New research exploring women’s roles in fishing families has been instigated to examine how women contribute to the survival of both fishing families and the fishing industry, and aims to shed light on women’s roles, identities and wellbeing.
The Women in Fisheries project, which has just launched its new website, will collect data on both sides of the Atlantic - in Newfoundland, Canada and 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.
Leading the study is Dr Madeleine Gustavsson, research fellow at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health, who said: “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.
“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 Economic and Social Research Council New Investigator grant, the project runs until the end of 2020 and will work closely with 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.