Researchers from the Greenwich Maritime Institute, Dr Minghua Zhao and Esther Copete, spent two weeks in Belgium and the Netherlands during August 2012, conducting fieldwork which investigates women’s role and contribution to fisheries in the EU. The research is part of a three-year, €4.6 million project, Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability (GIFS), funded by Interreg Iva 2 Seas.
During the fieldwork the researchers had the opportunity to meet the president of the Women in Fisheries Network in the Netherlands who spoke about their activities and their concerns about the industry’s future.
More than 20 interviews were conducted in selected fishing communities in the two countries. In Breskens the team had the opportunity to interview three fisher wives who spoke about their lives and answered questions related to the components of social cohesion. They expressed their views on the women’s roles in their communities and their main concerns regarding their husbands’ jobs, providing the researchers with an insight into the community’s views of the fishing sector.
The researchers also had the opportunity to interview the female Sales Manager of a Breskens-based company supplying fish to wholesalers and retailers across Europe. They also met and talked to the only local fisherwoman in the history of Breskens and her family members who have continued with the business.
The School of Fishing is located in Vlissingen and several students were interviewed as well as their partners. This provided the team with an idea of the younger generation’s view of and level of confidence in the sector.
The GMI research team received strong support from the local partners in both countries. They would like to take this opportunity to register their most sincere thanks.
More information about the work of GIFS can be found on their website www.gifsproject.eu
Dr Minghua Zhao