Ethnographic film (2020) (10.5 minutes)
Authors: Alex Smalley, Chris Campkin, Kerri Hall and Madeleine Gustavsson
Women play a central role in the daily life of fishing families and are vital to the success of the fishing economy, yet we currently know very little about how they help their communities to both survive and thrive.
The Women in Fisheries research project was a three-year study aiming to find out more. Across a series of interviews in Canada and the United Kingdom, it explored how fishing families can develop resilience to changes in their industry and how governments can support this. As part of this project, a short film was created to share some of the participants’ stories. Recorded in Cornwall and Scotland, the film showcases the diverse and often hidden roles that women perform across the industry and highlights their adaptability in a time of international upheaval in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It includes a fisherman’s partner who started developing a family business selling the boat’s catch locally and managing all the logistics, deliveries and bookkeeping around this. Other women working in the industry talk about their professional roles and careers working in seafood processing and distribution and fisheries management. Finally, the film features a female trawlerman who fishes on a boat with her husband full-time. In all cases, important themes come through strongly around resilience, adaptability and female empowerment in an industry that is still very male-dominated.
The film was made in collaboration between Common Parlance and the University of Exeter, UK