Women in STEM Part 2: Bringing Visibility to Women in Fisheries

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By Angela Cruz

When you hear “fisherman,” what do you picture? I would expect you see an image of a burly man in a yellow raincoat, struggling on a hazardous sea. Men have been the face of the marine resource industry and discourse for decades, with the assumption that it is a strictly male sphere. Previously, reports stated that the global fishing industry was overwhelmingly dominated by men. However, this statistic has been turned on its head. Today, the World Bank acknowledges that when pre-harvest, post-harvest and subsistence activities are considered, the fishing industry is nearly 50% women. As Currents recognizes and discusses women in STEM, it’s equally important to include women that work in the fisheries industry and the biases they experience in that discussion as well. When we don’t understand women’s roles in fisheries, this can render them invisible in the industry. These biases and invisibility can lead to exclusion of women in fisheries management, even though they hold great stake in marine resources and are more vulnerable to environmental degradation than men. This can have negative repercussions both for management outcomes and for communities.

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