Website explores roles of women in fishing families

Lori Kilby picks fish during a commercial opener in the Coghill District on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photo courtesy of Lori Kilby

A new United Kingdom website has been launched as part of the University of Exeter research project in the United Kingdom examining how women contribute to the survival of fishing families and the fishing industry.

According to study leader Madeleine Gustavsson, a research fellow at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health, small scale vessels make up 80 percent of the fishing fleet in the UK, yet receive only 4 percent of the national fishing quota.

“By failing to prioritize this industry, many believe the UK government has left the communities that depend upon it vulnerable,” she said.

“Listening to women’s stories is a central part of this research and the new website provides information about how people can sign up and take part,” she said. “We want to hear from as many women involved in fisheries as possible, whatever their roles might be.”

The website,, is providing regularly updated news on the progress of the project, including the latest research and efforts to improve recognition of women in fisheries on local and international levels.

The research is funded with support from an Economic and Social Research Council New Investigator grant. Project leaders are also working closely with small scale fisheries practitioners and advocacy groups including AKTEA, the European network for women in fisheries and aquaculture, LIFE, low impact fisheries of Europe, and the Coastal Producer Organisation.

Learn more at, and follow Gustavsson on Twitter at