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Women’s contributions to N.L. and U.K. fishing industries focus of new study

A new research project, Women in Fisheries, is exploring the role of women in both fishing families and the fishing industries in Newfoundland and Labrador and the United Kingdom.
A new research project, Women in Fisheries, is exploring the role of women in both fishing families and the fishing industries in Newfoundland and Labrador and the United Kingdom. - Paul Herridge

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A new research project being launched this week will look at the role of women in both fishing families and the fishing industry as a whole.

There is particular interest in hearing from women on the Avalon and Burin peninsulas within the inshore/small boat sector, said Madeleine Gustavsson, a visiting post-doctoral fellow at Memorial University and a research fellow at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health.

"We want to hear from as many women involved in fisheries as possible, whatever their roles might be,” Gustavsson said in a release.

Dubbed Women in Fisheries, data for the study is being collected in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as the United Kingdom.

Gustavsson, who is leading the project, believes its timing is vital.

“Small-scale vessels make up 80 per cent of the fishing fleet in the U.K., yet receive only four per cent of the national fishing quota," Gustavsson said.

"By failing to prioritize this industry, many believe the U.K. government has left the communities that depend upon it vulnerable.”

The study also hopes to understand how small-scale fishing families (those using boats under 10 meters in length) are adapting to a changing environmental and economic climate.

A new website has been created for the project that provides background on the research and explores what is currently known about the role of women in the sector.

“Listening to women’s stories is a central part of this research and the new website provides information about how people can sign up and take part," said Gustavsson.

Anyone interested in participating can register at https://women-fisheries.com/ or contact Gustavsson directly on Twitter @mcgustavsson.

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