Coastal Fisheries Programme
Number 26 - December 2015


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 the Australian Government, the European Union, France and the New Zealand Aid Program

Editor's note

Welcome to the 26th issue of the Women in Fisheries Bulletin, which highlights gender roles in coastal fisheries and development, and women’s fishing activities in urban and rural communities.

The first paper in this edition is a paper from the Asian Fisheries Science journal ‘Guest editorial: Gender in aquaculture and fisheries – Navigating change’ by Nikita Gopal et al. The authors report on the 4th Global Symposium on Gender and Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4) held during the 10th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum in May 2013. The report also includes presentations and posters of the GAF4, which was the sixth women and gender symposium organised by the Asian Fisheries Society.

The paper concludes that there is an increasing awareness and interest in the area of gender research in aquaculture and fisheries. The body of research has grown and certain issues have become much clearer. There is also greater attention to gender integration in projects and, in particular, for projects to look at the gender dimension and its impacts. In addition, the number of practitioners in the field of gender in aquaculture and fisheries is increasing although gaps still exist and this needs to be addressed.

The second paper in this edition is on ‘Pacific invertebrate fisheries and gender – Key results from PROCFish’ by Meryl Williams. Williams highlights the importance of women’s exclusive participation in invertebrate fisheries in most Pacific Island countries and territories. A key result of PROCFish’s finding on gender and invertebrate fishing showed that women were much more likely than men to be exclusively engaged in invertebrate fishing, despite their cultural groupings. Men, on the other hand, were unlikely to be exclusively engaged in invertebrate fishing.

The results of the PROCFish study also indicated that invertebrate fishing is now equally women’s work and men’s work because total annual catch from invertebrate fishing was almost equal for women and men. A gender bias in invertebrate fishing indicated that women did not engage in diving for high-valued invertebrates and had less access to boats for transportation than men. Women also had a heavier workload in terms of household duties than men, and opportunities for improving their invertebrate fishing productivity and income were very limited.

The research paper on ‘An ecological study of the sea hare, Dolabella auricularia, on southeastern Viti Levu, Fiji’ by Sandeep Singh and Veikila Vuki is an important study because women often collect sea hares and there is limited information on sea hare population characteristics. This study enhances our knowledge and also provides information that will be useful in managing the sea hare fishery.

The two study sites were at the Veivatuloa and Kaba Point mudflats. The study shows that sea hares had a unimodal size structure. There was a noticeable absence of juveniles (< 90 mm) in the populations at both study sites, although the Veivatuloa population had a larger mean body size than the Kaba Point population. The distribution of D. auricularia across the Kaba Point and Veivatuloa mudflats was clumped and density was related to the presence of seagrass beds. The amount of seagrass occurrence probably reflects abundance in the collection area, although it cannot be said that the number of D. auricularia increase with an increase in seagrass beds.

The key findings of the report on ‘Livelihoods, markets, and gender roles in Solomon Islands: Case studies from Western and Isabel Provinces’ by Froukje Kruijssen et al., showed that livelihoods in both provinces are diverse. The marketing of marine resources through value chain is an important component. Findings of this study also indicate that men and women have different roles in marine resource 
value chains. Men are more engaged in reef fishing and utilise a larger number of different fishing methods, while women engage in gleaning other marine resources. Men also dominated the sales of finfish while women dominated the sales of other marine resources.

The gender differences in decision-making patterns are related to economic activities, family roles and household daily functions. Decision-making is either done jointly or by either males or females alone, depending on what is needed. At the community level, men dominated decision-making processes.

I welcome any feedback on these articles and encourage you to submit articles on gender and fisheries issues from your country or region.

Veikila Curu Vuki



Guest editorial: Gender in aquaculture and fisheries – Navigating change
Gopal N., Williams M.J., Porter M., Kusakabe K., Sze Choo (pdf: 155 KB)
Pacific invertebrate fisheries and gender – Key results from PROCFish
Williams M.J. (pdf: 215 KB)
An ecological study of the sea hare, Dolabella auricularia, on the south-eastern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji
Singh S.K., Vuki V.C. (pdf: 448 KB)
Livelihoods, markets, and gender roles in Solomon Islands: Case studies from Western and Isabel Provinces
Kruijssen F., Albert J., Morgan M., Boso D., Siota F., Sibiti S., Schwarz A.-M. (pdf: 1 MB)

Download the complete publication:

Women in fisheries #26 (pdf: )


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