, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 951-962,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Fish Traders as Key Actors in Fisheries: Gender and Adaptive Management


This paper fills an important gap towards adaptive management of small-scale fisheries by analyzing the gender dimension of fish trade in Zanzibar, Tanzania. We hypothesize that gender-based differences are present in the fish value chain and to test the hypothesis interviews were performed to analyze: (i) markets, customers, and mobility, (ii) material and economic resources, (iii) traded fish species, (iv) contacts and organizations, and (v) perceptions and experiences. Additionally, management documents were analyzed to examine the degree to which gender is considered. Results show that women traders had less access to social and economic resources, profitable markets, and high-value fish, which resulted in lower income. These gender inequalities are linked, among others, to women’s reproductive roles such as childcare and household responsibilities. Formal fisheries management was found to be gender insensitive, showing how a crucial feedback element of adaptive management is missing in Zanzibar’s management system, i.e., knowledge about key actors, their needs and challenges.