Women greatly contribute to fisheries worldwide, representing 47% of the global fisheries' workforce. Yet female fishing roles often go unrecognized. In the Brazilian Amazonia, arapaima (Arapaima spp.) co-management, which began in the 2000s, may represent a significant change in this scenario. To assess the impact of arapaima co-management on women recognition in fisheries, we conducted a comprehensive assessment at 54 fishing communities, across ~1500-km of a major Amazonian river. Based on quantitative data from interviews with 143 women, we show that arapaima co-management represented an innovative source of female income from fisheries and an unprecedented recognition of women participation in fishing activities. In communities with arapaima co-management, median female fishing revenue was US$ 215/yr and mean probability of women earning income from fisheries was 77%, a marked difference from the virtually non-existent female fishing income at communities without arapaima co-management (median = US$ 0; mean probability = 8%). Although many women often participate in commercial fisheries, arapaima co-management has been the only source of fishing income for most of them. We discuss the potentials, limitations and broad implications of our case study, which can serve as a model to be adapted to other extractive economies worldwide seeking to enhance gender equity.
- Female Income
- Small-Scale Fisheries