Management actions that intend to increase profits and sustainability, such as restrictions on use of gear that catch the smallest fish, have the potential to exclude female traders unless management also promotes social equity and gender coexistence.
The study, by Tim McClanahan and Caroline Abunge of WCS Kenya Marine Program, suggests that women have difficulties persisting in the more profitable fisheries, which along the coast of Kenya are often those where low numbers of larger fish are caught. Men largely occupy the profitable fisheries and women are more likely to fill trader roles in fisheries with the lowest profits. These low-profit fisheries generally focus on the catch of a large variety of small fish, often at unsustainable levels. The authors’ findings result from a study of 142 traders in 19 Kenyan coral reef fisheries that varied in their management and profitability.
Photo: DFID/UK/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)