“This is where I need to be”: the British women who reject myths of fishing


Traditionally, superstition among fishermen has held that women on boats are bad luck – and that’s one of the many reasons why women in the fishing industry are in short supply. But now, the first British company to explicitly promote women to fish is encouraging them to join the British fishing fleet. “fisherpeople”fisherpeople. During a segment on the Brexit talks, Europe editor Katya Adler’s gender-neutral explanation led some listeners to suggest that women hold only a fraction of jobs, referring to a survey that claimed only 2.7 percent of jobs are held by women. Fishing and regulation of who is fishing in the UK Waters have been a vital part of the Brexit talks, and some industry leaders fear the agreement with Brussels would damage their prospects in the long run. Laney Black, 48, one of the UK Women in Fisheries’ co-founders, who works on a trawler, says she wants to see more women involved.

Black trawls and typically works 18-hour shifts for lobsters. Our days depend on the tides, the moon and the weather, but we leave the port at about noon on average day, so 4 or 5 p.m., and by the time we go back to shore with cleaned spiny lobsters, we have made an 18-hour change.

It’s a night shift most of the time, but it can vary – sometimes it’s a day shift, depending on the tides,’ she says. Her new nonprofit’s mission is to put together women who fish. “We’re in the process of drawing up the plans for that, but the main goal is to mentor, support and train women in all aspects of the fishing industry,” she said. After participating in a government-funded study a year ago that introduced her to more women working on vessels, the idea for the project came to Black. I have found it exciting to meet women who until now have had very lonely careers,”I found it inspiring to meet women who have had very lonely careers up until now,”

It’s hard to tell how many women fish, Black said, but she doesn’t know a lot of other female trawlers.

She said that women “don’t realize it’s something they can do or want to do.” She said, “It’s very male-dominated,” “Women’s old-fashioned views on boats are a concern.

No one ever comes up to you on career choice day [in school]and tells you that you can work in fishing… It still seems to be a stigma, but it seems to be changing, and we are trying to counteract that kind of thought. “Ashley Mullenter, 33, who has been fishing commercially in Norfolk for more than two years, is another woman who has popularized fishing through her Instagram page.” “About 11 years ago, I booked a fishing trip and when I went out, I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment and thought, ‘This is where I need to be.’ The skipper wouldn’t get rid of me after that until he finally said just come on over when you want, hop on and go, and asked me to work on a commercial boat gutting fish. “It’s a long day,” she says, which means it can be a tough industry for moms. “When you’re a commercial boat gutting fish. It’s a really male-dominated business, and that might discourage a lot of women, but that may only be their own biases. Everyone in the industry that I’ve met, mainly guys, is very supportive. Fishing for women is “rare,” she says, but she wants to see more of them get involved.

“Amy Isobel Rose, 31, works in Newlyn, a fishing town in southwest Cornwall, and said she has been working on private yachts at sea since she was 21. “I returned to Penzance last year with the intention of taking a year off and then returning to the yacht earlier this year, which Covid ruined, of course.” “I went to school with most of the fishermen or their children after growing up in Penzance, so I went to school with most of the fishermen or their children. Danny, my new skipper, finally decided… He thought I was only going for fun, but he said he knew he could take me seriously as soon as I let go of the lines from the pier, and I’ve been fishing with him ever since. “Their roles include line management, net rep.


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