loader
Picha

Kivukoni fish market, where gender is not bias to fishmongers

AT the Dar es Salaam’s famously known Ferry Beach to some known as the Kivukoni International fish market, beach activities are ongoing, besides the fish activities without any sector encroaching into the other.

Strolling by you will see people anchoring their heavily loaded boats offloading the fish contents after overnight fishing activities, while loading afresh their nets for the routine move.

Take a glance again and you will see food vendors cooking and selling various types of dishes not necessarily fish caught in the Ocean.

This is a famous market place where you will see all sorts of fishmongers trooping in with pails, buckets and tins of various sizes, ready to buy their stock for retail in Dar es Salaam city residents’ consumption.

In the process hawk-eyed revenue collectors in the food vendors stalls will automatically assure you that business is flourishing in the market and the government is getting its share.

As I continued to familiarize with the activities within the vicinity, I automatically realized that the traders do not segregate on gender.

From cooking, levy collectors to guards, all genders are equally represented, save only deep Ocean fishing that is masculine and seems to be dominated by men including the business of carrying loads.

That is where I saw fishermen in yellow glittering lifejackets, but not even a single woman was in their company.

My curiosity drove me to ask one why women hesitate to venture into the business of deep Sea fishing and would only wait for the catch to be brought ashore and they take the turn to dominate sales.

Abubakari Benedict, a boat operator is not willing to be open on this, but indirectly anasby narrating how hard and challenging the whole activity is till they come back on shore.

“My boat carries maximum of 13 fishermen with their fishing tools including nets and we sail across the Indian Ocean in search of fish in high waters where all species of fish are found.

We sail as far as regions of Kilwa, Pemba, Tanga and Dar es Salaam itself and sometimes we find ourselves crossing over to Mombasa in Kenya, because there is no any mark to show border limits in the water” he pointed out.

He chips in that before embarking on the fishing voyage, they must check for their safety once in high waters by looking at mechanical finesses of their boats, which may require repairs, refueling and servicing the engine.

“Sometimes we are hit by strong storms, which might lead us to release an anchor to avoid drifting or experiencing boat capsizes.

When we anchor our boats we may take a day to three or even more waiting for the situation to calm, before continuing with on shore.

The engine may also undergo mechanical faults and lead us to wander on water and wait for any eventuality if not traced by other fishing boats or sailors,” says Benedict.

But for Ramadhani Kudra, another fisherman, who uses a traditional dhow for his fishing activities, he points out that it is still complicated for the womenfolk to venture into the business of high Seas fishing.

He says that his 13-sitter Sea vessel plays several roles at once and does not cater for women, adding: “the journey is self-contained in a sense that we sail with food, fresh water, kerosene, petrol, lighting equipment, clothes, cooking utensil, charcoal and clothing.

“The boat also doubles swers by narrating how hard and challenging the whole activity is till they come back on shore.

“My boat carries maximum of 13 fishermen with their fishing tools including nets and we sail across the Indian Ocean in search of fish in high waters where all species of fish are found.

We sail as far as regions of Kilwa, Pemba, Tanga and Dar es Salaam itself and sometimes we find ourselves crossing over to Mombasa in Kenya, because there is no any mark to show border limits in the water” he pointed out.

He chips in that before embarking on the fishing voyage, they must check for their safety once in high waters by looking at mechanical finesses of their boats, which may require repairs, refueling and servicing the engine.

“Sometimes we are hit by strong storms, which might lead us to release an revenue collectors in the food vendors stalls will automatically assure you that business is flourishing in the market and the government is getting its share.

As I continued to familiarize with the activities within the vicinity, I automatically realized that the traders do not segregate on gender. From cooking, levy collectors to guards, all genders are equally represented, save only deep Ocean fishing that is masculine and seems to be dominated by men including the business of carrying loads.

That is where I saw fishermen in yellow glittering lifejackets, but not even a single woman was in their company.

My curiosity drove me to ask one why women hesitate to venture into the business of deep Sea fishing and would only wait for the catch to be brought ashore and they take the turn to dominate sales.

Abubakari Benedict, a boat operator is not willing to be open on this, but indirectly anas a changing room for all on board and to keep their caught stock of fish as well as a toilet,” he said.

Stammering to point directly that women are not welcomed onboard by their very nature, Kudra said: “We have a toilet facility just behind of the boat and it is always open, no any privacy and as you know women prefer privacy, it becomes complex for us.”

He goes to point that some other difficulties women may experience in high waters is dizziness, adding that fishing activities there require fast enough response to any eventuality including physical lifting of fish into the boat.

“We have to constantly repair the nets and even attempt to pull back any of us back in the boat when he decides to dive into the water for a swim and be back and that is masculine.

He keeps on to explain that the activity also becomes involving and may even take about six days, when they are still in high waters, which culturally a woman may not be patient to bear with before seeing her family.

“No any African culture would permit a woman to be out and expect his husband to uniquely run the family roles, just because she is on a fishing activity all night with other men,” he added.

Apart from the impeding reasons against the womenfolk to venture into the business of being fishermen, Kudra says the activity is not all that paying because after all those days in high waters, one may come back with only a catch of 20,000/- in low season, unlike high season when it registers about 600,000/- a month.

Reached for a comment, Hanifa Maulid, a 35 years old food seller and a mother of two, said that it is sickening to hear that a woman is in high Seas with men catching fish.

“Why can’t she look for another alternative to survive and have also ample time to be with her family?

I used to trade by collecting fish from Pumbwi Island in Tanga Region, where a trip could take up to three months and I said enough is enough,” she said.

THRILL. Adrenalin rush. Acclimatization. Conquest. There are many ...

foto
Author: JAMES KAMALA

Post your comments

Recent Posts

Categories

more headlines in our related posts

latest # news