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EPRS - Women in EU fisheries


Fishing is often seen as a male activity, especially when it comes to working on board fishing vessels and involving long absences at sea. However, women play an important role in the fisheries sector, especially in small-scale family businesses. Either they are involved in the fishing activity itself, on board or on foot as shellfish gatherers, or they support the business through on-shore activities such as fishing gear preparation and maintenance, transporting fish to auctions, sales, administration, logistics or even the development of tourist activities. This work is not always recognised. According to a study for the European Commission, the share of unpaid women in fisheries (6.6 %) is almost double their share in total employment (3.8 %). However, this level of employment is an underestimate, as women who are not actively engaged on board fishing vessels are often not visible in the official statistics.

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