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Issue No:75
  • :January
  • :2017

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
—a Native American saying

Ivory Coast / WOMEN

A Desperate Search

Women fish processors in Côte d’Ivoire in Western Africa face a bleak future, with fewer fish and declining incomes

This article is by Beatrice Gorez (, Co-ordinator of Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements (CFFA), Belgium

In Côte d’Ivoire, the low fishing season lasts eight months of the year. For women fish processors, this translates into a relative abundance of raw material between mid-July and mid-November, when they are supplied directly by the fleet of local artisanal vessels. During the low fishing season, there is almost nothing—four months of fish to process, too short a time to make a decent living. Women have, therefore, to turn to imported fish, but this market is in the hands of greedy intermediaries. Micheline Dion Somplehi, President of the Côte d’Ivoire National Union of Women in Fisheries Societies, provides ideas on how this can change, including through new regional fish-supply channels as well as through the tuna fisheries agreement between Côte d’Ivoire and the European Union (EU).

Like most of West African countries, fish is the main source of animal protein for the Côte d’Ivoire population. A narrow continental shelf limits marine artisanal fisheries activities....

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