Women in Maritime Africa – South Africa and Global Fishing Watch Establish Program to Build Capacity for Women in the Maritime Sector

New initiative aims to equip women with skills for work in monitoring, control and surveillance

Women in Maritime Africa, South Africa chapter (WIMA-SA), and Global Fishing Watch (GFW) have joined forces in a partnership that seeks to develop technical skills for women in the maritime sector. The collaboration will establish a training program specifically designed to advance women’s proficiency in the use of technology in ocean management and protection. In Africa, women are highly represented in the seafood supply chain, yet underrepresented in decision-making in the fisheries sector. Training women from a variety of professions within the maritime industry to effectively utilize monitoring technology is crucial to bolster women’s ability to succeed in the field.

Driven by WIMA-SA’s mission to mainstream women into the maritime sector through capacity building, the training program will utilize the GFW data, map and carrier vessel portal to share knowledge about human activity at sea and help promote fair and sustainable use of our oceans through advanced cross-sector understanding, fisheries management and better information sharing. This program’s learning objectives are to: 

  1. Improve understanding of how GFW can support implementation of fisheries management policies and port State control.
  2. Build an understanding on how to best use vessel identification and tracking data to strengthen monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing vessels and fisheries.
  3. Demonstrate benefits of integrating GFW tracking data to complement and strengthen other vessel data. 

WIMA-SA aims to promote capacity development, entrepreneurship development and employment for women in all facets of the maritime sector in Africa. GFW, through a partnership with WIMA-SA, can help provide strategic leadership and serve as a voice for gender empowerment in the maritime sector in Africa and thereby strengthen the maritime capacity for the promotion of safe, secure and clean oceans.

“The open, public yet comprehensive nature of our data makes GFW a powerful platform for promoting a better understanding of activities at sea and the overlap between maritime sectors,” said Tony Long, Global Fishing Watch CEO. “When I learned about the mission of WIMA-SA, it was a very natural step to combine our ambitions – to increase the number of women utilizing technology and help promote women working in the maritime sector.”  

“Expanding women’s knowledge and giving them relevant exposure will enable them to be more liberated economically and more optimistic about their futures in the maritime sector,” said Ipeleng Selele, President of WIMA-SA.

Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA)- South Africa promotes cooperation and collaboration between national, regional and international organizations to advance African women in the maritime sector. The focus is to maintain mainstream African women in all aspects of the Blue Economy, including policy, advocacy, training and maritime awareness. Our mission is to encourage and stimulate gender parity through the promotion of targeted, comprehensive and continuous, investment in educational initiatives for women and youth in African maritime sector and related areas.

Global Fishing Watch (GFW) is an international non-profit organization committed to advancing the sustainability of our ocean through increased transparency. By harnessing cutting edge technology, our map platform allows anyone to view or download data and investigate global fishing activity in near real-time, for free. GFW was founded in 2015 through a collaboration between Oceana, SkyTruth and Google. Our work is made possible thanks to the support of our funding partners, and technology and data providers.

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