Category Archives: M.C. Nandeesha

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

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

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.

M.C. Nandeesha: High Priest of Gender Equity in Fisheries

A Tribute by Pedro Bueno, former Director General NACA

Photo: PADEK, Seminar Proceedings, back cover.

Photo: PADEK, Seminar Proceedings, back cover.

He went to work in what was then called Kampuchea whose countryside was still strewn with unexploded bombs and land mines. He was young and probably cared little if he stepped on one. He promoted to a country, reeling from genocide, aquaculture development. It was for the small and subsistence farm households, which at that time all of them were. He was employed by the Netherlands-based NGO, Partnership for the Development of Kampuchea – PADEK. Funded by charity, he did much to make the P in PADEK — real and working.  He trained young technicians and researchers, many of whom were recovering from the trauma of losing relatives, and marshaled them into a youthful, enthusiastic and skilled cadre for rural aquaculture development. Some of them have taken up responsible posts as researchers and managers in Cambodian Fisheries and the Mekong River Commission.

He saw the need  to harness the productive power of  half the population (in post-war Cambodia, the women made up a lot more than half of the population) of a country to pull it out of the morass created by a brutal regime and help propel it towards the edge of modernization. He started a women in fisheries programme in Indo-China and was the movement’s high priest; he preached women in fisheries development. It was in the 1996 Indochina workshop on women-in-fisheries that I was cajoled by him into writing and presenting a paper. It took some work to write and a lot of courage to present it. That was my initiation into women in fisheries development. I thank Nandeesh for this broadening of my perspective to fisheries development.

From Cambodia he moved to Bangladesh where he infused CARE’s technical programme with the social dimension of women’s welfare and their contribution to rural progress. I worked with him in a few more women-in-fisheries development conferences, the last one in the Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum in Shanghai in April 2011. The last occasion in which I was in the same panel of resource speakers and discussants with him was the Global Aquaculture Alliance forum in Bangkok in November 2012. It was on a theme other than women in fisheries (“assurance of decent employment for workers in aquaculture farms and processing plants”) but he was just as passionate in his advocacy. For in the farms and factories, women provide much of the work.  And most important of all — as he depicted in a striking poster of a Parvati-like mother that he helped design for CARE Bangladesh — in the home. For he was first and foremost a good husband and father.

Related links:

Second Anniversary of Dr M.C. Nandeesha

Second Anniversary of Dr M.C. Nandeesha

Dr M.C. Nandeesha

Dr M.C. Nandeesha

On 27 December 2012, we lost Dr M.C. Nandeesha, who brought awareness to the importance of women in Asian and global fisheries, and who initiated the first substantive activities to address gender inequality to the work and the considerations of the Asian Fisheries Society.

Beginning with the 1990 Women in Fisheries in India Workshop, held at the 2nd Indian Fisheries Forum in Mangalore, Nandeesha later initiated women in fisheries PADEK funded photo competitions in conjunction with the Asian Fisheries Forums. These led to the Asian Fisheries Society’s Women in Fisheries and later Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF) Symposia, of which 7 have now been held since 1998. The latest GAF symposium was held in November 2014 in Lucknow, India, in conjunction with the 10th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum (click here for information).

An essay on Dr Nandeesha’s contributions to the Asian Fisheries Society’s women/gender activities has just been published:  Essay: Dr M.C. Nandeesha: The Man Who Brought Gender Awareness to the Asian Fisheries Society Asian Fisheries Science Special Issue 27S. This Essay also examines Dr Nandeesha’s approach to getting key issues addressed. He typically started with getting the issues onto key agendas, helping start up substantive action and then widening the circle of committed people working to advance these issues. Throughout, he lived the values he promoted in these issues, such as gender equity in aquaculture and education.

Poster created in Bangaldesh under guidance of Dr Nandeesha

Poster created in Bangaldesh under guidance of Dr Nandeesha

A small team of Dr Nandeesha’s colleagues are now preparing more material to acknowledge his many other contributions to institution and capacity building, as well as research and development in aquaculture and fisheries.

For more information on our first anniversary post: click here

First Anniversary of Dr M.C. Nandeesha

Dr M.C. Nandeesha. Photo: courtesy of his family.

Dr M.C. Nandeesha. Photo: courtesy of his family.

So though Nandeesh is not with us physically, his thoughts and deeds are there to guide us through these difficult timesRajeswari Dayal B. (his loving wife) .

This marks the first anniversary of the passing of our dear friend Dr Mudnakudu C. Nandeesha, who was the person who brought gender awareness to the Asian Fisheries Society and helped bring aquaculture to the poor through Aquaculture without Frontiers, the World Aquaculture Society and many institutes and people in India. He was a great champion of students, and especially women students.

At the 4th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4) held in May in Yeosu, Korea, a  special session was devoted to honoring Dr Nandeesha: Status and Contributions of Women to Aquaculture and Fisheries: A Session in Honor of DR M.C. NANDEESHA. The session was sponsored by the AquaFish-CRSP program.  The opening address by M.J. Williams was “Dr M.C. Nandeesha: The Man Who Brought Gender Awareness To The Asian Fisheries Society” (view presentation  by clicking here). The address emphasised that Dr Nandeesha was a visionary, absolutely committed to social justice, and with an intuitive understanding of how to motivate others to act and bring about institutional.

PROF. DR. MOHAN JOSEPH MODAYIL  Ph.D., D.Sc., (formerly Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (A.S.R.B.), India), has provided the following heartfelt tribute to Dr Nandeesha.

Courtesy: Prof Dr Mohan Joseph Modayil

To view tributes from one year ago, please visit:

1. Genderaquafish.org tributes: click here

2. WAS Tributesclick here