Women are the integral part of the global fisheries-related sectors says Chairman Dodda Venkata Swamy, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPDEA).
He was speaking at the closing session of the 8th Global Conference on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries held in Kochi. It is estimated that the total market value of fish products exported from India during the financial year 2021-2022 is USD 7.76 billion. Approximately 85 percent of them come from that women do in the sector. This illustrates the importance of women in this field. “In order to prevent them from leaving the sector, there should be space for gap analyses, vulnerability mapping, and skill mapping’’ added Venkata Swamy.
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) concluded with the note that women-centric approaches must be incorporated into policy and decision-making levels in order to address gender disparities in fisheries sector.
The three-day conference witnessed almost 195 presentations from delegates form 20 countries on various topics related to gender issues in the aquaculture and fisheries sector. Discussions were also held on the potential solutions through the gendered lens. Furthermore, the conference also facilitated as a platform for gaining new insights and establishing networks of stakeholders associated with fisheries and related activities from various parts of the world.
Awards were presented for the best papers in the valedictory function. Arisanti Ayu Wardhani and Indah Susilowati received Best paper GAF8 (Women as agents of change in turning disaster into a blessing with a case study of a strategic project of the steam power plant in Batang Regency) and Sreepriya Prakashan, U. Abarna, Ajina S.M and Gladston. Y for Best Poster GAF8 ( Augmenting livelihood and knowledge of aborigines and immigrants of Andaman and Nicobar Island through value addition in fisheries). Mohammad Nuruzzaman received Dr. M.C Nandeesha Photo Prize and the certificate of appreciation for the same is received by Sourabh Kumar Dubey, Prajith K.K and Basil P Eldhose. Prajith K.K won IYAFA Parallel Event Best Paper Award and Keerthana P.S won IYAFA Parallel Event Best Poster Award.
The conference which spread over six thematic sessions ranging from Women’s voices and agencies, understanding various rights, Impacts of disasters on livelihood, Gender justice & institutional roles and Success stories of women entrepreneurs in aquaculture and fisheries. There were ten Special Sessions organised by international and national organisations, including the FAO of the UN, Pacific Community, BOBP, ICSF etc.
The three-day conference brought together over 300 scientists, academicians, gender experts, policymakers and students from India and foreign countries like USA, UK, Thailand, Bangladesh, The Netherlands, Fiji, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Australia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia etc.