The global conference on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF8) has concluded in Kochi with a call to incorporate women-centric approaches at the policy- and decision-making levels to address gender disparities in the fisheries sector.

At the closing session of the meet, Dodda Venkata Swamy, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority, said women are an integral part of the global fisheries-related sectors.

It is estimated that of the $7.76-billion worth of fish products exported in financial year 2021-22, nearly 85 per cent involves women’s contribution. This illustrates their importance in the field, he said. “To prevent them from leaving the sector, there should be space for gap analyses, vulnerability mapping, and skill mapping,’’ he added.

GAF8 is organised by the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi, and the Society of Fisheries Technologists-India (SOFTI).

The three-day conference saw almost 195 presentations by delegates from 20 countries on topics related to gender issues in the aquaculture and fisheries sector. There were also discussions on potential solutions through the gendered lens. The conference served as a platform for gaining new insights and establishing networks of stakeholders in fisheries globally.

The conference featured six thematic sessions ranging from women’s voices and agencies to understanding rights, impact of disasters on livelihood, gender justice and institutional roles, and success stories of women entrepreneurs in aquaculture and fisheries. There were 10 special sessions organised by international and national organisations, including UN’s FAO, Pacific Community, BOBP, ICSF, and so on.

The conference brought together over 300 scientists, academicians, gender experts, policymakers and students from India and foreign countries like the US, the UK, Thailand, Bangladesh, The Netherlands, Fiji, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Australia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines and Indonesia. 

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