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Invisible actors on a male dominated arena: female fish mongers’ roles, strategies and needs in the fisheries sector Public Deposited

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This is part of the IIFET Special Session on Markets and Value Chains for Small Aquaculture & Fisheries Enterprises with a Focus on Gender that took place on 17 July 2012 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in conjunction with 16th IIFET Conference. The complete proceedings of this special session are available ( http://aquafishcrsp.oregonstate.edu/Documents/Uploads/FileManager/IIFET%202012%20CRSP%20Session%20Proceedings%20Final_small.pdf) through the Aquaculture & Fisheries Collaborative Research Support Program gender web site, ( http://aquafishcrsp.oregonstate.edu/Gender/). Abstract only.

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  • In Zanzibar, an increasing number of women have entered fish markets acting as a link between fishers and consumers, i.e. a middleman. However, since fisheries are traditionally male dominated, women receive little recognition. Thus, gender analysis in the fisheries sector potentially can enhance management and development policies as well as environmental issues. In this study 23 women and 23 men from 12 fish markets in Zanzibar were interviewed to examine 1) women's and men's different strategies to succeed on the market, 2) how finance and social networks determine the access to different fish species, 3) knowledge about fish demand and markets, and 4) needs and challenges related to fish trade. Results show that even when women manage to penetrate typical male jobs, the execution of the activity differs greatly between the sexes. Men tend to dominate commercial channels and revenues of large valuable species such as tuna, kingfish and swordfish while women mainly have access to species of low economic value such as anchovies and small mackerels directed to local markets and consumption. The main reason for this was reported to be lack of access to economic and social resources. This, in combination with scarce knowledge about fish demand, market connections and limited mobility, exclude women from more profitable markets. The study suggests that a nuanced understanding of gender dynamics in fishing communities is needed and its relation to wider social, economic, cultural and political processes.
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  • Frocklin, S. et al. Invisible actors on a male dominated arena: female fish mongers’ roles, strategies and needs in the fisheries sector. In; Visible Possibilities: The Economics of Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture and Seafood Trade: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 16-20, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Edited by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2012.
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  • AQUAFISH, USAID, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, Norad, The World Bank, Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, NAAFE, World Wildlife Fund, United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme, ICEIDA, JICA, JIFRS, The European Association of Fisheries Economists, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation
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