Freshwater, Fish and the Future: Proceedings of the Global Cross-Sectoral Conference

In the Frame: Modifying Photovoice for Improving Understanding of Gender in Fisheries and Aquaculture

Alison Simmance, Fiona Simmance, Jeppe Kolding, Nyovani J. Madise, and Guy M. Poppy

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9789251092637.ch8

Abstract .—Understanding the role and value of small-scale fisheries to livelihoods and food security is a key challenge in conserving fishery resources. This is particularly true for small-scale inland fisheries, one of the most underreported and undervalued fisheries sectors that also increasingly faces environmental and societal change. Gender plays a central role in the different ways in which inland fisheries contribute to food and nutritional security in developing countries. The role of women in inland fisheries is significant, with millions of women contributing to dynamic capture fisheries and aquaculture supply chains. The role of women in inland fisheries, however, is less visible than the role of men and is often overlooked in policymaking processes. The need for participatory community-based approaches has been widely recognized in natural resource management literature as a means to capture people’s perspectives and empower marginalized groups. The Photovoice method is increasingly used as a participatory tool in health, social, and environmental research, but has had little adoption in inland fisheries research to date. The aims of this paper are (1) to review and evaluate the effectiveness of an emerging participatory method, Photovoice; and (2) to present a modified Photovoice method, applicable to the context of small-scale fisheries, to advance understanding of gender and socioecological dimensions. We outline the strengths and limitations of the method and highlight that it can be used as a tool for triangulation of mixed research methods or independently. We argue that Photovoice, as a participatory tool in fisheries research, has the potential to provide rich, qualitative, context-specific, untapped sources of knowledge to advance fisheries research and management. The use of Photovoice in the context of small-scale inland fisheries and aquaculture research is a timely endeavor given heightened interest to obtain insights into the previously overlooked aspects of gender and the need for more policy relevant information.