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Jun 13, 2017

Honoring Women in the Fishing Industry

Ralna Lewis

A Women in Fisheries Forum was held today at the Biltmore Plaza. When looking at the fishing activity in Belize, particularly extraction, men dominate the sector. But the industry includes processing, transportation, sale and management. In Belize we have forty-seven licensed commercial fishers and there are a large number of women involved in the processing sector and on a global sale, women comprise forty-seven percent of the workforce in the fisheries sector. Wildlife Conservation Society’s Ralna Lewis says that this forum fixes that oversight and brings together female stakeholders in the industry to the discussion table. 

 

Ralna Lewis, Assistant Country Director, WCS

“We are bringing women into the discussion, highlighting the issues that they are facing—whether it is the workplace, being on the vessels—access to financing, getting access to technical services, being trained and so on. So those are some of the issues that we were discussing today and to see what actions we can take to enable that women have that freedom to be engaged in the fisheries sector. We had individuals from government departments, persons involved in management as well from the civil society. And you know when you look at that aspect of fisheries; women have a big role when it comes to the management. Our fisheries administrator is a female and a lot of the N.G.O.s involved in fisheries management are led by females. But then we also had people involved from the cooperatives who are involved in processing; we have actual fishers, predominantly from the southern regions—from the Toledo district as well as from Stann Creek.”

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