Gender and small-scale fisheries: a case for counting women and beyond

Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication: 2014

Authors: Kleiber, D, Harris LM, Vincent ACJ

Journal: Fish and Fisheries

Pagination: n/a - n/a

Date Published: 02/2014

Keywords: Ecosystem-scale management, gender, small-scale fisheries, women


Marine ecosystem–scale fisheries research and management must include the fishing
effort of women and men. Even with growing recognition that women do fish,
there remains an imperative to engage in more meaningful and relevant gender
analysis to improve socio-ecological approaches to fisheries research and management.
The implications of a gender approach to fisheries have been explored in
social approaches to fisheries, but the relevance of gender analysis for ecological
understandings has yet to be fully elaborated. To examine the importance of gender
to the understanding of marine ecology, we identified 106 case studies of
small-scale fisheries from the last 20 years that detail the participation of women
in fishing (data on women fishers being the most common limiting factor to gender
analysis). We found that beyond gender difference in fishing practices throughout
the world, the literature reveals a quantitative data gap in the characterization of
gender in small-scale fisheries. The descriptive details of women’s often distinct fishing
practices nonetheless provide important ecological information with implications
for understanding the human role in marine ecosystems. Finally, we
examined why the data gap on women’s fishing practices has persisted, detailing
several ways in which commonly used research methods may perpetuate biased
sampling that overlooks women’s fishing. This review sheds light on a new aspect
of the application of gender research to fisheries research, with an emphasis on
ecological understanding within a broader context of interdisciplinary approaches.

DOI: 10.1111/faf.12075

Short Title: Fish Fish