Category Archives: Tanzania

Yemaya: gender equality in small-scale fisheries is a struggle at two levels

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Sally Barnes runs an artisanal fi sh smoking business. Through the smoking business, she added value to her husband’s catches and increased the family income. Source: Yemaya and WWW.WOODCOCKSMOKERY.COM

The first 2017 issue of Yemayathe gender and fisheries newsletter of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), recognizes that implementing the gender equality provisions of the Voluntary Guidelines on Small Scale Fisheries is a struggle at two levels. The first struggle is in the household and community, and the second is the level of the state and other stakeholders. Many of articles in this issue of Yemaya amplify on this theme.

  •  World Fisheries Day: Africa – Sustainability through unity by Béatrice Gorez
  • What’s New Webby? By Ramya Rajagopalan
  • Ireland: Independent and happy by Sally Barnes (see photo)
  • Milestones:  UNESCO inscribes haenyeo culture on Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Ramya Rajagopalan
  • Network –  An uphill task by Marja Bekendam de Boer and Katia Frangoudes
  • Tanzania – Study time by Ali Thani and Lorna Slade
  • Profile – Gilda Olivia Rojas Bermudez: In defence of rights and culture by Vivienne Solis
  • India – Anjali: Woman of the waters by Sujoy Jana and Santanu Chacraverti
  • Asia – Round table of women in fisheries (Goa) by Mariette Correa
  • Q & A – Interview with Mercy Wasai Mghanga, fish trader and Chairperson, Bamburi Beach Management Unit (BMU) and Vice-Chairperson, Mombasa County BMU network by Hadley B. Becha
  • Yemaya Mama – Cartoon – “Gender equality begins at home”
  • Yemaya Recommends – Review: Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in fisheries and aquaculture (FAO) by Ramya Rajagopalan

Download the whole issue of articles at this link.

 

Broadening perspectives on markets, relationships and benefits in seafood trade: The role of Zanzibari women in small-scale fisheries

By Elizabeth Drury O’Neill and Beatrice Crona

E-mail: elizabeth.druryoneill@su.se

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Elizabeth Drury O’Neill conducts interviews at Mkokotoni, Zanzibar. Photo: E.D. O’Neill.

Market structures of small-scale “economically developing” country fisheries (SSF) have remained relatively under-examined in the academic literature and the work done has focused primarily on relations between fishers and traders. However, most studies have focused only on economic transactions and this has likely skewed our understanding of the interactions between people in SSF and the social and ecological outcomes they give rise to.

In an attempt to broaden the understanding of how market structures and trading relations benefit local fishery actors we conducted a study that examined the wider social system in which fish trade is embedded. Many local societies have evolved informal norms based on customs and reciprocities (e.g. gift giving, sharing of large catches) that have become intertwined with fishery trade. These exchanges are necessary for human well-being, providing additional sources of support to resource-poor households, which can be irreplaceable during shocks. The question is if these systems of exchange and benefits serve all equally?

The reef based small-scale fisheries of Unguja Island, Zanzibar are the focus of this study. Located approximately 40 km off mainland Tanzania (5°40′ 6°30′S) Zanzibar has a millennia old history of global trade, including slaves and spices and constitutes the center of the Swahili coast and culture. Like most of the Swahili coastline, it has a population highly dependent on fishing for both livelihoods and nutrition and is surrounded by a coastal environment dominated by coral reef, seagrass, sandy beach and mangrove ecosystems.

Gender emerges as a strong determinant of seafood trade and fishery participation. Men and women fulfill different roles in the Zanzibari fishery system, as seen in many SSF elsewhere. Women are predominately involved as traders rather than fishers, while men dominate resource extraction. Smaller or lower-value products are principally traded in the booming local market, either fresh, fried or dried. A growing export market largely targets small dried pelagics and the tourist industry demands fresh specimens of high-value species.

While tourism is a rapidly expanding market for fishery products, our study saw that women traders remain relatively unlinked to the tourist hotels, resorts and restaurants. They do not access these higher-value links and are largely confined to the lower ends of the value chain income spectrum. The fact that it is deemed inappropriate or unsuitable for a woman in Zanzibar to be linked to the tourism industry is one explanation for this.

Women in the rural sites run largely home-based businesses supplying the local villages with processed products, dried or fried. This is typical of women in many SSF, limited by the time they can devote to work outside the home. Travelling in and out to the central markets in Stone Town is costly both in terms of time and money. Male traders are much more linked to the central markets and have more fish marketing options, including selling from bicycles, to a greater variety of customers in town and to the tourist hotels and restaurants. Men therefore have access to the higher sales prices in Stone Town and at the same time the lower purchase prices at the rural landing sites. When based in the central areas female traders have no space inside the Darajani fish market, which is rented entirely by male retailers, and sell on the ground outside with other smaller-scale male traders. The sales by women traders, in general, are done through on-the-spot transactions rather than with a patron or predetermined customer, a typical informal contract-type relationship in SSF. This patron-client relationship can provide the clients with various credit, loan and support options, though tying them into sales. However, women do not appear to have access to, or use, this option in Unguja. Over half the male traders in the study sell through this method, marketing continuously to the same customer in exchange for support.

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Women in fish trading, Mfenisi. Photo: Elizabeth Drury O’Neill.

Seafood trade in Zanzibar, as in other SSF, runs deeper than simple economic arrangements and is embedded in an informal exchange network. Males and females appear to be installed differently into this network, where flows of assistance (i.e. material like food, money, equipment or service support, like processing, transporting, reciprocated between actors) pass between various actors in conjunction with sales. Female traders are less frequently involved in this reciprocal support exchange with fishers than their male counterparts, whom more commonly exchange cash, food, credit and discounts. However, women traders cooperate between themselves over a range of activities, in some sites more than males, which includes buying together, pooling products to sell, lending or borrowing money and selling products on each other’s behalf when necessary.

Women in fishing communities across the world appear to face barriers to higher-rent generating roles in the supply chain due to various cultural obstacles and conflicting household roles. Large-scale economically focused fisheries development has led to an increase in bulk purchases and wholesale trade, the construction of modern landing sites and market complexes, and more standardized formal sales activities in many places. This type of growth unfortunately has the potential to exclude the Zanzibari home-based traders, which it has already done in other SSF.

The role of women in SSF has been largely invisible to most observers and the Zanzibar harvest arena is dominated by men, with few fisherwomen appearing in any official statistics. Despite this, it is becoming increasingly common and acceptable for women to enter fish trade in Zanzibar. More women now trade seafood than ever before. However, the appearance and rise of the tourism sector in the seafood market has indirect effects on their ability to conduct their business. Already in 2002, ActionAid reported that fishermen no longer need to use women traders as much as before, since they now have the option of selling directly to the hotel industry. Our observations support this, with very few female urban traders linked directly to the fishers, buying mainly through auctions. As the tourism industry continues to grow and as fishery development focuses on further capacitating male fishers to go further offshore while promoting greater formalized economic actors in fishing and related activities this study emphasizes the grave potential for many value chain actors, especially female traders, to be vastly overlooked in such development scenarios.

The paper from this study can be found at this link.

Acknowledgments: This study was part of a SIDA funded project (The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) aimed at understanding the role of middlemen in mediating interactions between the social and ecological components of small-scale fisheries systems. Project Number SWE-2012-104.

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.

Yemaya highlights how changes in fish trade affect the lives and labour of women

The Boring Road Crossing fish market in Patna, India. The number of women fish vendors has declined substantially. Photo: Bibha Kumar, from Yemaya 49 p. 5.

The Boring Road Crossing fish market in Patna, India. The number of women fish vendors has declined substantially. Photo: Bibha Kumar, from Yemaya 49 p. 5.

The July 2015 issue of Yemaya (from the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers) highlights the experiences of women in fish trade and support industries.  The editor, Nilanjana Biswas, concludes that the evidence is that women are being ‘ousted from local markets’, typically ending up in more dangerous, less lucrative substandard sites.

Read the Editorial and stories.

  • Perched on the brink of survival by Modesta Medard (Tanzania)
  • Receding waters, vanishing trades by Bibha Kumar (India)
  • Banking on closure by Lorna Slade (Tanzania)
  • Guatemala’s comprehensive policy on gender equality by Ramya Rajagopalan
  • A couple of champions! by Cornelia Quist (Netherlands)
  • Profile: Fisher of the year – Anna Ramirez (Bolivia)
  • Making women matter by Nilanjana Biswas
  • Q & A Interview with Lakshmi Murthy, seaweed harvester Tamil Nadu
  • Yemaya recommends: Globefish report “Role of Women in the Seafood Industry”
  • Plus Yemaya Mama (cartoon, What’s new Webby?

Download the whole issue or any individial article at here.

Overcoming Gender Inequalities in Fish Supply Chains

Panelists in IIFET Gender and Value Chains Session, July 2012.

“Gender equality thinking should not focus just on the numbers of women and men in fish supply chains”, said Gifty Anane-Taabeah (Ghana), the final panelist on Overcoming Gender Equalities in Fish Supply Chains. The panel and two presentation sessions (Markets and Value Chains for Small Aquaculture Enterprises and Looking at Fish Supply Chains with a Gender Lens) were held on the first day of the 2012 conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Rather, Gifty contended, “the overall aim should be how to empower women and men in supply chains to boost overall productivity.”

In July 2012, the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) held its biennial conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  On the agenda, thanks to IIFET and the Aquafish CRSP, were sessions that included or focused on gender in aquaculture and fisheries, especially on value chains for small scale aquaculture and fisheries. The reports from the sessions are now starting to appear on the conference  repository website (https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/32231).

Read these reports for a start (others to be posted on the site):

VALUE CHAINS SESSION INTRODUCTION by Dr Hillary Egna: download here

SUMMARY OF THE GENDER AND VALUE CHAINS  sessions and papers by Presenters and Meryl Williams: download here

The above reports  include summaries of papers of global reach and more specific regional and country studies from:

AFRICA: Lake Victoria, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Uganda

ASIA: India (including Kerala), Sri Lanka

Visit the AquaFish CRSP gender page for more.

Papers that can be downloaded are:

  1. M.L. Adeleke and J.A. Afolabi. Appraisal of Fresh Fish Marketing in Ondo State, Nigeria.
  2. Salehe, Mwanahamis; Mlaponi, Enock; Onyango, Paul O.; Mrosso, Hilary D.J. Contribution of Lake Victoria Dagaa Fishery in East and Central African Fish Trade.
  3. Olufayo, Mosun. The Gender Roles of Women in Aquaculture and Food Security in Nigeria.
  4. De Silva, Achini; Bjorndal, Trond; Lem, Audun. Role of Gender in Global Fishery Value Chains: A feminist Perspective on Activity, Access and Control Profile.
  5. Masette, Margaret. Sun-dried Mukene (Rastrineobola argentea) Value-Chain Analysis in Uganda.
  6. Cheke, Abiodun. Women in Fish Value Chain in Nigeria.

Seaweed Farming: Three Countries, Three Different Experiences

Women collecting seaweed, Zanzibar. Photo: Sara Frocklin

Seaweed farming has grown at much the same rapid rate as other forms of aquaculture in the last twenty years, but seaweeds are produced in far fewer countries than, for example, farmed fish. The Philippines and Tanzania are among the top 8 countries. India is not yet on the list but, on the Coromandel (southeast) Indian coast, the industry commenced in the early 2000s as a platform for women’s empowerment.

Comparative studies on the social and gender dimensions of seaweed farming in Zanzibar (Tanzania), India and Philippines are not available but the three studies below provide insights into different aspects of seaweed farming. Sara Frocklin and colleagues focus on women’s health in the industry in Zanzibar. Ramchandran analyses the property rights and support for women and men from a gender perspective in seaweed and other forms of mariculture in India, finding that women are tending to lose access when an industry’s profitability is proven. Della Grace Bacaltos and colleagues describe community group building efforts and gender roles for small-scale farmers in the Philippines in the Davao.

 1. Zanzibar: seaweed farming challenges and benefits

Read the  interview with Maricella de la Torre-Castro here

The research paper is in the journal Aquaculture

Fröcklin, S., M. de la Torre-Castro, L. Lindström, N.S. Jiddawi, and F. E. Msuya. 2012. Seaweed mariculture as a development project in Zanzibar, East Africa: A price too high to pay?  Aquaculture 356—357:30—39

Abstract: Seaweed mariculture has been promoted as a development project in tropical countries and Zanzibar, Tanzania, is commonly presented as a successful story. However, the results of the present research provide a nuanced picture of the activity identifying serious health problems among farmers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with female seaweed farmers (n=140) and non-seaweed farmers (n=140) in Zanzibar to evaluate health and working conditions. In-depth interviews with additional 28 female seaweed farmers were performed to deepen the understanding of the working conditions and related problems. The research was undertaken at seven different locations to cover areas where seaweed is extensively executed during August to September 2009 and May to June 2010. Seaweed farmers considered their health significantly poorer than non-seaweed farmers with fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, hunger, respiratory problems, eye related problems, injuries from hazardous animals and sharp shells in the water and allergies as the most serious issues (pb0.05). Income was further reported below the extreme poverty line. Since seaweed farming affects thousands of households in the tropics these results should encourage changes towards better working conditions and sustainability.

2. India: “A Sea of One’s Own!” A Perspective on Gendered Political Ecology in Indian Mariculture

Man collecting seaweed, Gulf of Mannar, India. Photo: CMFRI Special Publication 104, Socioeconomic dimensions of Seaweed Farming in India, by M Krishnan and R Narayanakuma(2010).

by Ramachandran, C.  In: Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Moving the Agenda Forward. Asian Fisheries Science Special Issue Vol.25S (2012):17 -28

Download paper here

 Abstract: In India, mariculture is a sunrise enterprise. Technologies that have attracted the imagination of coastal stakeholders include mussel farming, seaweed farming and open sea cage culture. Mussel (Perna viridis) farming technology has diffused along the Malabar coast (southwest India), and seaweed (Kappaphycus alverezii) farming prevails along the Coromandel coast (southeast India), after it found a niche in the Gulf of Mannar. Having proven their potential as empowerment platforms for coastal women, the theatres where these technologies were adopted raised a number of issues in the realm of a gendered political ecology. The aim of this paper is not only to diagnose these issues but juxtapose them with some of the epistemological concerns being brought by “gender lens” scholarship, especially in the neo-liberal context of global fisheries. A paradox brought out by the present study is the ambivalence of the State in manifesting itself as a positive “bargaining” force in the intra-household domestic space (by providing State-sponsored platforms through the Self Help Groups) while leaving the “common access resource” space, from which these platforms gain sustenance, less amenable to its democratic ideals.

Men tending seaweed lines, Davao Del Sur, Philippines. Photo: Della Grace Bacaltos

3. Gender Roles in the Seaweed Industry Cluster of Southern Philippines: The DICCEP Experience

By Della Grace Bacaltos, Nilla Nanette Revilla, Romeo Castañaga, Marilou Laguting, Gilbert Anguay, Domingo Ang, Grace Caballero, Arlyn Omboy, Kristeel Mae Efondo, and Gracelyn Flamiano-Garde. In:  Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Moving the Agenda Forward. Asian Fisheries Science Special Issue Vol.25S (2012):251-256

Download paper here

Abstract: Recognising the long value chain of seaweed production, a seaweed industry cluster was developed to enhance seaweed production in Davao, southern Philippines. The seaweed industry cluster was an inter-agency, multi-sectoral initiative to develop a road map for the seaweed industry and its stakeholders in Davao Region. This was designed to increase the income of fisherfolk, improve the regional contribution of the industry and to sustain productivity and competitiveness. Based on the industry cluster approach, a capability building project was implemented through the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (DICCEP). After training on the industry cluster approach, three pilot projects were implemented. DICCEP: (1) established seaweed farms for the benefit of farmers, (2) created a directory of seaweed farmers and traders, and (3) developed a database on seaweed production. It also trained 95 farmers and housewives on seaweed value adding and entrepreneurship. The project helped farmers to generate income, and processors to develop new value-added seaweed products. Throughout, DICCEP was sensitive to the gender breakdown among participants in the Cluster. Although men took the main leadership roles, women were active in production and, particularly, post-harvest processing. Men were also active in post-harvest processing and their skills should not be overlooked.

Moving the Agenda Forward

Successful woman in coastal fisheries, Thailand. Photo: Cristina Lim

Special Gender Issue  of Asian Fisheries Science journal released for FREE DOWNLOAD

Our Guest Editorial explores how the gender agenda is progressing in aquaculture and fisheries, and then 21 research and technical papers and short reports explore (a) gender roles in widely varying aquaculture and fisheries socio-ecological systems, (b) women’s agency in fish supply chains and ecosystems and (c) inclusion of women in aquaculture and fisheries institutions.

Read and download for free all these papers and the summary of all presentations at the 2011 3rd Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries here. We are grateful to the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for enabling the Asian Fisheries Society to make the journal issue free from the start.

Hard copies can be purchased from the Asian Fisheries Society (www.asianfisheriessociety.org).