Lecture on Women in Fishing

October 25, 2017 - 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 SE Marine Science DR
Newport, OR
OSU College of Liberal Arts, Oregon Sea Grant

Woman in commercial fishing.
Woman in commercial fishing industry. | Photo Courtesy of FisheryNation.com

The Oregon State University College of Liberal Arts and Oregon Sea Grant are hosting a public talk by Professor Flaxen Conway, who is speaking on, “Women’s Roles in Oregon's Fishing Industry,” in the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center's auditorium on Wednesday, October 25 at 5:30 p.m. Her talk will focus on recent research exploring the changing role of women in Oregon’s commercial fishing industry. 

Women’s contributions to the fishing industry are not always visible and are continually evolving. They have traditionally performed onshore legwork roles, such as provisioning vessels and taking care of the financial side of the business. But interviewees who participated in the research noted an increase in the number of women involved in research or management – such as serving on task forces and commissions--sometimes because of increasingly complex regulations and markets.

Professor Conway notes that the increasing complexities of the fishing industry have solidified women’s need to turn to social support groups such as Newport Fishermen’s Wives and to continually adapt by learning new skills. For example, one fisherman’s wife described the challenge of understanding fishing quotas: “How do I open a quota share account, how do I trade quota, how do I transfer it from account to account? That’s the kind of constant learning [that’s necessary] as regulations change. And I think that the learning curve – as opposed to 20 years ago – [has] grown exponentially.”

Professor Conway adds, “I’ve always been really impressed with the resilience of the fishing community, and this work has shown us that adaptation has actually resulted in a major change in the roles women play in the family business.” For more information on this research, go HERE.

Flaxen Conway is a Professor in the Sociology Program, School of Public Policy, in the OSU College of Liberal Arts. She’s also an Extension Specialist with Oregon Sea Grant Program, and the Director of the Marine Resource Management Graduate Program. She conducts research, education and engagement about how changes in natural resource policy and management effect industries, workforces, agencies, communities, groups and families that directly depend on them. She specializes in helping individuals and groups adapt to change through cooperative learning, accessing resources, building coalitions and planning strategies that meet the needs of all interests.

For any questions, contact:
Maryann Bozza, Program Manager, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University