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Fisheries as a way of life: Gendered livelihoods, identities and perspectives of artisanal fisheries in eastern Brazil

Anna N. Santos

Marine Policy, 2015, vol. 62, issue C, 279-288

Abstract: Although women engage in small-scale fisheries around the globe, their roles, contributions and perspectives tend to be overlooked in policy making. In Brazil, although women account for almost half of the registered fishers in the country, their roles are absent from scholarship and policy-making decisions. This gap is addressed in this paper, which presents the case of artisanal fisheries in eastern Brazil where women play a major role in fisheries. Whereas, the majority of men engage in offshore fisheries, women prepare shrimp for the market, extract shellfish from near shore habitats, and preserve by-catch using traditional methods, for income and subsistence; activities enabling them to simultaneously supervise children. Fisher's activities are synergistic in maintaining household livelihoods, which are culturally embedded, and their identities are constituted from a young age when children participate in fishery activities. Both men and women choose fisheries as a way of life and they perceive change in fisheries differently based on the resources they extract. The findings are consistent with other scholarship demonstrating gendered contributions to fisheries, and how fisheries “are a way of life” constituted by deep social, cultural and ecological ties. Fishery policy makers need to better recognize the diverse roles and perspectives of men and women in fisheries in order to achieve equitable outcomes and livelihood sustainability goals.

Keywords: Gender; Fisheries; Livelihoods; Extractive reserve; Brazil (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.09.007

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