On the 5th and 6th of November Katia Frangoudes and Marja Bekendam represented AKTEA at the First International Conference on Women in Fisheries organized by the Spanish government in Santiago de Compostela. The conference started with the presentation of the “Santiago de Compostela Declaration” for Equal Opportunities in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sectors.
The Press Release is available here: https://www.mapa.gob.es/es/prensa/181105declaracionconferenciamujerespesca_tcm30-485039.pdf
Marja Bekendam states: “This declaration is a recognition of women’s work at sea and ashore. We hope to hear how it will lead to a formal recognition of the work women do. The implementation of directive (2010/41/EU) would be a great step forward for women who work with different tides, in all kinds of weather and working conditions every day”.
Prior to the International Conference of Women in Fisheries in Santiago de Compostela (November 2018), Katia Frangoudes and Marja Bekendam, representing AKTEA, visited two members organizations of the network in Galicia: Amarcarril and Mulleres Mar Arousa.
The association Amarcarril, based in Carril, gathers mariscadoras of the community who are, inter alia, organising visits for tourists and schools to explain their work and also the functioning of shore ecosystem. The association also created an exhibition room in the building of the auction where they show photos of shellfish harvesting as well as the main tools to practice such activity. Posters and other products are used to communicate about their activity. Amarcarril women told Katia and Marja about their work, their working conditions and the difficulties they are facing in the sector. AKTEA asked them what are their main messages for the decision-makers in Brussels and their prioriy is the reduction of the age of retirement which is now at 65 years old. Because of the difficult working conditions they find it hard to practice this activity until such an age and therefore they ask to retire earlier, like fishermen do. Besides that, the prices of their products are decreasing because of the import of foreign products. A regional certification of shellfish may help them to increase the price as consumers would be able to better identify their products. Their last demand was related to the size of shellfish, because in this part of the Ria Arousa shellfish are vulnerable to natural hazards and high mortality is observed during some months. For this reason, the mariscadoras of Carril claim for a flexible minimum conservation size which could be adaptable to each local context in order to avoid the loss of their production.
Later in the afternoon AKTEA’s representatives visited the association of Mulleres Mar Arousa in Villa Nova. This organization is gathering women of the communities around Ria Arousa. They practice a number of different activities related to the sea such as mussels farming, shellfish and percebes (barnacles) harvesting and direct marketing. In Galicia, women harvesters used to chair several cofradias (fishers organisations) and demonstrated their skills in managing male-dominated organizations’. However, since the cofradias’ most recent elections, the number of women leaders decreased considerably. For this reason Mulleres Mar Arousa decided to raise awareness about the matter and publicly claim for more gender sensitive regulations that would allow women to get back to managing cofradias. The association made noise about the matter through letters and articles in local newspapers addressed to fishers’ organisations, authorities and the general public, thus highlighting the urgent need to recognize women’s rights in the sector.
En el marco del “3° Congreso Mundial de Pesca Artesanal” (Tailandia, 22-26 de octubre de 2018), se invitó a Aktea a proporcionar su contribución sobre el tema de la igualdad de género.
En el núcleo de esta iniciativa estaba el mapeo de iniciativas colectivas de mujeres en todo el mundo. 20 participantes de América Latina, América Central, Asia y África compartieron sus conocimientos sobre este tema. Los representantes de AKTEA también asistieron y explicaron la acción de la red para fomentar la igualdad de género y la equidad en la pesca europea en pequeña escala. La mesa redonda acordó que tal mapeo permitirá reforzar la visibilidad del movimiento y servirá como una herramienta para abogar por el reconocimiento de los derechos de las mujeres.
A lo largo del Congreso se dedicaron dos sesiones a la igualdad de género. La primera se centró en las relaciones de género en los sectores de la pesca y la acuicultura a la luz de la globalización, mientras que la segunda se dedicó a Asia y la migración como facilitador de la pobreza y la discriminación.
En el marco de la “Conferencia de alto nivel sobre pesquerías de pequeña escala sostenibles en el Mediterráneo y el Mar Negro” (Malta, 25-26 de septiembre de 2018), Aktea participó en la mesa redonda «Un modelo de desarrollo sostenible para las comunidades pesqueras: promover el trabajo decente. y apoyando el papel de la mujer ».
AKTEA explicó la importancia de contar con una red de mujeres en la pesca para garantizar una pesca sostenible en el Mediterráneo y los principales desafíos y oportunidades que tenemos por delante. Además, AKTEA solicitó una mayor cooperación entre la DG Empleo y la DG Mare para la revisión de la directiva 2010/41 /UE para permitir el reconocimiento de la contribución de las esposas y socios de los pescadores.
Paralelamente al evento, una delegación compuesta por Stella Stylianou, Alicia Said y Katia Frangoudes se reunió con mujeres maltesas involucradas en la pesca como esposas o mariscadoras. Hablaron sobre el papel de las mujeres, sus dificultades y sobre la necesidad de organizar formalmente una red más amplia, encontrando otras mujeres de los países mediterráneos en los próximos meses.
New research exploring women’s roles in fishing families officially gets going, as the Women in Fisheries project launches its new website.
The study is examining how women contribute to the survival of both fishing families and the fishing industry, and will shed light on women’s roles, identities and wellbeing.
Collecting data on both sides of the Atlantic – in Newfoundland, Canada and here in the UK – Women in Fisheries is also hoping to understand how small-scale fishing families (those using boats under 10m in length) are adapting to a changing environmental and economic climate.
The new website helps to provide background on the research and explores what we currently know about the role of women in this sector.
Dr Madeleine Gustavsson, a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health, is leading the study and believes its timing is crucial, “Small-scale vessels make up 80% of the fishing fleet in the UK yet receive only 4% of the national fishing quota. By failing to prioritise this industry, many believe the UK government has left the communities that depend upon it vulnerable” she said.
“Listening to women’s stories is a central part of this research and the new website provides information about how people can sign up and take part. We want to hear from as many women involved in fisheries as possible, whatever their roles might be.”
The site features a regularly updated news section where people can follow the project’s progress; read about latest research; and hear about other efforts to improve recognition of women in fisheries on local and international levels.
Funded with support from an ESRC New Investigator grant, the project is also working closely with the small-scale fisheries practitioners and advocacy groups: AKTEA (European network for women in fisheries and aquaculture), LIFE (Low Impact fishers of Europe) and the Coastal Producer Organisation.