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Issue No.60
  • :0973-1156
  • :April
  • :2020

Yemaya Newsletter on Gender and Fisheries, Issue No. 60, April 2020


The way ahead

The exclusion of women from organizing bodies is a key challenge facing women in Japan’s coastal fisheries

By Kumi Soejima (, Associate Professor, Setsunan University, Japan

In Japan, the Fishery Cooperative Associations (FCAs) are key entities in the effort to protect the environment in coastal fisheries. They manage traditional fishing rights with legal support from the government, and are embedded into a multi-layer management system – including Total Allowable Catch controls for some species, effort control by Total Allowable Effort, prefectural government licensing systems, and traditional rights based management.

Women in Japanese coastal communities have been organized and connected to FCAs for many years. However, they have not had full-membership rights because of the Japanese law and the practice of ‘one member per household’, with membership traditionally reserved for men. The consequence of this practice is that FCAs have few women members, and few young members, since newcomers are seldom recruited.

This membership pattern also restricts renewal of fishing