Resource co-management as a step towards gender equity in fisheries

Carolina T. Freitas, Helder M. V. Espírito-Santo, João Vitor Campos-Silva, Carlos A. Peres, Priscila F. M. Lopes

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21 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106709
JournalEcological Economics
Early online date5 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Amazonia
  • Arapaima
  • Female Income
  • Pirarucu
  • Small-Scale Fisheries
  • Women

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