It has long been assumed that fishing is a man’s job, not a woman’s. But a new study is putting an end to this myth, showcasing the significant impact of women’s roles in fishing.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, has found that women around the world bring in about 2.9 million metric tons – 5.6 billion dollars’ worth – of fish annually, highlighting the importance of governments recognizing their economic contribution in the fishing sector.
“The idea that ‘women don’t fish’ is just not the case in many countries,” says Sarah Harper, a scientist at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, who led the study.
The study has shown that in Indonesia alone, women often don’t get paid for fishing as it is considered their domestic duty, yet their annual contributions in the sector are worth around a quarter of a billion dollars, as they catch 169,000 metric tons of fish each year. The study suggests that governmental support for the fisherwomen can be key to empowering the fishing sector, as their contributions have already marked Indonesia among the top fishing industries in the world.