Inaugural Officers

Executive Committee || Objectives || Milestones || By-laws

From 12 April until 23 September 2017, when the first full Executive Committee was elected by the membership, the following members were the GAFS  Inaugural Officers, whose responsibilities were as follows:

  • Determine the process and facilitate the ratification of the GAFS By-laws
  • Organize the election of officers (Executive Committee) of GAFS, induction and turn-over of responsibilities.
  • Coordinate with the Asian Fisheries Society re: implementing the By-Laws of GAF Section within AFS


2015 Crawford Medal MW




Meryl Williams has worked for 40 years in Australian and international fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic resource conservation and agricultural research and development. Currently, she is focusing on research and advocacy on women and gender in aquaculture and fisheries, and information and science for fair and responsible fish production for food security and nutrition.

She is also the Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and a member of the board of Aquaculture without Frontiers (Australia). She was formerly Director General of the WorldFish Center (1994-2004), during which time she concentrated the focus of WorldFish on eradicating poverty, improving people’s nutrition, and reducing pressure on the environment. She was previously the Director of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Executive Director of the Bureau of Rural Sciences, tuna fisheries statistician at the Secretariat for the Pacific Community and fisheries biologist in the Queensland state government service.

She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science, Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in 1993, and awarded an Australian Centenary Medal in 2003, made an Honorary Life Member of the Asian Fisheries Society in 2004, named an ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ of James Cook University, Australia in 2010, and, in 2015, awarded the Crawford Medal.

Vice-Chair/Deputy Coordinator


Nikita GOPAL
Principal Scientist
ICAR-Central institute of Fisheries Technology
Matsyapuri P.O., Cochin – 682 029 Kerala, India


Dr. Nikita Gopal is Principal Scientist with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, Kerala, India. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and has been working in the field of fisheries for the past 20 years. Her areas of work has been trade and markets in the fisheries sector; evaluation of fisheries technologies; and socio-economic studies among fishing communities. For the past several years she has also been actively engaged in gender research in fisheries and aquaculture and has worked on women in seafood processing sector; in small scale aquaculture and fisheries; and in marketing and other post-harvest activities. In association with NACA she has worked on an international project on gender in aquaculture in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao PDR.

Her current work includes documentation of indigenous knowledge in the fisheries sector; clustering of clam fishers, especially women, for employment and income enhancement through technology interventions and capacity building; documenting women in inland fish harvesting and other unorganized sectors in fisheries, and economic analysis of trawl fisheries. She has also associated with ICSF in their capacity building initiative for fisherwomen on the FAO SSF Guidelines implementation strategies. Having contributed to 21 projects, including 7 competitively funded projects, she has over 35 peer reviewed publications, besides several popular articles, articles in conference proceedings and book chapters.

She is a senior leader of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF) movement of the Asian Fisheries Society (AFS) and has received the AFS Merit Award in 2013 and the AFS Certificates of Appreciation in 2016 for her contribution to gender research and for her organisational role in the GAF events at the triennial Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum of the AFS. She was also the member of a team, headed by Dr. Leela Edwin of ICAR-CIFT, which received the 4th National Award for Technology Innovation in Petrochemicals & Downstream Plastics Processing Industry (Runner Up) in the field of Polymer Science and Technology instituted by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India for their work on “Upgradation of Treated Rubberwood Using FRP Sheathing for Fishing Boat Construction”. Dr. Nikita worked in the technology evaluation aspect of the study.


K. FAKOYAKafayat Adetoun FAKOYA
Department of Fisheries
Faculty of Science
Lagos State University, Ojo,
Badagry Expressway,
Lagos State, NIGERIA

Dr. Kafayat Fakoya, with over a decade of professional experience teaching and research in fisheries biology and fisheries management is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Fisheries, Lagos State University.

She completed her Bachelor in Fisheries and Master Degree in Fisheries Management from the Lagos State University and University of Ibadan, respectively. Then she obtained her PhD. in Fisheries (fisheries biology) from the Lagos State University in 2015. Dr. Fakoya has participated in international short courses on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Climate Change Adaptations in Food Security and Natural Resources Management, both funded by the Netherlands Fellowship Programme. Also, she completed an introductory training on Bioinformatics organized by Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3A.

Her research interests are in the fields of fisheries biology, small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. Her past and present research focus on the study on biology of fish, utilization of traditional knowledge in fisheries, fisheries governance and gender. She is a distinguished member of professional associations including the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Science and Technology Education Research Group, Too Big To Ignore (TBTI), Association for Women in the Seafood Industry and Genderaquafish group. To date, Dr. Fakoya has published peer-reviewed articles in journals and also written chapters in books.

Elections Coordinators


Mohammad Nuruzzaman
Program Specialist (Fisheries)
Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF)
AIC Building, BARC Complex, Farmgate, Dhaka 1215

Before this current position in KGF, Mohammad Nuruzzaman had over 30 years of experience working for Bangladesh government and several donors/development agencies including UN organizations UNIDO and ILO. He had been working for the Department of Fisheries as Upozila Fisheries Officer and Assistant Director under the Bangladesh Civil Service. Mr. Nuruzzaman has also worked for ICLARM (currently WorldFish), DFID, World Bank and several NGOs. In particular, he worked for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as the Gender Specialist for its shrimp and livestock sector development projects in Bangladesh.

He took his B Sc. Fisheries and M Sc. in Aquaculture degrees from the Bangladesh Agricultural University, Maymensingh. Later he obtained an M Sc. in Coastal Zone Management from the Department of Marine Science, University of Newcastle, UK. He also earned the degree of Master of Development Studies (MDS) from BRAC University. M Nuruzzaman has also been engaged in a research program on “Towards Socially Responsive Shrimp Farming: Land Tenure, Institutions and Sustainability in selected commercial shrimp farming areas in southwestern Bangladesh” with the Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka.

Mohammad Nuruzzaman joined the Asian Fisheries Society in 2011 through attending GAF3 in Shanghai, China and continues his efforts in scaling up gender equality across the Aquaculture and Fisheries sector through research and development initiatives. He has over 25 published research papers including text books and book chapters on aquaculture and fisheries.

Alice Ferrer c11 m8

Alice Joan FERRER

University of the Philippines Visayas
General Luna St.,
5000, Iloilo City, PHILIPPINES


Alice Joan G. Ferrer is a Professor of Economics at the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV). She completed her BA Economics-Psychology at UPVs and her Masters and PhD in Economics from the School of Economics, University of the Philippines. Presently, she is the also the National Deputy Director of the Economy and Environment Group Philippines, and the Executive Director of the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium of the Department of Science and Technology -Philippine Council for Health Research and Development. She served as Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Development of UPV in 2008-2011.

Dr. Ferrer has been involved in local and international research projects. Her research work has covered many areas including fisheries management particularly of the Visayan Sea, reverting disused fishponds to mangrove forest, governability of a protected area, health status of potentially-exposed population to oil spill, identifying and monitoring certain populations with health risk, health insurance, livelihood of small scale fishers, and more. Currently, she is involved in projects on mariculture in the country, health policies and development, urban health, and health support systems. She is also currently involved in international projects dealing with middlemen and sustainable small-scale fisheries, coastal area capability enhancement, marine protected area and livelihood of small-scale fishers, and in Too Big To Ignore Project (Global Partnership for Small Scale Fisheries Research).

Dr. Ferrer has published journal articles, a book, and has written chapters in books. She co-edited the book entitled Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Valuation, Institutions, and Policy in Southeast Asia with Dr. Nancy Olewiler of Simon Fraser University and Dr. Herminia A. Francisco, director of Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia.

Constitution Coordinator

B. Shanthi
Principal Scientist, Social Sciences Division
ICAR, Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Govt. of India,
75, Santhome High Road, R.A.Puram, Chennai-600028, India.

E-mail:> and

Dr. B. SHANTHI has 24 years research experience in social science and extension research related to brackishwater aquaculture. She presently serves as Principal Scientist in the Social Sciences Division, Indian Council of Agriclutural Research – Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIBA), Chennai, South India. She has been working on gender and family studies and extension research among coastal women and tribal people in aquaculture sector. Her work has helped empower coastal and tribal women, overcome their social taboos in the village, adopt brackishwater aquaculture technologies as their livelihood, enhanced their financial skills and access to funds. She has developed women trainers to train and motivate new coastal women’s self-help groups to adopt brackishwater aquaculture technologies.

Among her major works, she was Principal Investigator of the research and extension programme on “Diversification of Livelihoods among Women Self Help Groups through Coastal Aquaculture Technologies” project (2007-2010), funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India. This programme transferred technologies like mud crab fattening (in pens), farm made fish feed development and value added fish food production technologies to hundreds of coastal women beneficiaries. From this study, she developed the Socio-economic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA) in Aquaculture. She was also Principal Investigator in the “Assessment on the impact of environmental changes on the livelihoods of coastal women in Tamil Nadu” project (June 2012 – October 2014) sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, (ICSSR). She assessed this project using SEAGA, and documented indigenous technical knowledge of coastal fishers and tribes. Under the CIBA-Tribal Sub–Plan project, brackishwater aquaculture technologies were disseminated to 250 tribal beneficiaries.

Dr Shanthi has organized and managed many awareness and extension programmes using methods such as puppetry shows, meetings, eco-tours for farmers, exhibitions and fairs (melas), workshops and seminars. She has published widely and in many formats from books, to research papers, popular articles and has also produced 3 video films and presented radio and television programmes.

Among the awards she has received are the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, England (1987), ICAR National Award for Outstanding Inter-Disciplinary Team research in Agricultural and Allied Sciences (1997– 1998), ICAR National Award for Outstanding Inter-Disciplinary Team Research in Agricultural and Allied Sciences (2014-15) and 2 Tamil Nadu State Awards and 2 Society Awards.

She has also facilitated 6 coastal women beneficiaries to receive the award of Fellow of Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy for Rural Prosperity (NVA) from Prof. M.S.Swaminathan, (Emeritus Chairman and Chief Mentor, MSSRF), 1 tribal woman beneficiary to receive a national award for Innovative Farmer and 2 women self help groups to receive the Tamil Nadu State Awards.

Membership Coordinator


Danika Kleiber
Project Manager
Joint Institute of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA


Danika is a Social Research Project Manager with the Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research with the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Centre based in Honolulu. In 2014 she was awarded a PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. Bringing together a background in biology and women’s studies her dissertation focused on gender and small-scale fisheries characterization and management in the Central Philippines.

Dr. Kleiber has gone on to do social and gender fisheries research in Palau and Bangladesh, and most recently worked with gender and fisheries researchers around the world to analyze the gender components of the Voluntary Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines. Her research interests include social indicators for small-scale fisheries monitoring with a particular focus on food security and gender dynamics in small-scale fishing communities. Her current work includes examining and testing indicators of well-being in Hawaii, Guam, CNMI, and American Samoa.

She has been a contributor to GAF since 2011.