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Issue No.61
  • :0973-1156
  • :August
  • :2020

Yemaya Newsletter on Gender and Fisheries, Issue No. 61, August 2020

EUROPE / FRANCE

Fishing in troubled waters

The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on a small-scale fishing in Lorient is vividly captured in the pages of a diary maintained by a gillnetter skipper’s spouse


Based on the diary entries of Emmanuelle Yhuel-Bertin (emmanuelleyb@orange.fr), Deputy President of the Collectif Pêche et Développement, Lorient, France and translated from French by Danièle Le Sann (ad.lesann@orange.fr), France


In March 2020, Emmanuelle Yheul-Bertin, wife of a gillnet skipper who runs a 13-metre gillnetter vessel with four men on board, began recording the experiences of skipper and crew during the COVID-19 lockdown. Her diary covers the period from mid-March to early May.

The first entry signals a gathering cloud of anxieties. “The media is reporting lockdown restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID,” writes Emmanuelle, “but the artisanal fishery in Lorient is yet to recover from the impact of the winter’s numerous storms.”

The early entries outline the dilemmas faced by the fishing enterprise, torn as it is between lockdown orders and the need to survive. Ques