The Barbadian Matriarchy of Fishing

UNDP Accelerator Lab and Barbados Fisheries Division elevate voices of women fishers

January 29, 2024
Uppercase Visuals/Jawade Elibox

In the Barbados fishing industry, women account for most of the workforce in the post-harvest sector as fish processors, vendors, and business owners. But out on the water catching fish, their numbers are few.


  • Who are these women? 

  • Why did they choose to face the potential perils of the sea, rather than remain on land? 

  • What challenges do they face? 

  • How do they view the sustainability of their industry?


These are the questions being addressed in the newly released mini-documentary, The Barbadian Matriarchy of Fishing.


Presented by the Barbados Fisheries Division and UNDP Accelerator Lab for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, this short documentary highlights ‘fisHERladies’ from two of the island’s fish landing sites, while also paying tribute to stalwarts that have passed. Environmental sustainability, knowledge transfer, breaking gender norms, community resilience, and sustainable livelihoods emerge as key themes for exploration.


The UNDP Accelerator Lab in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean encourages a culture of innovation in the blue, green, orange, and digital economies through exploration, experimentation, and solutions mapping. An important part of this process involves learning directly from communities by observing and documenting their lived experiences. In the Blue Economy, the Accelerator Lab supports learning in key sectors such as fisheries, tourism, marine conservation, renewable energy, and waste management. 


The Barbadian Matriarchy of Fishing uncovers how skills and other traditional knowledge are handed down over generations, casting a wide net over families and communities. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of women in the fisheries sector in Barbados and the need for their participation in policy and decision-making. It also underscores the importance of women’s contribution to the sustainable development of the sector.


Watch now to learn from two of Barbados' fisHERladies, Andrea Chapman and Keisha Carrington, in this video by Barbadian producer Jawade Elibox of Uppercase Visuals.



Uppercase Visuals/Jawade Elibox
Uppercase Visuals/Jawade Elibox