The 8th Global Conference on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF8) organized by Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society, ICAR- Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi, and the Society of Fisheries Technologists (India) (SOFTI) was officially inaugurated by Governor of Kerala Arif Mohammed Khan.
“The global conference discusses issues pertaining to the rights of equality of the unsung majority, which is women. Women make major contributions in the several areas in the fishing industry. Yet contributions of women in the fisheries and aquaculture have long been neglected. I hope this conference will deliberate and find potential solutions to alleviate the situations. ,” said. Arif Mohammed Khan while inaugurating the conference.
Dr. T. K. Srinivasa Gopal, renowned fish processing technologist and academician received the SOFTI Biennial Award 2017 from the Governor.
“Women have exceptional capabilities in fisheries business and related work but are often locked out of big developments in technologies , finances and political representations. This developments must include women meaningfully as they are very important for the future of the sector . GAF8 aims to help better people’s lives by finding ways to make women more visible, have them counted and included as decision makers,” said Dr. Meryl J. Williams Co-Chair GAF8 & Past Chair GAFS of Asian Fisheries Society (AFS).
The conference which is being held from 21-23 November 2022 at IMA House in Kochi is the eighth in the global series, themed on ‘Shaping the Future: Gender Justice for Sustainable Aquaculture & Fisheries and is highlighted through various sub-themes related to the gender issues in the fisheries sector. The aim of the conference is to bring forward gender issues in the aquaculture and fisheries sector and discuss potential solutions through the gendered lens. Furthermore, the conference will provide a platform for gaining new insights and establishing networks of stakeholders associated with fisheries and related activities from various parts of the world.
The three-day conference will bring together over 300 scientists, academicians, gender experts, policymakers and students from India and abroad. Delegates from 20 countries will present papers in GAF8. Besides six focal themes, there are 10 Special Sessions organised by international and national organisations, including the FAO of the UN, Pacific Community, BOBP, ICSF etc.
“Woman are the key players in fishery related livelihoods, particularly in the domains of post harvest and marketing of fish. Their role in this sector is often underplayed. Hence it is very important to flag the issues and challenges that the women face in the sector through a platform,” said Dr. George Ninan Director, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT), Kochi & Organizing Secretary, GAF8.
There will be two special events that are being hosted along with GAF8; one on ‘Interventions for Control of AMR: Harnessing One Health Knowledge’ observing the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week and the other on ‘Small-scale Fisheries: Its Global and Regional Significance’ in connection with the FAOs International Year of Artisanal Fisheries & Aquaculture (IYAFA).
Dr. George Ninan Director, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT), Kochi & Organizing Secretary, GAF8, (Presidential Address), Dr. Meryl J. Williams Co-Chair GAF8 & Past Chair GAFS of Asian Fisheries Society (AFS), Malaysia, ( Opening Remark) Dr. Leela Edwin Head, Fishing Technology Division, ICAR-CIFT & Co-Chair, GAF8, (Welcome Address), Jennifer Gee, Gender Team Leader FAO, United Nations, Rome, ( Special Address), Dr. V. Kripa, Member Secretary, Coastal Aquaculture Authority, Chennai, Dr. Nikita Gopal, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFT Organizing Secretary, GAF8 & Chair GAFS (Introduction to GAF8) Dr. T. V Sankar, Principal Scientist, ICAR-SIFT, Kochi spoke at the event.