Hillary Smith obtained B.A.’s in Anthropology and Geography from the University of Florida in 2009. Upon graduating she spent two years with a conservation organization in both Tanzania and Madagascar. She gained experience leading socioeconomic research on terrestrial human-wildlife conflict, heading the marine science programs, and working as the country coordinator for all projects. She returned to the US to pursue graduate studies and received her M.A. in Geography from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied the socioeconomic effects of forest sector decentralization in Tanzania. At Duke, she is a PhD candidate in the Marine Science and Conservation program where she studies the political economic and gendered dimensions of small-scale fisheries. In Tanzania, many livelihood activities and associated environmental knowledge are traditionally divided along gender lines, where women fish certain species with specific techniques. Increasingly, men are entering what were traditionally women’s livelihood activities, often marginalizing them in the process. This summer, she will explore how shifting socio-political and ecological dynamics are shaping the octopus fisheries of Zanzibar—traditionally a women’s fishery. At the same time at the national level, fishworkers organizations are attempting to reform Tanzanian fisheries policy, based on principles of human rights. These movements are largely led by women and are specifically pushing the fisheries department to acknowledge the role of women’s labor in the sector. Her research will explore how the discourse of human rights is used to secure rights to fishing livelihoods for marginalized groups, especially women, at both local and national scales.     


Updates:

Small fish, big problems: Gender based violence in Lake Victoria’s fisheries

Gendered Struggles and Strategies to Remain in Place in Small-Scale Fisheries