During the side event, speakers highlighted positive aspects and practical steps to increase visibility of women in fisheries, while also giving them the chance to train on salting fish process and use improved smoking ovens.

Highlighting the essential role of women in fisheries globally, IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu stressed that available data does not capture the complex nature of the work undertaken by the women in fisheries and the fact that many of the policies are developed by women.

According to Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, World Maritime University (WMU), recent researches suggest that about 40 million people are engaged in fishing, but only the 15% are women.

We need to produce data and research on fishing - on fishers and the role that they play and from there look at how we can lift them from poverty,

...she noted.

Speakers also underlined the need to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

This has to include a bottom up approach, including and involving the women at the shore side part of the fisheries supply chain. Further work is needed, to build partnerships, to achieve greater inter-agency collaboration between IMO-FAO-ILO to improve visibility and recognition of women in the fisheries sector and to support the organization of women in fisheries into networks,

...IMO noted.

The event was arranged by IMO and the Government of Spain and sponsored by The Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China.

On the sidelines of the Conference in Spain, 48 states signed a public declaration to indicate their determination to ratify the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety.