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Issue No.48
  • :0973-1156
  • :March
  • :2015

March 8, or International Women’s Day, is an occasion for women across the world to gather in solidarity to mark women’s ongoing struggles for equality, freedom, dignity and a violence-free life. For more than a hundred years, ever since the historic protests of New York’s garment workers forced the commemoration of this important day, March 8 has also been an occasion for women on their long road to freedom to take collective stock of gains made and setbacks suffered, and to plan ahead. As examples from across the world in this issue of Yemaya illustrate, so it is in the case of women in fishing and coastal communities, whose lives are a daily testament to the spirit of struggle and resilience underlying International Women’s Day.


Farmers without borders

Annie Castaldo—Shellfish farmer at the Laguna of Thau, France

This profile is by Katia Frangoudes (, facilitator of the AKTEA network, and Member, ICSF

Annie Castaldo is a shellfish farmer working in the Laguna of Thau in the Mediterranean part of France. The farm was established by her father and grandfather, both fishers, who were given a concession by the fisheries authorities in the early 1950s. At 24, when it was time for her to officially succeed her father, Annie, having worked on the farm during every vacation through her growing years, knew pretty much all there was to know about oyster farming.

The Thau Laguna however is not the easiest of water bodies for shellfish farming. It is large—7000 m wide with an average depth of 5 meters. One fifth of its area is farmed for shellfish by about 400 shellfish enterprises. The presence of a large number of villages around the lagoon impacts its fragile ecosystem, and during certain years, oyster mortality rates are high.

Not many women in France head their own shellfish farms. This is the domain of men; moreo

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