Coastal Fisheries Programme
Number 25 - October 2014


Coordinator: Veikila Curu Vuki, Oceania Environment Consultants, PO Box 5214, UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96913

Production: Information Section, Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division, SPC, BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia

Prepared with financial assistance from Australia, France and New Zealand

Editor's note

Congratulations SPC on the 25th issue of the Women in Fisheries Bulletin. The Bulletin has come a long way from its inception in 1989. I would like to thank SPC, donors, the editorial team and the Fisheries Information Section of SPC for their work and commitment. I am grateful for the untiring support of Aymeric Desurmont and his dedication to keeping the WIF Information Bulletin going. I also wish to thank the writers, particularly Meryl Williams, Mecki Kronen and Aliti Vunisea.

In the first article, Moses Amos, the new Director of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division, outlines his vision for women in fisheries. I am delighted that he responded to my invitation to contribute to the 25th issue and appreciate the time he has taken to think through the possibilities for reviving the “women in fisheries” work at SPC. As FAME’s leader, he has opportunities to provide a platform both for discussion of gender issues in fisheries and aquaculture and for development of new initiatives.

I would also like to thank Meryl Williams for her review of work done at SPC during the last 25 years on women in fisheries. Her insights and analyses of this work and the WIF Information Bulletin are greatly appreciated. Her article, “Twenty-five issues of the Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin: The story within the story of 25 years of women in fisheries at SPC”, highlights the origins and progress of the Bulletin and the support given by SPC and donors. She also briefly reviews other SPC information bulletins (such as Beche-de-mer and Traditional Marine Resources Management and Knowledge) that have supported the women in fisheries theme.

After examining the work done over 25 years, Meryl concludes that SPC’s fisheries programmes have only sporadically addressed women’s interests in fisheries and aquaculture. She suggests that if FAME is to better address women’s interests in the Pacific region, it needs to revive and support the women in fisheries work in addition to producing the WIF Information Bulletin. The first task for SPC, according to Meryl, is to revisit its strategic plan and work with experts to develop sound gender objectives and targets for the fisheries and aquaculture programmes. She also emphasises the need to include gender equality objectives to improve social and economic justice for women in the Pacific Islands.

Papers 3 and 4 were first presented at SPC meetings in the 1990s. They are reproduced here to provide some insight into the women’s programme at the beginning of the Women in Fisheries Development Project at SPC. These two papers present some of the gender issues prevalent at that time, which are still relevant today, and an account of the humble beginnings of the project’s work.

The article, “An overview of the involvement of women in fisheries activities in Oceania” by Lambeth et al. was first published in 2002. The authors reported that 70% to 80% of the catches from inshore fisheries were for subsistence purposes with women contributing the majority share. In recent years, women have become increasingly engaged in small businesses involving marine resources. This is in addition to their participation in traditional activities such as inshore harvesting and seafood processing. The article suggests that the whole community should be included in fisheries development instead of just including women in fisheries work. In fact, the paper reiterates ideas that led SPC to change the Women’s Fisheries Development Section into a Community Fisheries Section in 1998. As explained in Meryl Williams’s paper, this move may have reduced the attention paid to women’s involvement in fisheries in SPC’s programmes.

In the following article, “Gender and fisheries and aquaculture — from policy to implementation. Lessons learned from Germany’s policy for sustainable development”, Mechthild Kronen notes the need for gender analyses, for gender disaggregated data and for a focus on gender in all steps of a project cycle. Other important lessons relate to gender equity and equality in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making, and the need to address gender discrimination in employment practices in fisheries and aquaculture industries.

The article by Ruci Yauvoli, “Non-government organisations, civil society, women’s welfare and development in the Pacific Islands”, describes the relationship between women, non-government organisations and their contributions to the economic empowerment of women in the Pacific Islands, especially in Fiji. She says Pacific Island NGOs have played strong advocacy roles in supporting women’s rights, democracy, human rights, peace and development, media freedom, good governance and the rule of law.

Finally, the article by Veikila Vuki and Maria Elder discusses gender mainstreaming of forestry policies in Fiji. Forestry seems far removed from fisheries, but the article is included because it gives an example of how to involve women in a male dominated natural resource management sector, like the fisheries management sector.

More specifically, the paper explains the need to include gender in Fiji’s forest policies. It provides an overview of gender mainstreaming of policies in other sectors as a basis for the inclusion of gender in policies for sustainable forest management and development. It also highlights the need for gender inclusiveness in private sector development of handicraft, eco-tourism and forest conservation initiatives.

I welcome feedback on these articles and encourage you to submit articles on gender and fisheries issues from your country or region for the next issue of this bulletin. Again, congratulations to SPC on this 25th issue. I hope that the future will be much brighter for women in fisheries work in the Pacific region and there will be more support for new initiatives in this area rather than relegating it to a “cross-cutting” issue in fisheries programmes.

Veikila Curu Vuki



Growing and empowering women in fisheries work in the Pacific region
Amos M. (pdf: 146 KB)
Twenty-five issues of the Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin: The story within the story of 25 years of women in fisheries at SPC
Williams M.J. (pdf: 136 KB)
Women in fisheries development
Steele S. (pdf: 124 KB)
Supporting women in fisheries
Anon. (pdf: 105 KB)
An overview of the involvement of women in fisheries activities in Oceania
Lambeth L., Hanchard B., Aslin H., Fay-Sauni L., Tuara P., Des Rochers K., Vunisea A. (pdf: 163 KB)
Gender and fisheries and aquaculture - From policy to implementation. Lessons learned from Germany’s policy for sustainable development
Kronen M. (pdf: 432 KB)
Non-government organisations, civil society, women’s welfare and development in the Pacific Islands
Yauvoli R. (pdf: 90 KB)
Gender mainstreaming of Fiji’s forest policies - Issues, challenges and the future for women in the development of the forest sector
Vuki V.C., Elder M. (pdf: 69 KB)

Download the complete publication:

Women in fisheries #25 (pdf: )


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