Gendered Seascapes in Senegal

Amelia Duffy-Tumasz, Amelia Duffy-Tumasz, Richard Schroeder
This dissertation posits a feminist theory of access by examining how fisherfolk benefit from sardinella (yaboy) in Senegal. Once a byproduct of artisanal fisheries and used as baitfish, today, sardinella is a nutritional staple and precious commodity in West Africa in both fresh and less perishable forms (i.e., keccax). This shift points to the historical importance of political ecologies as profoundly gendered processes that are co-produced with class and age in the studied setting of
more » ... iouth, an urbanizing town in the region known as La Petite Côte. I argue that an analysis of structure, technology and work are key to identifying when and how intersecting lines of social difference matter-and become strategic-in contestations over who is entitled to fish, and at what price. Drawing on eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork, I analyze primary data from 125 semi-structured interviews, an in-depth survey of 93 boats owners and 5 focus groups, to triangulate original findings with internal government data sets and other secondary sources from the francophone literature that have been largely unavailable to anglophone audiences until now. This project responds to the relative lacuna in the literature on iii agrarian change by excavating and specifying a seascapes framework, to highlight points of potential synergy between often parallel conversations on the dynamics of land-based and sea-based systems of production. iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the interlocutors, colleagues, host families, neighbors and friends in Senegal who made this project possible. When I first went to Joal-Fadiouth as a college student in 2005, women I met at Khelkom-one of the two fish processing sites in my field site-put me straight to work, cleaning and salting fish. That disoriented me in a way that I've been trying to make sense of ever since. Elhadj Mané, Bineta Faye, Meïssa Birama Fall, and Mouhammed Ndiaye were the most skillful diplomats in providing doctoral research assistance that I could have asked for. In Dakar, Oumar Watt and Aïssata Ba have been the epitome of teranga (Senegalese hospitality). Muhsana Ali and Kan-Si have shared their home with me, and over the years, I've had the good fortune of watching their beautiful children grow. In Joal, Ndeye Rama Camara and Pa Ibu Ndiaye have quite simply become family. Nanette Lett prepared for us the most delicious Senegalese dishes I have ever tasted. Her passing was a tragic and untimely loss, and reminds me of the limited work options available to unmarried women of a certain socioeconomic status in Senegal. She is and will be greatly missed.