Worldwide, women play a wide range of roles in fisheries, making significant contributions to the industry across sectors from a variety of positions. However, the existing knowledge about women in today’s English fisheries is inadequate, fragmented and widely scattered in a vast body of discourse. This chapter attempts to help close this gap in knowledge with research findings from a recently-completed study of women in fisheries in England. The primary data was collected in selected coastal areas in England in 2010, with over 80 face-to-face and telephone interviews with women and men in several sectors of the industry being conducted. Geographically, the fieldwork covered 14 fishing ports in Southern and Northern England. This chapter analyses the major roles played by women and their contributions in four selected areas of the industry: capture fishing; families and communities; trading and processing; and management/administration. It also identifies the main issues and barriers that prevent women from full participation in fisheries and from a more effective involvement in policy making in the country. In conclusion, the chapter highlights the importance for women to organise themselves, with the prospect of enhancing women’s participation in various aspects of fisheries, including decision making.
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