GAF-India Prizes and Launch of GAF Section at 11IFAF

GAF-India was held in Kochi, Kerala, India from 21-24 November 2017. Previously, the prize winners of the M.C. Nandeesha Photo Competition were announced (link). Now we are happy to announce the student prize winners for GAF-India presentations and posters, and the winner of the first Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch Prof. M.C. Nandeesha Gender Justice and Equality Award.

See photos and details of all the prize winners here.

Winner of First Prize, Best Student Presentation at GAF-India, B.M.R.L. Basnayake, receiving her prize from Dr J.K. Jena, President of Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch and Asian Fisheries Society, at the closing ceremony 11IFAF, 24 November 2017, Kochi, India.

BEST STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

1st Prize: B.M.R.L. Basnayake and D..M. De Silva – “Gendered Timeline of the Market Landscape of the Fisheries Industry in Sri Lanka.”

2nd Prize: Asha S. Karunaratne, I.C. Hettiarachchi and D.A.M. De Silva – “Gender Sensitive Value Chain Selection: Fish, Banana and Cinnamon, Which Provide Best Opportunities for Women?”

BEST STUDENT POSTERS

1st Prize: Mrudula, K.M., P.K. Sajeenamol, Jiswin Joseph, M.V. Neelima, Bindu J., S Sreejith, Sajesh, V.K., and Nikita Gopal– “Traditional Fish Recipes of Fisher Households and Their Significance.”

2nd Prize: Manju Lekshmi N., Archana G., Saly N. Thomas and Leela Edwin – “Rural Women Participation in Pre and Post-Harvest Operations of Stakenet (Estuarine Set Bag) along Aroor Fishing Village, Alappuzha, Kerala.”

ASIAN FISHERIES SOCIETY INDIAN BRANCH: PROF. M.C. NANDEESHA GENDER JUSTICE & EQUALITY AWARD 2017

Dr Meryl J Williams, Honorary Life Member, Asian Fisheries Society, “In recognition of her pioneering and sustaining efforts towards drawing international attention and developing impacting interventions in  gender justice and equality in the Asian Aquaculture and Fisheries sector.”

Lives of women in the Sunderabans under climate change

By Professor Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Resource, Environment and Development Program, Crawford School for Public Policy, Australian National University

The film is based on my ongoing research on the effects of climate change on women living in the villages of the Sundarbans, focusing on how they are facing up to the challenges thrown by the rising sea levels, higher tidal surges that breach through the embankments that protect villages and farmlands, more frequent and more intense cyclonic storms and so on. 

Although everyone’s life is changing, women are affected more than men as they carry out the daily chores – collecting fresh water as salinity creeps into the soil and underground aquifers.

The film was made in collaboration with my colleague, Ronodeb Paul, of Kolkata, India. 

Rono and I were in the Sundarbans at the height of the monsoons; the rivers were swollen and the tides was fierce. It was very scary to cross some of the river channels to get to the chars or river islands. Once in the villages, it was not much easier; the fine-grained clay that covered everything like a veneer was extremely slippery. During one of the shoots, I slipped on the wet clay and fell, causing much fun amongst the village women who had better practice at tiptoeing on the mud than me. 

To see the video, click here.

Save the date: GAF-7 18-20 October 2018, @ AIT Bangkok

Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries: Expanding the horizons

059. A fisherwoman and her son share their joy of a day well spent. Description: Photo shot in a fishing village in West Bengal, India, where the entire village engages in processing dry fish. Photo: Pradip Kumar Mahato, graphic artist

GAF-7 – the 7th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries – will be held from 18-20 October, 2018, hosted at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand.

Plan to be there! GAF-7 is a stand-alone event, that will be packed with  a variety of different activities and sessions covering all aspects – truly expanding the horizons.

The GAF7 session and event themes, call for abstracts and other information will be available shortly.

Watch this page!

Results of M.C. Nandeesha Photo Competition announced in Kochi

22 November 2017

The winners of the three prizes for the M.C. Nandeesha Photo Competition were announced in Kochi during the GAF-India event at the 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum. Judged by online voting and a panel of 4 members of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section, in addition to the prizes, 5 Highly Commended entries were named.

We thank all the entrants whose wonderful photos made the judges and voters jobs very difficult. Congratulations to the 3 winners and those whose photos were Highly Commended.

Here are all the results. Visit the competition page to see all the photos.

FIRST PRIZE 002. Women participate in fish harvesting (From aquaculture pond Tripura, India). Photo: Vikash Kumar, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata, West Bengal

First Prize: Vikash Kumar, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR-CIFRI), Barrackpore, Kolkata, India.

002. Women participation in fish harvesting (From aquaculture pond Tripura, India)

Second Prize: Ranjan Manna, Principal Scientist, ICAR-Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, Kolkata, India.

 010. Equal contributor: Catching fish using gill net from a river in Indian Sundarban

Third Prize: Deepjyoti Baruah, Senior Scientist, ICAR-Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research, Bhimtal, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India.

 044. Women in Assam fishing for food security

Highly Commended: Pradip Kumar Mahato, Graphic artist, India.

 058. Mending Lives Together. Description: The photo was taken at a fishing harbour in West Bengal, India, where men and women were found sharing responsibilities in mending fishing nets.

Highly Commended: Tabrez Nasar, Dean, Institute of Livelihood Research and Training, India.

 004. Male entrepreneurs from Meghalaya learning from women entrepreneurs in Jharkhand, India.

Highly Commended: Renju Ravi, Marketing Assistant, National Institute of Fisheries Post Harvest Technology and Training (NIFPHATT), Foreshore Road, Ernakulam, Kerala, India.

025. More than equality, striving for a livelihood

Highly Commended: Suvra Roy, Scientist, ICAR- Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, India.

 003. Women participation in sorting and grading of fishes after catch (from coastal region of Sundarbans)

Highly Commended: Neelkanth Mishra, CEO, Centre for Aquatic Livelihood -Jaljeevika, Pune, India.

020. Netting Destiny: Hidden faces of women in fisheries

Discover our new Women in Aquaculture Profile

Difficult working conditions: women bending over and sitting submerged in water for long periods tying seaweed to farm stakes, Zanzibar. Photo: Flower Msuya

If you are looking for a readable, succinct and authoritative overview on women in aquaculture, then you may appreciate the new Profile on Women in Aquaculture by Cecile Brugere and Meryl Williams. This Profile was developed with the collaboration of Aquaculture without Frontiers Australia, support from Skretting Australia, and subjected to a review by peers. It is now the 3rd Discover GAF Profile put out by the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society (see also Gleaning by Danika Kleiber, and Women divers by Enrique Alonso-Población).

The Profile makes the case that women’s opportunities in aquaculture have not kept pace with the rapid growth of the sector. Reliable sex-disaggregated statistics are missing for aquaculture, and most sectoral policies are gender-blind. To achieve gender equality and empower women, the aquaculture sector has to mainstream gender targets in all its certification, accreditation, and labour policies and practices.

“Gender equality is in the detail”: Examining gender issues in aquaculture requires delving into the specificities of both the sector and women’s involvement in it. Research can shed light on what makes women lose (or retain) control over their activities as the scale, intensity and economics of aquaculture production grows. On small scale farms, women and men frequently work together, carrying out complementary activities. In medium and industrial scale aquaculture, women are at the lower end of the pay scale or unpaid. As production intensifies, women’s engagement drops. They rarely become managers, although they are capable of rising to this level. Women are the bulk of workers in post-harvest and product transformation activities.

Today, more women are graduating in aquaculture from higher education institutes and gender parity has been achieved in some cases. More women are entering highly skilled employment.

Aquaculture can empower women, and lead to better household food security and nutrition, but these benefits are not automatic.

Aquaculture practitioners need good technical instruments for gender-responsive planning, indicators of progress, training and communications.

Check out and download the Profile of Women in Aquaculture here.

Announcing the First GAFS Executive Committee


The Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAFS) of the Asian Fisheries Society announced the results of its recent election for the first Executive Committee. The successful nominations are as follows

  • Chair: Meryl Williams
  • Past Chair: (vacant)
  • Vice-Chair: Nikita Gopal
  • Secretary: Kafayat Fakoya
  • Treasurer: Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit (Inaugural)
  • Election Committee Coordinator: Mohammad Nuruzzaman
  • Membership Committee Coordinator: Danika Kleiber
  • Constitution Committee Coordinator: Alice Ferrer
  • Other elected members: Kyoko Kusakabe, Indah Susilowati
  • Newsletter Editor: to be appointed

The first Executive Committee will lead the GAFS for the next triennium.

To learn more about the members, please visit the Executive Committee page.

GAFS thanks the Inaugural Officers for the work they undertook to establish the Section and oversee the election.

 

A gendered approach to nutrition-sensitive homestead pond polyculture

By Sarah Castine and Shakuntala Thilsted

Left: Women preparing mola (Amblypharyngodon
mola). Right: pool barb or jat punti (Puntius sophore) showing nuptial coloration during spawning time. Photos: Shakuntala Thilsted.

A recent paper: “Homestead pond polyculture can improve access to nutritious small fish” published in the journal Food Security1 investigates an aquaculture production system in Bangladesh which is tailored towards improving nutrition and is accessible to and can be managed by women.

In Bangladesh, and many parts of rural south Asia, women’s movements outside the homestead are restricted and they spend much time at home taking care of children and other family members, food preparation and other household chores. Access to nutritious foods in these households can be limited, resulting in poor diets and little dietary diversity which can contribute to undernutrition. A nutrition-sensitive approach to homestead pond polyculture, engaging both women and men has been introduced by WorldFish and partners. This includes polyculture of small and large fish species in homestead ponds, vegetable production in homestead gardens and on pond dykes, nutrition education and gender equity, in terms of work load and food distribution. This approach allows for increased household income from sale of produce as well as increased access to and intake of nutrient-rich small fish and vegetables, with focus on women and children in the first 1,000 days of life.

Different modes and methods were applied in order to engage both female and male household members. Women and men, in groups of 20-25 received training in fish and vegetable production, nutrition and gender equity. Lead farmers, both women and men conducted training and supported the households in the activities. In some cases, women were specifically trained in harvesting small amounts of small fish for household consumption and in preparing dishes with nutrient-rich small fish for young children.

The paper describes that homestead pond polyculture, with small and large fish, using a nutrition-sensitive approach can have outstanding nutrition and health benefits, especially for women and young children. For adoption of the nutrition-sensitive pond polyculture approach, engaging all household members and providing both women-only training and combined women and men training should be applied. Women were engaged in pond polyculture, spending up to 25 minutes per day on tasks such as fish feeding, pond preparation and maintenance. Lead female farmers described that their physical mobility in the community gave them a better status and a feeling of being valued. An analysis of the dynamics and power relations between women and men with regard to work load and income earned from nutrition-sensitive pond polyculture is needed to gauge how this approach impacts women’s status within the household and in the community. Strong partnerships with the nutrition and health sector, government organisations and the private sector will ensure quality training of household members and wide dissemination of this aquaculture production system.

  1. Castine, Sarah A., Jessica R. Bogard, Benoy K. Barman, Manjurul Karim, Md. Mokarrom Hossain, Mrityunjoy Kunda, A. B. M. Mahfuzul Haque, Michael J. Phillips and Shakuntala H. Thilsted. 2017. Homestead pond polyculture can improve access to nutritious small fish. Food Security 9:785–801.