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Women in fisheries and marineculture in Europe

The production of seafood products in all European coastal areas is dominated by family, artisan-based organisations. Though the role of women is significant in this type of organisation of production, it remains unrecognised for most of the time. In the 1990's, women's organisations and movements increased considerably in the fishing sector and throughout the seafood industry in Europe. Nowadays, being involved in either local or national actions, fisherwomen appear in the public debate. They have succeeded in bringing the claims for the recognition of their role in the production activity to the highest political levels, and have even played a major part in giving birth to significant judicial innovations. In this sector, basically led by men, such a movement livens up many established facts and schemes. At the same time, research in the social sciences in the field of women's issues remains very limited and far below what has already been done in many other fields of activity. The numerous organisations act independently with very few contacts between one another, resulting in a poor mutual awareness of the work that can be initiated and completed by a given women's organisation. This situation is due to cultural, linguistic and financial reasons. The thematic network 'Femmes' intends to bring together researchers and fisherwomen associations or groups, as well as institutions working with fisherwomen.

The general objectives are:
1) to establish links between fisherwomen and social science researchers working in fisheries and aquaculture, as well as with representative institutions related to fisheries (administration, social and training institutions)
2) to make an inventory of the initiatives already existing in this field in Europe, concerning fisherwomen's organisations and research actions, and providing a 'place for exchanges and reflections' at a European level
3) to provide an opportunity to create a network of relationships between the fisherwomen organisations at a European level and make initial contacts with similar networks in other sectors of activity
4) to promote the theme of research about women in fisheries within the field of social science, and through the identification of research themes to be developed
5) to make a preliminary assessment, in the form of discussion workshops between researchers and actors, of the role of women in this sector and ensuring the communication and dissemination of information, including the popularisation of scientific research work.

Progress to Date
During the first year of the project two workshops have been organised: one on 'Women and private space' (February 2003) and the other on 'Women and public space' (September 2003). One hundred people from nine European countries participated at the two workshops.
Two issues of AKTEA, the newsletter of the Femmes programme, have been published (June and September 2003).
A website has been created:
The group working on the popularisation of scientific works have started and four syntheses are available on the net.
The establishment of a register of fisherwomen's organisations and initiatives throughout Europe has begun.

1) The publication of a directory of fisherwomen's organisations at a European level.
2) The production of two agendas for decision-makers: one presenting European fisherwomen claims and the other, research needs in this field.
3) Publication of the workshop proceedings.


Scientist responsible for the project

Dr KATIA Frangoudes
12, rue de Kergoat Box 816
29285 Brest
France - FR

Phone: +33 2 98 01 60 03
Fax: +33 2 98 01 70 90


Project ID QLRT-2001-01560
Organisation Université de Bretagne Occidentale
Area 5.1.1
Start date 10 January 2002
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 665 680 €
Total EC contribution   665 680 €
Status Completed
Web address of the project

The partners

  • Universidad de la Laguna, Instituo Universitario de Ciencias Politicas y Sociales, Spain - ES

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