Women shoud play greater role in fishing – Damanaki Published: 25 March, 2013
EUROPEAN Union Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has declared that she wants to see women play a more prominent role in the fishing industries of member states.
She said that despite their presence at all levels and in all areas of the fisheries sector, the role of women was often hidden behind the scenes.
Data collected from UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) showed much of their work was after the fish had been landed in areas such as processing marketing. This was particularly true in Asian countries such as India and Vietnam.
“In Europe, more than 100,000 women are statistically recorded as being employed in the fisheries sector; however it is still hard to measure their contribution,” she added. “Statistics overlook women who work part or full time for the family enterprise without legal recognition or associated social benefits. We are now collecting new data on the socio-economic conditions of EU fisheries that will provide more detailed data on womens contribution in fisheries. This will help us understand and improve their working conditions, through better targeted policy.”
The Commissioner said understanding womens role in fisheries is important in the creation of growth and jobs. When the fishers family income was under threat, it was often women who diversified to secure sufficient family earnings.
Ms Damanaki added: “We aim to continue motivating women to take on such projects and with the reform of Common Fisheries Policy we will provide new funding opportunities aimed directly at women. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, through its community-led approach, recognises for the first time the role that spouses often play in the family fishing business. They can benefit from EMFF support for training, in particular for the acquisition of skills linked to entrepreneurship and business management.
“As AKTEA, ( the European organisation for women in fishing and aquaculture) puts it simply and concisely, ‘Behind each boat there is a woman, a family and a community’. Therefore, supporting the woman in fisheries inevitably means supporting the family and supporting the community.”