Category Archives: Tamil Nadu

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.

Economics, trade analysis of fish value chains lacking good gender information

The 2016 conference of the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade addressed how to incorporate the gender dimension into fish value chain analysis, especially when very limited gender information is available. The report of the gender sessions are now online.

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Woman at Tambak Lorok, Central Jawa, Indonesia, brings two yellowfin tuna ashore. Photo: Zahrah Izzaturrahim.

The 14 presentations and discussions on gender at IIFET-2016 highlighted that sex-disaggregated data and indicators must be improved. Using whatever information they could collect, experts presented gender analyses of value chains in Africa (Malawi and Nigeria), Asia (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand), North America (Mexico) and the Pacific (Solomon Islands), and global efforts on fisheries performance indicators and data sets. The presenters and participants discussed how, in these value chains, women are critical to adding value to fish, although within the household and society, ultimately men still make most of the key household decisions, sometimes despite interventions that seek to empower women. The gender report concludes by making some suggestions to IIFET in its future work on gender in fisheries economics and trade.

Read more the full report on the gender papers at IIFET-2016 here.

4th Anniversary of Dr M.C. Nandeesha

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Dr M.C. Nandeesha and Prof M.S. Swaminathan together during a 2011 conference in Chennai on mangrove conservation. Photo: Piyashi DebRoy.

Dr. Mudnakudu C. Nandeesha (1957-2012), who instigated many women/gender in aquaculture and fisheries initiatives, passed away on 27 December 2012. On the 4th anniversary of his passing, we pause to remember him and acknowledge his contributions on many fronts, including on gender awareness and action.

Dr Nandeeshabegan his work in aquaculture research and development in Karnataka State, India, and was then influential in fish breeding in Andra Pradesh. From India, he moved on to work in aquaculture and development work in Cambodia and Bangladesh, before returning to become a leading aquaculture educator in universities in Tripura and Tamil Nadu, India. Along the way, Nandeesha became very engaged and influential in institution building, through professional societies such as the Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch, the Asian Fisheries Society, the World Aquaculture Society and Aquaculture without Frontiers, among others. He was concerned with improving the professionalisation of fisheries and aquaculture, infrastructure and bringing women and men farmers into collaboration with scientists (see his regular “Farmers as Scientists” articles in NACA’s Asian Aquaculture magazine from about 2002 to 2004: LINK).

See our previous articles on Dr M.C. Nandeesha. LINK

Mrs Usha becomes a community leader through aquaculture

Mrs M Usha (center) weighing crabs for market. Photo: Dr B. Shanthi, CIBA, India.

Mrs M Usha (center) weighing crabs for market. Photo: Dr B. Shanthi, CIBA, India.

Mrs. M. Usha belongs to the Indian Scheduled Irular tribal community. She lives in the remote area of Kulathumedu, a Scheduled Tribal village, Palaverkadu (Pulicat) Post, Ponneri Taluk, Tiruvallur dt.,Tamil Nadu, South India.

Reaching her farming site is quiet tedious. Either you need to trek to these remote villages or go in by boat. When the lake becomes dry during the summer season, you need to walk in through slushy waters to reach the ponds.

Irular tribal people are fishers and crab collectors. They fish in Lake Pulicat as well as in the adjacent sea. During the lean fishing season, their income is affected and they are compelled to look for alternative incomes. Thanks to a collaboration with scientists from the Central Institute for brackishwater Aquaculture, they are now able to consider alternative livelihoods through brackishwater aquaculture technologies like mud crab farming, seabass nursery rearing in hapas and polyculture farming of crab and seabass in a scientific way in the tide fed and community brackishwater ponds in Mrs Usha’s village.

Mrs. M. Usha has developed strong expertise in these brackishwater aquaculture technologies. Utilizing the common brackishwater resources and inputs within her village she has adopted all these technologies and has facilitated the tribal families in her village to take up alternative livelihoods for additional income during the lean fishing season.

An in-depth case study was conducted by Dr. B. Shanthi, Principal Scientist, Social Sciences Division, ICAR- Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture, (CIBA, Chennai). On the basis of her study, Dr Shanthi found Mrs. M. Usha to be versatile and self-confident, have good leadership qualities, be a good motivator, and always fast to grasp new ideas. She has led 150 tribal people, both women and men in families, of this village to adopt polyculture farming of crab and seabass in the community ponds. A Women’s Self Help Group (WSHGs) named ‘Marikolunthu’ adopted crab farming in tide fed pond and Asian seabass nursery rearing in hapas.

The brackishwater aquaculture carried out by Mrs. M. Usha and other tribal families have enhanced the group’s savings. From the profit, they grew their bank accounts and reinvested this in farming. Mrs Usha communicated with others in the self-help group and strengthened internal lending among the group members. Polyculture farming has helped Mrs. Usha and other Irular tribal beneficiaries learn a new occupation for the lean fishing season. The developments also provided demonstration and leadership leading to impact among other tribal families who have slowly started adopting the technologies by investing money from their own their savings.

In the village social taboos prevailed, such as that women should not walk in front of men when the men are returning from fishing because this would lead to poor sales that day. In addition, women should not go outside their village to participate in meetings and events, and should not talk out in front of men. After the technical interventions, the tribal men became more aware of the inequalities and gave more power to the women. Actually, the women in the village overcame the taboos and beliefs when they started going outside their villages to do crab marketing. Mrs. Usha contributed her part to this empowerment.

Noticing the interest of Mrs. M. Usha and her tribal WSHGs, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted the Post -Tsunami Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (PTSLP) in Tamil Nadu. Mrs. M. Usha and her groups received funds and subsidy of Rs. 1 – 3 lakhs (I lakh is 100,000) per each group to assist them adopt crab farming. For their work, Mrs. Usha and her SHG group in Kulathumedu village were subsequently awarded the “Best WSHG of Tiruvallur District”.

In addition on the technology front, these were the first tribal families in India to take up the tedious and risky task of rearing Asian sea bass in nursery hapas in brackishwater ponds and creeks. Farm made feeds developed by Mrs. Usha and her groups gave helped nourish the seabass fingerlings.

Mrs. Usha has enhanced her knowledge and skills through training on mud crab aquaculture from the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (a Society under the Indian Marine Products Export Development Authority) and, from CIBA, on fish sampling, packing of seabass fingerlings for marketing and record & account keeping.

The enterprise has developed a systematic marketing strategy that has helped the villagers learn the modern crab marketing. Mrs Usha has her own style in establishing rapport among the tribal families, WSHGs and crab marketing agents. She gains their confidence to stock water (post-moult) crabs for farming in pond and seabass fry in hapas and then to supply the harvested crabs and seabass fingerlings to the retailers and marketing agents. She has helped transfer this approach to other tribal coastal families and WSHGs.

She has strived hard to bring in a diversification of livelihoods among the tribal families by making them understand that they need an alternative livelihood to earn an additional income apart from fishing to improve their standard of living. Every day she walks 4 kms in the water-logged land to reach her work spot. She along with other tribal family members in the village devotes most of her time to improving their farming enterprises.

The adoption spread from, at first, two WSHGs and three families, and later others came forward. At present in the village, 20 families farm 20 crab ponds and 12 SGHs practice crab farming in tide fed ponds. Seeing the success, a total of 150 irular tribal families both men (82) and women (65) including new 5 WSHGs came forward with a new proposal of polyculture trials.

Mrs. M. Usha receiving the award from Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of India Shri. Radha Mohan Singh and the Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries of India Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan. Photo: ICAR

Mrs. M. Usha receiving the award from Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of India Shri. Radha Mohan Singh and the Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries of India Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan. Photo: ICAR

HONOUR RECEIVED
For all her contribution to her society in the adoption of brackishwater aquaculture technologies, Mrs Usha was selected for the “ICAR – INDIAN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE – IARI Innovative Farmers Award”- 2016 of India. She received this award from the Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of India Shri. Radha Mohan Singh and the Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries of India Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated this Mela during the KRISHI UNNATI MELA 2016, 19-21 March 2016 held at New Delhi.

Acknowledgement: Drawn from material prepared by Dr B. Shanthi, Central Institute for Brackishwater Aquaculture, Chennai, India.

Discover-GAF is launched

Seaweed harvesters, Bharathinagar, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Shilpi Sharma (courtesy of ICSF)

Seaweed harvesters, Bharathinagar, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Shilpi Sharma (courtesy of ICSF)

To mark International Women’s Day 8 March 2016, Genderaquafish.org is very pleased to announce the launch of Discover-GAF, our new series of short overviews of topics and themes of relevance to gender in aquaculture and fisheries.  The overview articles are short and founded on deep knowledge. They are written by authors who have studied and thought about the topics. The articles are not comprehensive academic reviews, but they do provide a few key references that will start the reader who wants to go further on the track of deeper discovery.

Our first two articles are on “Gleaning” by Danika Kleiber and “Women Divers” by Enrique Alonso-Población. These articles address two iconic topics that are often overlooked as forms of fishing by women. To encourage more investigation of these topics, our authors also challenge researchers with questions requiring research.

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Brother and sister gleaning, Bilangbilangan, Bohol, Philippines, 2011. Photo: Danika Kleiber

The idea for a resource such as Discover-GAF was first conceived by Danika Kleiber and discussed at GAF5 in Lucknow, 2014. We have plans to eventually extend this series in many directions, including other parts of the fish supply chain, location specific overviews, themes such as governance and climate change.

We welcome your feedback, comments, corrections and offers to help write material and suggest topics for Discover-GAF. Please contact us on Email: genderaquafish@gmail.com

 

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

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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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3rd Anniversary of Dr M.C. Nandeesha

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INSPIRING: M.C. Nandeesha, Dean, Fisheries College and Research Institute, Tuticorin, addressing training session for fish farmers at Palayamkottai. Photo: A. Shaikmohideen, The Hindu, 15 December 2010.

On 27th December 2012, Dr M.C. Nandeesha, who initiated the first efforts to address gender in aquaculture and fisheries in Asia, passed away. We honor his memory and achievements and hope that his legacy will continue to grow through the gender efforts of the Asian Fisheries Society and other professional and grassroots groups.

In collaboration with Dr Nandeesha’s family, we are developing the means of better documenting his many contributions to aquaculture, fisheries institutions, aquaculture education, gender equality, and  rural development.

To read more on Dr Nandeesha, please see our previous tributes. We welcome your contributions.