRoy

Piyashi-2011-MCN-MSS

Dr M.C. Nandeesha and Prof M.S. Swaminathan together during the August 2011 conference in Chennai on “Mangroves for Coastal Area Management,” at the MMSRF. Photo: Piyashi DebRoy.

I begin with expressing my heartfelt thankfulness to Prof. Josè Fernández Polanco for having provided me with the humble opportunity in the platform of Advanced Lessons in Fisheries and Aquaculture Economics, Second Edition, to offer my tribute to Prof. M. C. Nandeesha, who passed away on the Day 27th December, 2012. Prof. M. C. Nandeesha was one of the legends in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture whose contributions were dedicated to the poor people involved in aquaculture, and for the purpose of institution-building for strengthening human resource development in fisheries. Born on 9th August 1957 into a rural farming family in the state of Karnataka in India, Nandeesha completed his early education in his village and graduated in Fisheries Science from College of Fisheries, Mangalore. Thereafter, he completed Master of Fisheries Science from the same College in 1982. He subsequently joined back College of Fisheries, Mangalore as Assistant Professor in 1985. Prof. Nandeesha obtained his Ph.D. in 1992 from Vishwa Bharati University, Shantiniketan in the state of West Bengal where he conducted off-campus research on fish nutrition.

Piyashi

Piyashi DebRoy

Nandeesha was a visible achiever right from the beginning; his passion for aquaculture and fisheries transcended both national and international horizons. He was the Fisheries Adviser with PADEK in Cambodia from 1992 to 1997. He also worked as Research and Development Dissemination Adviser and Project – Co-ordinator with CARE, Bangladesh from 1998 to 2001. In 2001, he joined the then newly formed College of Fisheries, Central Agricultural University as Professor and Head of the Department of Aquaculture and continued his service there till 2008. With several national and international research publications, books and conference proceedings to his reputation, he was a regular columnist of the widely acclaimed article Farmers as Scientists in Aquaculture Asia magazine. His achievements include field-testing Ovaprim synthetic hormone in different agro-climatic conditions in India, Cambodia and Bangladesh for using aquaculture as a tool for poverty alleviation, advocating rice-fish farming, disease diagnostics through farmer participatory research, mainstreaming gender in aquaculture and fisheries, and scouting innovations in fisheries. He was the founder of Professional Fisheries Graduate Forum in India wherein he instituted several wards to students and teachers, and was also the founder of the Indian Branch of Asian Fisheries Society. He was also a member in many reputed international organizations such as Asian Fisheries Society Council, World Aquaculture Society, Aquaculture Without Frontiers, GILLS, Indian Red Cross Society and Oversight Committee for Best Aquaculture Practices of the Global Aquaculture Alliance. He had provided international consultancy services to FAO, NACA, IFAD, CARITAS, JICA, World Bank, IDRC, OXFAM, CIDSE and others. He was conferred upon the Sahameitrei Award by the Government of Cambodia in recognition of his contributions to human resource development and developing sustainable small scale aquaculture programs.

Prof. Nandeesha was appointed as Dean of Fisheries College and Research Institute of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in 2010. During his tenure as Dean, Prof. Nandeesha initiated MoUs and international partnership research programs with University of Cantabria, Spain; Virginia Polytech Institute and State University, USA; Israel Institute of Technology and others which was never witnessed there before. An important event during his tenure was the hosting of the Expert Consultation on Fisheries Education in India in 2011 by bringing together representatives of all the Fisheries Colleges in India on a common platform to interact with 20 international experts – the output of which was submitted to Government of India for incorporation into the Twelfth National 5-Year Plan. He had the vision to boost the potential of every student in his University. He ignited many a minds on the journey of his professional life, and Dr. Meryl Williams rightly said, “I am not alone in having had my life and my professional interests changed by meeting and working with Nandeesha.” Even though he had his critics, they could not deter him from moving forward, and nobody could ignore his commitment and sincerity. He was promoted as a Special Officer to the newly formed Tamil Nadu Fisheries University in March 2012, and eventually as the Vice Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Fisheries University just before a few days of his demise. I wish to conclude by stating that even though Prof. Nandeesha left us physically, he remains in our thoughts as a shining star in fisheries to his peers, an inspiring soul to his friends and an umbrella of wisdom to his students.

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Social development in seafood production

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Panel at the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference, September 2015, Maryland, USA. Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit is second from left.

Brief report on the Proceedings of the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference
21-22 September 2015, Annapolis, Maryland, USA
By Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit

In early 2015, NACA (Network for Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific) was invited by Oxfam/SFP/UNDP to participate in the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference to present the work we are doing on gender in aquaculture, and the results of the USAID/MARKET Gender project. The conference was aimed to promote and encourage further work towards social development in seafood production. The Conference was held on 21-22 September 2015 at The Loews Hotel, Annapolis, Maryland, USA. It was attended by various actors along the seafood value chain, mainly from the US and Europe.

The conference was convened by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), Oxfam and the UNDP, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation (RF). The representative of the RF emphasized during the opening remarks, that the industry has to ensure the social and economic well-being of those who depend on the industry for their lives. There is an intersection between human livelihoods and natural ecosystems to meet food security and economic growth. The need for sustainable approaches to meet the demand for fish in the future as emphasized, considering that only 150 M tons could be produced but 230-250 M tons are needed to meet the demand for fish. The challenge is how to meet this difference. Small-scale fisheries was mentioned several times, in terms of livelihoods, diversified livelihoods and social safety nets. Efforts should focus on them, and it was suggested to promote financial innovations, with efforts having meaningful economic impacts and strengthened safety net. The Rockefeller Foundation recognizes the human development challenge, and they are willing to work with everyone to meet these challenges and achieve solutions.

Keynote speakers emphasized the role of the seafood industry in advancing social development. Gender equality and women empowerment were mentioned as key aspects to achieve social development. Dr Christophe Bene (CIAT/CGIAR) suggested that we should focus on the contribution of fish to food security and nutrition. The importance of women needs to be considered, as they are half of the labor force, especially in processing, factories, fish trading, and informal sectors. However, their contribution and involvement are oftentimes unrecorded, undervalued, and invisible in national statistics. There is gender bias both in and outside the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. It is time to create a positive narrative food security and nutrition. One of his recommendations was to consider women as a key entry point, and collecting gender disaggregated data is necessary to provide policy makers relevant information on the importance of women in the seafood industry. In addition to this, he also recommended the promotion and defense of labor rights, looking beyond the fish farmers. The fisheries and aquaculture sector needs to change our narrative, moving away from ‘crisis’ narrative to emphasizing the positive contribution of fish to nutrition. This will result in a new image of fish based on food security and nutrition and impact on health.

Other keynote speakers also made suggestion on how the industry can contribute to social development. One suggestion was to find ways to ensure that benefits are widely shared across the industry, especially among small scale producers and suppliers, women and marginalized groups. The UN Guiding Principles were also cited, wherein human rights in seafood industry concerns include forced labor, and impacts on women and children, consumer health, transportation, etc. In addition, a rights based approached is necessary to achieve a socially responsible seafood industry to end poverty and injustice. For Oxfam, their vision for change is to have synergies with other stakeholders, and to develop a more sustainable and socially responsible seafood sector. Producers need to have a role and a voice. Social concerns can be matched with environmental and economic concerns.

Gender focus, and women as half of the workforce was mentioned in some of the presentations, especially those from international organizations such as World Bank, and also by the various NGOs working among the small scale fisheries in developing countries. The Voluntary Guidelines for Small-Scale Fisheries was also presented, and the section of Gender Equality was pointed out, considered a first in a fisheries instrument.

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Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit presenting on NACA’s gender work at the Seafood Industry and Social Development Conference.

NACA’s presentation was on its gender programme, the newly launched Women, Youth and Aquaculture Development, and the results and recommendations from the recently concluded project on Thematic Studies on Gender in Aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. This was a project implemented by NACA under the USAID supported Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development and Trade (MARKET) project. Participants were encouraged to work in partnership with NACA to reach the various groups of small scale producers and stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The remaining other sessions consisted of speakers from various organizations and companies involved in seafood production, trade, marketing, certification, and social development, presenting their activities and how they are involved or plan to involve in promoting social development. There is a high intention to be involved in social development and an interest in promoting gender equality throughout the value chain. However it is clear that much still needs to be done in equipping those interested with tools and mechanisms for them to apply a more gender sensitive and responsive approach in their activities.

Practical examples given by FAO included providing direct support of women to women’s organizations for example in the processing sector and in developing their capacities and skills. The Global Environmental Facility promotes equality across genders, promotes livelihoods and opportunities for women, and strengthening business skills to empower women’s organizations. World Bank tries to disaggregate gender data, looking for opportunities along the value chains to improve efficiency and make more money for those in the value chains, especially deficiencies in post-harvest where mainly the workers are women.

In conclusion, on the gender aspect part, it was recommended to not use the term “fisherman” as there are also women fishers, so it was suggested to use fisher folks instead. Governance is recognized as needed to have an enabling environment and the private sector is also a key actor in advancing social development in the seafood industry. The gender dimension was not really mentioned much in this conference so it was suggested to put women at the center of social development. Working in partnerships with others is also essential, including investing in the empowerment of small scale fisheries and labor industry, and promoting gender inclusiveness as it benefits business.

The majority of the presentations for the 2 day conference can be found here:

1-2-3: Counting the ways women access fish

Women fish processors in Sokone, Senegal. Photo: Robert Lee, FAO.

Women fish processors in Sokone, Senegal. Photo: Robert Lee, FAO.

In a recent FAO report (A Review of Women’s Access to Fish in Small Scale Fisheries), Angela Lentisco and Robert Lee have gone beyond the typical portrayal of women as fish processors and marketers have reviewed and categorized three main ways in which women access fish in small scale fisheries. First is primary access through fishing and financing/owning fishing operations; second is through close personal relationships including family; and third is through the normal purchases. By conceptualising women’s access in this more structured way, policy and action to assist women’s empowerment and equality in fish value chains can be better formulated. Angela and Robert first explored this approach in their paper resulting from their paper at the 4th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4) – read their earlier paper here.

The report, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular 1098 can be downloaded at this link.

Abstract: Women play a critical role in every link of the value chain in small-scale fisheries, although their best-known roles are in processing and marketing of fish and other fishery products. This perception of the highly gender-segregated division of labour (men fishing / women processing) has shaped the generalized approach in supporting development initiatives for small-scale fisheries. More often than not, this approach targets men as fishers, and women as processors and marketers of fishery products. However, this generalization has also made fisheries governance blind to women’s other valuable inputs to the sector. In fact, their roles can and should go beyond postharvest and marketing. However, the lack of utilization of their additional contribution has deterred, for example, women’s participation in fisheries resource management and policy decision-making.

The present review aims to move policy attention beyond the generalized, and perhaps limited, perception of women as fish processors and marketers and in this way enhance their participation in fisheries resource management and decision-making. The study describes the different ways women have access to fish in small-scale fisheries: as primary users (when they fish by themselves or they finance fishery operations), secondary users (when they access fish through kinship or other close relationships), and tertiary users (when they use capital to buy fish directly from fishers or traders). The review provides case studies to illustrate some of the issues that tend to keep women in marginalized positions along the value chain. Factors and processes that can contribute to improve women’s participation and decision-making in small-scale fisheries, such as those that challenge conventional approaches based on traditional or “typical” gender roles and obsolete institutional arrangements, are also given. The document also discusses how participation can be improved by raising awareness on gender equality issues along the value chain through applying a gender lens, by providing appropriate support to women’s organizations, including formal recognition of their professional activities, by understanding the socioeconomic context and the particular needs of small-scale fisheries, by giving due attention to power and power relationships, and by taking greater account of the contribution of women in fisheries. As neither women nor men form homogenous groups, the challenge is even greater for women to have access to productive tools and services, which if secured can give them a greater say and control over fisheries resources, thereby increasing their social capital and financial capital. These reflections can be introduced in existing resource management arrangements such as co-management or community based management, and can probably empower women and improve their participation in fishery resource management decision-making.

The reflections in this review can and should be used as guidance and discussion material to develop interventions under the Global Assistance Programme in support of the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication.

All welcome to Gender & Aquaculture Seminar: Bangkok 24-25 Feb 2015

Woman tilapia cage culture farmer feeding her fish, Sakhon Nakhon, northeast Thailand. Photo: Kanit Naksung

Woman tilapia cage culture farmer feeding her fish, Sakhon Nakhon, northeast Thailand. Photo: Kanit Naksung

Gender and Aquaculture Seminar: Equity and Regional Empowerment in the Aquaculture Value Chain on 24-25 February 2015, Bangkok, Thailand The USAID Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development, and Trade Project and the Network for Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA) are hosting a Gender and Aquaculture Seminar:  Equity and Regional Empowerment in the Aquaculture Value Chain on February 24-25 in Bangkok, Thailand. The USAID Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development, and Trade Project and the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA) have undertaken a year-long research project on women’s roles and influence on selected aquaculture value chains in four countries in Southeast Asia. The goal of the research was to raise awareness and increase recognition of gender roles, policies and programs in the aquaculture industry in ASEAN in order to support more sustainable and responsible development. The findings and recommendations outlined in the Thematic Studies of Gender in Aquaculture in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam will be presented at the workshop.  This is an opportunity for public and private sector stakeholders to share their current activities that support equity and empowerment in the value chain. NACA will also launch a Regional Network for Gender and Aquaculture Practitioners.  The Network will raise awareness of constraints and promote policy recommendations and best practices to employers, donors and governments. Please contact Gladys Villacorta at gvillacorta@nathaninc.com for additional information or to register for the event.  Spaces are limited to register soon!