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REF NO.: 83

SUBJECT: Pan-Atlantic Ocean project studying Newfoundland and Labrador women in fisheries

DATE: Aug. 8

A study examining how women contribute to the survival of both fishing families and the fishing industry will see its official launch this week.

The research project, Women in Fisheries, is collecting data on both sides of the Atlantic — in Newfoundland and Labrador and in the U.K. — and intends to shed light on women’s roles, identities and well-being.

'Crucial' timing
 
Dr. 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, is leading the study and believes its timing is crucial.
 
“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," she said. "By failing to priortize this industry, many believe the U.K. government has left the communities that depend upon it vulnerable.”
 
Women in Fisheries is also hoping to understand how small-scale fishing families (those using boats under 10 meters in length) are adapting to a changing environmental and economic climate.

Avalon and Burin peninsulas
 
The new website provides background on the research and explores what is currently known about the role of women in this 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 Dr. Gustavsson, adding that they are particularly interested in hearing from women on the Avalon and Burin peninsulas within the inshore/small boat sector.

"We want to hear from as many women involved in fisheries as possible, whatever their roles might be.”
                                      
The site features a regularly updated news section where people can follow the project’s progress, read the latest research and discover other efforts to improve recognition of women in fisheries on local and international levels.
 
Funded with support from an Economic and Social Research Council (U.K.) new investigator grant, the project is also working closely with the small-scale fisheries practitioners and advocacy groups such as the European Network of Women in Fisheries and Aquaculture (AKTEA), the Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) and the Coastal Producer Organisation.
 
Anyone interested in participating can register on the website or contact Dr. Gustavsson directly on Twitter @mcgustavsson.

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For further details, please contact Dr. Madeleine Gustavsson at m.c.gustavsson@exeter.ac.uk or via cell at 709-986-8616.

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