Asian Fisheries Science 27S Special Issue (2014)

CONTENTS

GENDER IN AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES: NAVIGATING CHANGE

Download whole Special Issue here: 2014 AFS 27S GAF4 Special Issue 

  • Message from AFS Presidents  Derek J. Staples and  Shuolin Huang p. vii.

    The Asian Fisheries Society is pleased to continue the women/gender and fisheries Symposia held in the previous six triennial Forums, starting in 1998, and to publish this Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Science journal containing papers developed from presentations at the 2013 GAF4 event.

  • To the the AquaFish CRSP, Norad, NACA, ICAR and many other supporters and contributors.

  •  Guest Editorial Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Navigating Change  Nikita Gopal, Meryl J. Williams, Marilyn Porter, Kyoko Kusakabe and Poh Sze Choo, pp. 1-14

    In this Guest Editorial, we paint a reasonably optimistic picture of progress on gender in aquaculture and fisheries. Gender is now more firmly on the policy agenda, is embedded in certain major normative international documents, such as the Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines, and is receiving early institutional, policy and donor support. Some attention is also being given to methodological and methods development as more practitioners engage in gender work. The full institutionalisation of gender into programs and institutions, however, still faces large implementation challenges such as lack of leadership and resources, and will need to prove its worth to the fish sector. Yet, this a much better position in which to find ourselves, than still struggling to get gender on the agenda.

DEVELOPMENT LESSONS

  • Many papers from the five Asian Fisheries Society (AFS) women/gender symposia reported on efforts to empower women but not on the underlying empowerment premises.  We used the Longwe Women’s Empowerment Framework to assess how 20 studies from the AFS women/gender symposia have contributed to the process of women’s empowerment. Our results showed that most of the projects achieved empowerment at the welfare or welfare to access levels, and in some cases the achievement at a fragile access level had reverted back to the welfare level. In the fishery sector, feminist concepts of empowerment, which should have a place at the core of women’s empowerment efforts, have been avoided. Unless women in the fisheries sector are able to construct a collective self to define and defend their gender needs, the control level of empowerment will remain far beyond their reach.

  •  In this paper, we argue that it is necessary to move beyond the perception of women as fish processors and caregivers, by better understanding their access to fisheries resources, identifying their roles and relationships with others, and by acknowledging the benefits of directly involving them in decision-making. Based on the literature we develop three categories to illustrate the different ways women access fisheries resources. Women directly involved in fish-harvesting are categorised as primary users, while those that access fish through kinship or other relationships are categorised as secondary users. Finally, women who buy fish directly from fishers or traders are categorised as tertiary users. These categories can guide development interventions.

CHANGES

  • This paper revisits the study of fish border traders at the Thai-Cambodian border in 2006. The political and economic development at the border influenced Cambodian women fish traders’ business trajectories in different ways. The diversity of business development of the traders shows that women’s businesses are influenced by various factors at micro/meso/macro level environment and relations. The paper classified traders’ business trajectories into four, and showed that their relation with their husbands related to their business is not only of control over the business but also of a more subtle negotiation in their level of involvement. The analysis indicates the importance of context-informed analysis and a nuanced understanding of their business and life trajectories in order to understand the challenges and opportunities that women traders face in this market.

  • Women and elderly persons play an important role in the oyster aquaculture industry of Japan. Oysters are largely sold in shucked form in Japan and both women and elderly persons are involved in this process of shucking. They represent one reason for the survival of this small-scale aquaculture industry. But as workers age, the speed at which they can shuck the shells decreases and they are more likely to damage the oyster meat. Of late, owners of these businesses have been observed to generally employ young Chinese workers. This paper presents the changes in the roles of women and elderly persons within the oyster aquaculture sector in Japan caused by the entry of Chinese workers.

  • This paper looks at three different fisheries in the traditional sector in the central part of the state of Kerala, India and analyses the changes in gender roles. The ring seine fishery has transformed into a capital intensive, high powered, labour intensive fishery with landings shifting from the beaches to the harbours. Women have slowly been marginalised from marketing activity. The stake net fishery is generally practiced by the Dheevara community. Women are completely excluded from fishing operations and come into the picture only after the catch is landed. In the localised clam fishery, women were once actively involved in handpicking for the clams. But motorised canoes gave more scope for men and hence women were displaced.

  • This Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) study of the economic valuation of the Pichavaram mangroves for the villagers of MGR Thittu, estimated the Willingness To Pay (WTP) for conservation and management of the mangroves. About 73% of the respondents from MGR Thittu village were willing to pay for the conservation and management of the Pichavaram mangroves. Seventy five per cent of the female respondents interviewed were willing to pay, in comparison to 71% of the male respondents who were willing to pay. Thus women along with men can be conservationists and managers of natural resources in the community-based management process.

  • Gender issues are often ignored during disasters despite the fact that women have different needs and capabilities than men at these times. Women’s vulnerability during and after disasters is attributed to their political, economic and cultural conditions, underscoring multiple responsibilities and widely perceived inferior status vis-à-vis men. Following the 2006 M/T Solar I oil spill in the coasts off Guimaras Island in the Philippines, women’s political subordination was evident because their role in fishing was very minimally recognised.

  • This paper examines how a destructive oil spill in Guimaras, Philippines affected the economic wellbeing of women by focusing on their experiences of economic marginalisation. The oil spill disrupted women’s fishing activities. Even before the disaster, women were already experiencing economic marginalisation and this was exacerbated after the disaster because their needs were considered less important leading to unequal institutional interventions.

  • This study was conducted to identify and analyse gender-differentiated adaptation measures and coping mechanisms formulated and implemented by households during Typhoon Frank (international name Fengshen), in barangays Cayos and Bantud Fabrica, Municipality of Dumangas, in the Province of Iloilo, Philippines. Although women and men worked in complementary ways to secure their family assets, gender differences were observed in their preferred adaptation and coping responses. However, statistical analysis shows no significant difference in the responses of women and men relative to the flooding.

METHODOLOGY

  • This article creates a bridge between the methods and methodology of feminist approaches and those of biotechnical sciences as practised by the vast majority of researchers on gender in fisheries and aquaculture. It describes the history of feminist appropriation and development of social science methodology, and identifies features of feminist approaches that would be useful to gender in fisheries and aquaculture research, providing background for researchers new to qualitative research and to feminist approaches to understand the underlying issues and thus to develop relevant research methods and methodologies.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND ROLES OF WOMEN (AND MEN)

The shrimp and seafood industry, a very promising economic sector in Bangladesh, has been unable to fully respond to the evolving needs of social compliance and implementation of labour rights made the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). This study assesses compliance with labour rights legislation, and the benefits accruing from them. Though the assessment revealed perceptible progress, it still leaves much to be desired. 

Based on lessons learned from field trials, carp-small indigenous fish species (SIS)-prawn polyculture technology was improved to a “carp-SIS polyculture” technology suitable for small scale farmers in Terai, Nepal. The farmers consumed half of their production and raised their fish consumption to twice the national average, including of high-nutrient SIS. A women fish farmers’ co-operative was established and the training and project experiences improved their self-confidence. The project approach was found to be a more economic and sustainable, and is being replicated in other districts.

Green mussel, Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758) farming in Jiabong, Samar in central Philippines is an important livelihood option, yet has remained an “infant” industry. The strategies for the promotion of small-scale entrepreneurship for women in the mussel industry are identified in this study by using a Value Chain Analysis (VCA).

  • Expanding Roles of Men and Women in Aquatic Agricultural Systems in the Philippines Alice Joan G. Ferrer, Maripaz L. Perez, Alita T. Roxas, and Enrique M Avila pp. 185-194

    Results from a pre-scoping study with fishers, farmers, and women in the potential study sites in Visayas and Mindanao, Philippines show men and women increasingly complement each other in reproductive and productive roles, thereby forging a stronger partnership both in the home front and in income generating activities, primarily in farming and fishing, to combat poverty and improve the family well-being.

  • Location Specific Intervention for the Empowerment of Coastal Women: An Experience in Kerala Femeena Hassan, Charles Jeeva J , Kumar Katya, and Sunchul C. Bai pp. 195-200

    The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, funded a project in Kerala state that introduces edible oyster culture (Crassostrea madrasensis Preston) and its value-addition as a livelihood option for fisherwomen.

  • The study deals with the roles and activities of women and men in two fishing villages in southern Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan, namely Meitsu and Odoutsu. In Odoutsu, with a history of coastal fishing, women are more involved in all modes of the fish value chain, whereas in Meitsu with more past emphasis on offshore fishing, women have in more restricted roles in the value chain.

  • Subsidising or extending credit for fishing often has negative impacts on fish stocks and does not improve the income of fishermen, but little research has been conducted on financial assistance to fishermen’s wives (fisherwomen). This paper analyses whether financial assistance in the form of micro-credit affects fisherwomen’s income.

WHERE TO NOW?

    • The death of Dr Mudnakudu C. Nandeesha in December 2012 at the age of 55 left a deep void. Among many other impacts, Nandeesha made unique and lasting professional contributions to gender awareness and initiated a steadily growing series of gender activities by the Asian Fisheries Society. This essay recounts the history, giving a good example of what one person, with vision, drive and inter-personal skills can set in train.

    • Respondents to a targeted survey perceived that the understanding of the gender inequality issues in aquaculture and fisheries has progressed well but the strategic messages arising are not communicated strongly nor well targeted. Few workers, and even fewer full time professionals, are dedicated to the field of gender research and action, and research is not well linked to grassroots needs. Therefore, the field suffers from weak efforts to enroll more champions, leaders and actors and reach critical mass for mobilisation for gender equality. To achieve this will require strong, perhaps even confrontational, campaigns and plans, from within the fishery sector, led by a self-nominated core group of committed women and men concerned with inequality in the fishery sector.

ANNEXES

2 responses to “Asian Fisheries Science 27S Special Issue (2014)

  1. Pingback: Asian Fisheries Science publishes Special Issue of GAF4 papers | GENDER IN AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES

  2. Pingback: GAF5 – 12-15 November, 2014 Lucknow, India | GENDER IN AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES

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