Tag Archives: women

Five-country information for gender in fish production


A new working paper from WorldFish Center delves into some of the basic background information needed to develop research and development programs with a gender focus in aquaculture and fisheries production systems in Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Zambia.
Weeratunge, N., Chiuta, T.M., Choudhury, A., Ferrer, A., Hüsken, S.M.C., Kura, Y., Kusakabe, K., Madzudzo, E.,
Maetala, R., Naved, R., Schwarz, A., and Kantor, P. (2012). CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. Penang, Malaysia. Working Paper: AAS-2012-21.
Abstract: “Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are systems in which the annual production dynamics of freshwater and/or coastal ecosystems contribute significantly to total household income. Improving the livelihood security and wellbeing of the estimated 250 million poor people dependent on AAS in Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Zambia is the goal of the Worldfish Center-led Consortium Research Program (CRP), “Harnessing the development potential of aquatic agricultural systems for development.” One component expected to contribute to sustainably achieving this goal is enhancing the gender and wider social equity of the social, economic and political systems within which the AAS function.
The CRP’s focus on social equity, and particularly gender equity, responds to the limited progress to date in enhancing the inclusiveness of development outcomes through interventions that offer improved availability of resources and technologies without addressing the wider social constraints that marginalized populations face in making use of them. The CRP aims to both offer improved availability and address the wider social constraints in order to determine whether a multi-level approach that engages with individuals, households and communities, as well as the wider social, economic and political contexts in which they function, is more successful in extending development’s benefits to women and other excluded groups. Designing the research in development initiatives to test this hypothesis requires a solid understanding of each CRP country’s social, cultural and economic contexts and of the variations across them. This paper provides an initial input into developing this knowledge, based on a review of literature on agriculture, aquaculture and gender relations within the five focal countries. Before delving into the findings of the literature review, the paper first justifies the expectation that successfully achieving lasting wellbeing improvements for poor women and men dependent on AAS rests in part on advances in gender equity, and in light of this justification, presents the AAS CRP’s conceptual framework for gender and social analysis.”

Philippine conference on women fishers a great success

NNWFP President, Dr Diana S. Aure, addressing Leyte conference. Photo: NNWFP

By Rosario H. Asong, PhD and Anna Razel Ramirez

of The National Network on Women in Fisheries in the Philippines, Inc.

NNWFP Holds 6th Biennial National Conference

 The National Network on Women in Fisheries in the Philippines, Inc. held its  6th Biennial National Conference on Gender and Fisheries on September 19-21, 2012  at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City in Leyte, an island in Eastern Visayas, Philippines with the theme: Women Fishers in a Changing Global Seascape and Landscape. 123 participants (111 females and 12 males) from all over the Philippines attended the conference.

For Day 1, Dr. Esmeralda Paz D. Manalang, BFAR IV-A Regional Director delivered the keynote address on behalf of Atty. Asis G. Perez, BFAR Director. Director Asis emphasized that “BFAR, as the primary government agency responsible for the management, development, improvement, and conservation of the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources, has been very active in its gender and development initiatives toward the attainment of sustainable, equitable and gender-just fisheries.” He said that BFAR has developed “gender and development (GAD) checklists for fisheries on CRM; and conducts research, training, and livelihood and field visits of project sites of women’s groups/fisherfolk organizations.” Through these activities, BFAR aims “to conduct participatory resource assessment, consultations with clients and gathering of relevant information/data as inputs to the checklists and ultimately, publication of the checklists and the GAD handbook”, he added. Perez also mentioned the agency’s plan to conduct of socio-economic survey and social research to look into the conditions and contributions of women in the small-scale and artisanal fisheries and fishing communities and gauge the impact of fisheries conservation and resource management on the lives  and livelihood of fishing  communities; to revise the fisherfolk’s registration form to capture socio-economic positions including women’s and men’s roles and interest in the value chain of the sector; to organize fisherfolk women organizations; and to empower women through conduct of training on IEC activities, value formation for both men and women, planning and operation of fishing activities including  the use of environment-friendly and women-friendly fishing gears; etc.; and to pilot women-managed fishing areas. “Experience has shown that women/gender issues are invincible to many in the fisheries sector and advocacy is required to raise the profile of gender. Credible, dedicated and persistent champions are needed. One initial target of action is to bring about policy changes to engender aquaculture and fisheries because, without this, the mandate and platform for gender focus is lacking,” he finished

Philip Jude Acidre, Deputy Director of An Waray Party List also addressed the conference participants and stressed the importance of women in the sector of the fisheries and said, “… if we look closely at the fishery value chain – from the production or actual fishing to the processing stage and finally to the marketing stage, women have played a silent yet important role. While it may be true that majority of actual fishers are men, many of those working in the processing and marketing of fish products are actually women… while the typical fisherman is always stereotyped as male, the fishery industry is not complete without the countless and often unnoticed women workers who work as fish dryers, fish product processors, the fish vendors and fish peddlers. But much of the work that women contribute towards the fishery sector is often ignored and not recognized.“  He also encouraged the participants to take inspiration from the stories of women in fisheries, especially in their capacity to hope in the midst of growing adversity. “

Plenary lectures delivered were Challenges and Opportunities forImplementing an Effective Gender Strategyby Dr.  Maripaz L. Perez, Regional Director for Asia & Phil Country Manager, World Fish Center;The Women Fishers of Eastern Samar: Coping with the Changing Environmentby Prof. Margarita de la Cruz , Dean of UPV Tacloban College and  Women Administrators in Fisheries: Making a Differenceby RD Drusila Esther Bayate, Regional Director, BFAR VI

Participants of the NNWFP 5th National Conference on Gender and Fisheries, Leyte, Philippines. Photo: NNWFP

Papers presented were categorized into four strands: The papers for Strand 1:Life Narratives of Women: From the Reef to Inland Fisheries Communities were “Gender Roles in the Mangrove Reforestation Programmes in  Brgy. Talokgangan, Banate, Iloilo Philippines: A Case Study where Women have Sustained the Efforts (best paper)  byFarisal U.Bagsit and Caridad N. Jimenez, UP Visayas; Meat for Fish: Metamorphosizing Prostitution in Navotas by Antonio C. Galang Jr.,Miah Maye M. Pormon and Ruth Edisel Rylle B. Sadian of UP Tacloban College; 3Ps of Women Fish Dealers at Sagkahan Shed Area, Tacloban City by Anita Cular,Ph.D., UPV Tacloban College; Seeing through the Pudpod in Four, Seven or Forty Seven Years:The Story of Three Women Micro-entrepreneurs (best paper and best presentation)  byMarieta Banez-Sumagaysay, Ph.D., UPV Tacloban College and Mainstreaming Gender in Philippine Institutions: Some Implications for Women in Fisheries Mary Barby P. Badayos-Jover,Ph.D., UP Visayas. Strand 2: Challenging the Environment had one paper “Escherichia coli a Pathogenic Bacterium Isolated from Framed Oysters Crassostrea iredalei and as Potential Hazards during Bivalve Molluscs Consumption by Dr. Dennis K. Gomez, Shiela P. Aguhob, Jenny Ann A.Santos &Sherry Mae J. Asdullo Iloilo State College of Fisheries. Strand 4: Creative and Survival Techniques also had one paper “Effect of Vacuum Packaging on Keeping Quality of Hot-Processed Smoked-Flavored Milkfish (Chanos chanos) by Myrna C. Bigueja, Luisa M. Lanciso, Christine C. Bigueja and Cedocia Oco of PartidoStateUniversity.

An open forum followed the paper presentations.

Researched-based posters were also displayed. These were the following “Preliminary Survey on Women’s Involvement in Small Scale Sea Cucumber FisheryIn Batad, Iloilo by Perry A. Alpasan and Rommy A. Billones, of Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (best poster) ; Samahan ng mga Maybahay ng mga Mangingitang of Rhodora R. Agapay, Municipal Agriculture Office, Nasugbu Batangas and Women’s Role in Beating the Global Challenge by  Raul Millana of Region XI Davao City

A General Assembly, business meeting and election of officers were held.  A new set of Board of Trustees were elected and from among these the set of officers of Winfish for 2012-2014 are the following: RD Esmeralda Paz Manalang, President;RD  Justerie Granali, Vice President; Dr. Marieta B. Magsaysay, Secretary; ARD Asuncion Maputol, Treasurer; Ms. Remia Aparri, Auditor; Ms. Judith Rojas, Membership; Ms. Teresita A. Padilla, Research; Dr. Ida ML Siason,Linkage; Representatives: Ms Chloe S. Taripe (Luzon); ARD Lina Palobe (Visayas); Ms Erlinda M. Puy (Mindanao), andDr. Diana S. Aure, Immediate Past Presidentex officio member.

Conference trip to bangus (Chanos chanos) deboners womens group in barangay Guintigian, Babatngon, Leyte. Photo: NNWFP

On the third day, participants had an exposure trip organized by WINFISH Eastern Visayas Cluster cruising along the river of San Juanico bridge to a mariculture area as well livelihood activities of Masinop na Kababaihan ng Gintigian, a women’s organization in Samar.

Three new ICSF reports tackle Climate Change, MPAs and Small Scale Fisheries in India

Seaweed harvesters, Bharathinagar, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Shilpi Sharma (courtesy of ICSF)

Climate Change and Fisheries: Perspectives from Small-scale Fishing Communities in India on Measures to Protect Life and Livelihood

by Venkatesh Salagrama,

Through consultations with key fisheries-based stakeholders in four States of India, this study attempts to assess perceptions of fishing communities about the impact of climate change on their lives and livelihoods. It also evaluates the traditional knowledge, institutions and practices of fishing communities that are relevant to climate-change preparedness. The study identifies adaptation and mitigation measures that may need to be adopted by fishing communities and the State in relation to climate change. Based on this overall analysis, the study proposes measures to protect the lives and livelihoods of small-scale fishing communities in the context of climate change policies and programmes at different levels.

Download report: http://www.icsf.net/en/monographs/article/EN/121-perspectives-fr.html?limitstart=0

MPA Workshop Proceedings 2012: Fishery-dependent Livelihoods, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity: The Case of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas in India.

The lacunae in fishing-community engagement in the management and governance of marine and coastal protected areas (MCPAs) were discussed in the 2009 Chennai Workshop organized by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF). To continue the discussion, a second, two-day workshop to review existing legal and institutional mechanisms for implemention and monitoring of MCPAs, titled ‘Fishery-dependent Livelihoods, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity: The Case of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas in India’, was held in New Delhi during 1-2 March 2012.

The objective was to understand the impact of MCPAs on fishing communities, from an environmental-justice and human-rights perspective, and make specific proposals for better conservation while securing the livelihoods of small-scale fishers. The workshop also served to underscore these issues in light of the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held at Hyderabad in October 2012.This publication contains the prospectus of the workshop and a report of the proceedings.

Download report:  http://www.icsf.net/en/proceedings/article/EN/120-fishery-depende.html?limitstart=0

Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries: Towards FAO Guidelines on Marine and Inland Small-scale Fisheries: Workshop and Symposium

 The workshop and symposium titled “Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries: Towards FAO Guidelines on Marine and Inland Small-scale Fisheries” was jointly organized by the National Fishworkers’Forum (NFF) and the Society for Direct Initiative for Social and Health Action (DISHA),in collaboration with the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF).

The workshop was the first in a series of consultations around the world organized to discuss the Voluntary Guidelines on Small-scale Fisheries (VGSSF) and propose measures, keeping in mind the interests and concerns of small-scale fisheries and fishing communities. The workshop was also a forum to make the role of small-scale fisheries and fishworkers more visible in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable use of fishery resources. The workshop had 62 participants from both the marine and inland sectors, representing 10 States of India. The participants included fishworkers, representatives of fishworker organizations, policymakers and representatives of multilateral organizations. The workshop was structured to facilitate active interaction and discussion among participants, taking into account  linguistic diversity and the contextual differences of the marine and inland sectors.

Dowload report: http://www.icsf.net/en/reports/article/EN/14-workshop-and-sy.html?limitstart=0

Enhancing global aquaculture opportunities for women

Seaweed farmer. Photo: GCA Proceedings p. 876

We are delighted to announce that the “Proceedings of the Global Conference on Aquaculture 2010: Farming the Waters for People and Food” has now been launched, including a chapter on gender and human capacity development, and the inclusion of gender in the Phuket Concensus statement. The inclusion of gender is a breakthrough and a first for a Global Aquaculture Conference, so please check out the many ideas in the special chapter (pp. 785-822).

Congratulations to FAO and NACA for the wonderful Proceedings and thank you to the members of Expert Panel 6.3

Please send the news of this new publication on gender in aquaculture around widely to your networks.

To download the full Proceedings, pls go to: http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2734e/i2734e00.htm

To download the chapter prepared by Expert Panel 6.3: http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2734e/i2734e06c.pdf

PAGE 895  Phuket Consensus

Support gender sensitive policies and implement programmes that facilitate economic, social and political empowerment of women through their active participation in aquaculture development, in line with the globally accepted principles of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Expert Panel 6.3’s report starts on p 785:

Sustaining aquaculture by developing human capacity and enhancing opportunities for women

M.J. Williams, R. Agbayani, R. Bhujel, M.G. Bondad-Reantaso, C. Brugere, P.S. Choo, J. Dhont,, A. Galmiche-Tejeda, K. Ghulam, K. Kusakabe, D. Little, M.C. Nandeesha, P. Sorgeloos, N. Weeratunge, S. Williams and P. Xu

Abstract: People are at the heart of sustaining aquaculture. Development of human capacity and gender, therefore, is an important human dimension. Human capacity development (HCD) was a major thrust of the 2000 Bangkok Declaration and Strategy, but gender was not addressed. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s (FAO) Strategic Framework for Human Capacity Development (HCD) emphasized building human capacity in a coherent fashion at four levels – in individuals, organizations, sectors/networks and in the overall enabling environment. Although strategic HCD in aquaculture has not received attention, substantial HCD has occurred in aquaculture education and training. Aquaculture departments in universities, aquaculture research institutes, networks and professional societies all include training as central activities.

Women are active participants in aquaculture supply chains, but a dearth of gender-disaggregated information hampers accurate understanding of their contribution. Research results and FAO National Aquaculture Sector Overview (NASO) fact sheets show that female participation rates vary by type and scale of enterprise and country. Women are frequently active in hatcheries and dominate fish processing plant labourers. Women’s work in small-scale aquaculture frequently is unrecognized, under or unpaid. Most aquaculture development projects are not gender sensitive, and aquaculture success stories often do not report gender dimensions; projects can fail if their designs do not include gender.

Lacking gender-disaggregated data on participation rates and trends in education, we conducted a preliminary survey of aquaculture tertiary institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The percentage of female graduates in aquaculture increased considerably over the last four decades, from zero or low numbers in the 1970s to recent rates of around 30–60 percent; rates vary both by country and within countries. No data are available to track whether female graduates are entering successful careers in aquaculture.

To accelerate HCD to meet the needs of aquaculture growth, commodity and theme priorities for HCD must be established. Educational institutions should cooperate and harmonize work programmes and overcome language barriers. Aquaculture education needs the best students and should help prepare them for rewarding careers. More social science content is needed in aquaculture curricula to groom graduates for management and leadership roles. The gender balance in aquaculture faculty could be improved by recruiting and retaining more women.

Gender should be put firmly on the policy agenda and built into normative instruments, old and new, complemented by the collection of gender-disaggregated data for aquaculture supply chains. Women should be empowered through gender equity in access to financial, natural, training and market resources.

Women in aquaculture should not be stereotyped as “small-scale” and poor. Women are often hampered by systemic barriers such as lack of legal rights. Women should be encouraged to build their management, leadership and entrepreneural skills. In circumstances where rural men have migrated for work, small-scale aquaculture has proven a suitable livelihood option to reduce the pressure on women. Because postharvest processing and fish trade are feminized occupations, gender equity deserves special attention in fair trade and fish certification schemes. HCD and gender are receiving more attention in rehabilitation efforts to assist survivors from disease and natural disasters.

Measuring women’s empowerment in agriculture – a new tool

Photo: IRIN

A new tool for measuring women’s empowerment in agriculture should have good applications in the aquaculture sector also. The index was developed through a partnership between the US Agency for International Development (USAID), IFPRI and Oxford University’s Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI). Using 5 criteria, it measures the empowerment of women in agriculture and in their own households.  The criteria cover:

– how engaged women were in decision-making about agricultural production

– their access to resources and how involved they were in resource-related decision-making

– the extent to which they controlled how income was used

– whether they were able to have a leadership role in the community; and

– how they used their time.
The new measuring tool was tested by cases in Uganda, Bangladesh and Gualemala.

The case studies (2 for each of the countries) can all be downloaded at:


Oxford University, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative

According to the IFPRI press release:

“The pilot results show some surprising new findings:

  • In the sample from the Western Highlands of Guatemala, wealth is a poor indicator of empowerment—three-quarters of women in the wealthiest two-thirds of the population are not yet empowered.
  • In the southern Bangladesh sample, more than half of women are less empowered than the men with whom they share their house, yet they are usually confident speaking in public.
  • In the sample from rural parts of Uganda, lack of control over resources and time burdens contribute most to the disempowerment of women.”

Every day is women’s day…


Woman laboratory manager, fish quality control center, Wuhan City wholesale fish market, Hubei Prov., China. Photo. M. Williams

.. but 8th March is International Women’s Day!

The UN’s theme for 2012 is Empower Rural Women – End Poverty and Hunger. This is also an appropriate call for women in aquaculture and fisheries. Women now make up a greater percentage of the agricultural workforce (as shown in graphics on Genderinag.org) than they did a few decades ago. Individual studies on gender in aquaculture and fisheries also show a growing involvement of women in the fish value chains, although hard statistics are not available in most countries.

Asian women – finding additional income, improving fish quality

Women sewing, Linay, Philippines. Photo: RFLP

The February Newsletter of the FAO-Spain Regional Fisheries Livelihood Program (RFLP) has stories of women’s  contribuitons to improving fish quality and of finding additional income earning opportunities outside the fisheries supply chain.

Tunisian women clam harvesters

Women’s clam harvesting material [Ruditapes decussatus

We often lament that women’s roles and contributions to fisheries are invisible. This wonderful FAO photogallery of Tunisian women harvesting clams [Ruditapes decussatus] (click here) is one example that contradicts us! It is accompanied also by a very thorough and informative YouTube video (click here) [in French] on the FAO YouTube Channel. The harvesters work from the port of Zaboussa, near near Sfax.

Highly recommended!


Research on women in fisheries: the era of political ecology

Women fish vendors. Source: IFAD

In her 2011 papers, Nilanjana Biswas, an independent researcher from India, argued that research on women and fisheries had shifted, over the decades, from a ‘political economy’ approach to a ‘political ecology’ approach. Along with this, fisheries development assistance and general development assistance has shifted to align efforts with those of countries to become more industry (capital) friendly. She challenges the development assistance community to look beyond the framework of capital. Although not providing a way forward, Dr Biswas raises the most challenging issues facing those concerned with women’s positions, and especially their frequent exploitation in the sector as it has rapidly industrialized.

Two recent papers, one on Ecuador shrimp farming and mangroves and the other on a Tanzanian fishery, illustrate the political ecology approaches. An important paper, from 2004, also has took a feminist political economy approach. In it, Dean Bavington, Brenda Grzetic and Barbara Neis studied the ‘fishing down’ of Labrador and Newfoundland fisheries (see below).

1. Dr Nilanhana Biswas study – “Turning the Tide”

You can find different versions of Dr Biswas’s work in the following places:

A. Biswas, Nilanjana. 2011. Turning the tide: Women’s lives in the fisheries and the assault of capital. Occasional Paper. Chennai, ICSF. 41p.


B. Turning the Tide: Women’s Lives in Fisheries and the Assault of Capital In Economic and Political Weekly:  http://www.epw.in/special-articles/turning-tide-womens-lives-fisheries-and-assault-capital.html

Abstract: Over the years, research on women in the fisheries moved from a framework of political economy to a framework of political ecology. This meant that analyses shifted away from labour, production relations and surplus value extraction typically grounded in Marxian modes of analysis, in favour of those focused on environmental sustainability, livelihood sustainability and a discourse on poverty. During this period, women’s labour has been mobilised at an unprecedented scale and concentrated in the most exploitative jobs to fuel economic growth in fisheries. Even as industrial fisheries thrive on the labour of poor women, new analyses and new forms of organising are needed to fundamentally challenge this exploitation. Capital cannot be left unfettered to do as it pleases, but must be forced through stringent regulation to heed other considerations apart from profitability alone. Donor aid is, however, driving the non-governmental organisation increasingly towards conciliatory, mediatory roles, incapable of seeking solutions outside the framework of capital.

C. Yemaya Turning the Tide:

Part 1 (July 2011):


Part 2 (Nov 2011):


2. Accumulation by dispossession in coastal Ecuador: Shrimp farming, local resistance and the gender structure of mobilizations

By Sandra Veuthey, Julien-Francois Gerber

Author’s address: sandra_veuthey@hotmail.comSandra.Veuthey@uab.es


ABSTRACT: Over the last two decades, the global production of farm-raised shrimps has increased at a faster rate than any other aquacultural product, leading to massive socio-ecological damages in the mangrove areas where shrimp farming often takes place. Consequently, an increasing number of conflicts pitting coastal populations against shrimp farmers has been reported although very few conflicts have been studied in detail. This article contributes to fill this research gap by analyzing the causes, development and consequences of one such conflict in the Ecuadorian canton of Muisne (province of Esmeraldas). This conflict is one of the world’s earliest and most important protest movements for the defence of mangroves and against the shrimp industry. Within a political ecology perspective, we connect three key dimensions of the conflict: (1) the socioeconomic metabolism of shrimp farming locally and internationally, (2) the institutions – formal and informal – that regulate the access to mangroves, and (3) the development of the mobilization itself, with special reference to the role of local women. The study is based on six-month fieldwork and combines data from 52 in-depth interviews of a wide range of actors, various documentation, and direct and participant observation. We find that the development of shrimp farming can be understood as a modern case of enclosure movement whereby customary community mangroves are privatized for the building of shrimp ponds. As a result, local mangrove- dependant populations – especially women – mobilized with the support of a grassroots Environmental Justice Organization. The protest was targeted at a form of ecologically unequal exchange where sectors of the global North shift socio-ecological costs onto poor sectors of the producing regions of the global South. In agreement with feminist political ecology, local women were particularly resistant to this process of ‘accumulation by dispossession’. While only some mangroves could be saved or reforested as a result of the movement, women’s mobilization has had the unexpected effect of challenging gender relations in their communities. This research articulates dimensions of a given conflict that are too often considered separately, namely social-metabolic issues, institutional change, and gender issues. This allows a more comprehensive view of a complex power struggle.

3. Income diversification, social capital and their potential role in uptake of marine Payments for Environmental Services schemes: a study from a Tanzanian fishing community

By Rhona F Barr, Salvatore Di Falco & Susana Mourato


The gender dimension in this paper is that women the study area, Mtwara region, who use hand-held and small scale gear, are less involved in reciprocal fishery dependent networks and so more likely than men to take up PES offers.

Abstract: We analyse the role of risk mitigating strategies upon the willingness to adopt a marine PES scheme in fishing households. More specifically we focus on the role income diversification and social capital can play. We find that income diversification and three social capital variables (trust, group membership and presence within a reciprocal fishing dependency network) emerged as significant predictors of willingness to adopt a proposed marine PES scheme. Results are, however, qualitatively different. Group membership and the presence of alternative income sources increased fisher willingness to participate within the proposed PES scheme. Trust was found to have a larger incremental influence on willingness to participate within those villages located outside of the park boundary. However, ‘presence within a reciprocal fishing dependency network‘ showed a negative correlation with willingness to participate. This reciprocal dependency relationship therefore appears to lock fishers in to their current status quo and dissuade participation in the PES scheme. We offer some explanations of the possible underlying mechanism behind this result. The results presented have valuable policy implications for those PES schemes which hope to target poor households.

4. The Feminist Political Ecology of Fishing Down: Reflections from Newfoundland and Labrador

By Dean Bavington, Brenda Grzetic, Barbara Neis Studies in Political Economy, Vol 73, 2004.


Concluding para: Often ecological science universalizes the experiences of women and men and promotes a highly simplified view of social reality and political economy that makes human activities appear simple and amenable to managerial control. If biologically sustainable and socially just arrangements in the fishery are to be achieved, we believe that the complex ideas developing in the science of ecology need to be balanced by sufficiently nuanced insights from political ecology and feminist political ecology that present an equally complex picture of social relations. As the case of fishing down in Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries shows, gender, race, and class relations characterize fisheries policies and fisheries science at both ideological and material levels. Women in fishery-dependent communities, including those who fish, have been marginal and invisible, struggling for some degree of influence over policy and the nature and dynamics of human interactions with each other and marine ecosystems. The implications of their exclusion are wide ranging and include gendered social, economic, and health effects associated with fishing down, as well as the loss of insight into creative opportunities for ecosystem recovery and protection.

Nori culture and gender in Japan

Nori farmer, Shimanto, Japan. Source: Wiki commons “the Story of the Seaweed Lady” http://www.thenutgraph.com/the-story-of-the-seaweed-lady/

Transition in nori cultivation : evolution of household contribution and gendered division of labor

by Dr A. Delaney  ad@ifm.aau.dk

In Cahiers de Biologie Marine Link

[CdBM (2011) Vol 52(4):527-533]

Abstract: Consumers throughout the world have gained familiarity with the seaweed nori (porphyra spp) thanks to the popularity of Asian cuisine, particularly Japanese sushi. Few actually know much about the people who produce this seaweed, however. This article presents qualitative social science research undertaken in Northeastern Japan among a community of nori cultivators on their production process and cultural way of life. Natural scientists acknowledge that in order to manage natural resources, it is actually the resource users who must be managed. In order to manage resource users, with the goals of social and environmental sustainability, we must understand both society and cultural institutions. With this in mind, this article focuses on the division of labor among cultivators, particularly along gender lines and the impacts, on a cultural level, of technological change on nori production. Technological change has had a profound impact on both the manner of nori production as well as the household division of labor and work and gender roles. Women play a key role in nori production today. With better understanding of such outward manifestations of culture and society we can bring the human dimensions of systems to bear in order to better manage these, and other natural resources.

Some additional information: A big breakthrough in closing the life-cycle for nori came in 1949 when Japanese researchers saw the publication of a British scientist, Dr Kathleen Drew-Baker, on the reproduction of a related species. Dr Drew-Baker is still honored in Japan for her findings, including by a memorial at Uto City, Japan (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Mary_Drew-Baker for an introduction). Thanks to my friend Choo Poh Sze for alerting me to Dr Drew-Baker’s work some years ago. Dr Delaney informs me that she has mentioned Dr Drew-Baker also in her thesis from which this paper is drawn.

See also this article on Dr Drew-Baker and nori culture from www.thenutgraph.com