World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress

I recently attended the 3rd World Small-Scale Fisheries congress, a fantastic five day event uniting researchers, policymakers and representatives of global fishing communities.

Held in Chaing Mai, Thailand, the conference paid particular attention to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation’s ‘Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale fisheries in the Context of Food security and Poverty Eradication’ (see here for full details).

We explored the different aspects involved in implementing these guidelines in various geographical contexts, with both academics and practitioners noting that more could be done to implement their recommendations in developed countries across Europe and North America.

As part of a session organised by Katia Frangoudes I had the opportunity to present information on the Women in Fisheries project, which provided a unique international platform to discuss the work we’re doing in this study.

In other talks, Sarah Harper from the University of British Columbia shared her research on indigenous women and fisheries governance; Carmen Pedroza from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México covered fish processing in Mexico; Kumi Soejima at the National Fisheries University in Shimonoseki discussed the situation for women in Japanese fisheries; and Holly Hapke from East Carolina University provided an insight into small-scale fisheries in India.

In addition, Kimberly Orren, founder of Fishing for Success and the Girls Who Fish programme in Newfoundland, presented work on making the fishery more accessible to women. Kimberly shared a video by Justin Oakey and Troy Maher which was one of the winners of the ‘Women in Seafood’ annual video competition for 2018. You can watch it below:

Throughout the conference, themes of gender were discussed with Katia Frangoudes (University of Brest) and Jorge Torre Cosio (Comunidad y Biodiversidad) organising a fisher-to-fisher talk discussing the presence of women’s fisheries organisations in different countries across the world.

The conference presented an opportunity to learn more about women’s small-scale fisheries networks in other geographical locations which can help to inform the development of the UK focused Women in Fisheries network.

The Special Issue “(En)Gendering Change in Small-scale Fisheries and Fishing Communities in a Globalized World” edited by Katia Frangoudes and Siri Gerrard, which Mark Riley and I have contributed to, was also formally launched at the conference.

M Gustavsson