June 18, 2022

Second Executive Committee

The GAF Section is governed by an elected Executive Committee of 9 members, plus the Past Chair and the Newsletter Editor. The officers of the Executive Committee will consist of the Chair, Past Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Election Committee Coordinator, Constitution Committee Coordinator and Membership Committee Coordinator, Newsletter Editor and two other elected members.

The GAFS Second Executive Committee began its term on 1 July 2022.

Second Executive Committee of GAFS 


Nikita GOPAL
Principal Scientist
ICAR-Central institute of Fisheries Technology
Matsyapuri P.O., Cochin – 682 029 Kerala, India

Dr. Nikita Gopal is Principal Scientist at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (ICAR-CIFT), Kochi, Kerala, India. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and has worked in ICAR-CIFT for 25 years. Her areas of work include seafood trade and markets; technology evaluation in fisheries; and socio-economic studies among fishing communities. She has carried out several national and international projects, including action-research projects.

Dr. Gopal has been actively engaged in gender research in fisheries and aquaculture, and has worked on women in various sectors like seafood processing; small scale aquaculture and fisheries; marketing and other post-harvest activities. Collaborating with the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) she has worked with multi-country team on a project on gender in small scale aquaculture systems in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao PDR. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she successfully coordinated a SwedBio funded project on women in seaweed farming operated in India and Kenya. Her current research interests include labour in fisheries, social economy of dried fish production; and women in small scale fisheries. She has supported the ICSF in their capacity building initiatives for coastal fisherwomen in the FAO SSF Guidelines. She was also one of the gender experts for the Illuminating Hidden Harvest study.

Dr. Gopal is a founding member, the inaugural Vice Chair of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAFS) of the Asian Fisheries Society (AFS). Recognising her sustained long-term contributions to the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section, the leadership of its conference programs, research, and related activities, she has been awarded the AFS Gold Medal Award in 2022. She was earlier recipient of the AFS Merit Award in 2013 and AFS Certificates of Appreciation in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for leadership of the GAFS Conferences and publications. She was also part of a team of researchers of ICAR-CIFT which received the 4th National Awards for Technology Innovation in Petrochemicals & Downstream Plastics Processing Industry (Runner Up) in the field of Polymer Science and Technology instituted by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India.

She is an elected Fellow of the Society of Fisheries Technologists of India (FSFT of SOFTI) and the current Chief Editor of the Society’s Journal ‘Fishery Technology’. She is also Vice Chair of the Asian Fisheries Social Science Research Network. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in national and international journals.



Meryl Williams has worked for over 45 years in Australian and international fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic resource conservation and agricultural research and development. Currently, she is focusing on research and advocacy on women and gender in aquaculture and fisheries, and information and science for fair and responsible fish production for food security and nutrition.

She was the inaugural Chair (2017-2022) of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society. She is also the Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and a member of the board of Aquaculture without Frontiers (Australia). She was formerly Director General of the WorldFish Center (1994-2004), during which time she concentrated the focus of WorldFish on eradicating poverty, improving people’s nutrition, and reducing pressure on the environment. She was previously the Director of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Executive Director of the Bureau of Rural Sciences, tuna fisheries statistician at the Secretariat for the Pacific Community and fisheries biologist in the Queensland state government service.

She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science, Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in 1993, and awarded an Australian Centenary Medal in 2003, made an Honorary Life Member of the Asian Fisheries Society in 2004, named an ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ of James Cook University, Australia in 2010, and, in 2015, awarded the Crawford Medal. She is on the Editorial Board of Asian Fisheries Science journal and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Sea Research.


Professor, Gender and Development Studies, & Head, Department of Development and Sustainability
School of Environment, Resources and Development
Asian Institute of Technology

The completion of our recent publication “Women and men in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in Asia: Barriers, constraints and opportunities towards equality and secure livelihoods” published from FAO (2022) has given me a good idea of where we stand in gender and fisheries/ aquaculture in Asia, and I would like to use this knowledge to further advance our field in GAF. Our review has shown active thinking and analysis in various countries by many scholars in Asia, and I am convinced that we have a good basis to create a vibrant academic and practice community. I have enjoyed working with GAFS during my term as a member of the first ExComm, and I am looking forward to continue working with this wonderful and committed team members. My position has changed from committee member to a vice-chair, and I thank the GAFS members for giving me this opportunity. I sincerely hope I can work to strengthen our GAFS further under the capable leadership of our new Chair.

Personally, my research area is on gender, work and migration, and under this interest, I have studied fishing communities and fish trade. I was one of the main organizers of GAF7, held at AIT, and have joined as one of guest editors of many of the last special issues from GAF conferences. My current research work focuses on gender and fisheries in Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, working with other researchers, NGOs, and students on post-harvest, fisheries governance and adaptation to change in fishing communities. I am a co-editor of the book Fisherfolk in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka: Migration, gender and well-being, Routledge (2020) and one of the co-editors-in-chief of the Gender, Technology and Development Journal published from Taylor and Francis. 


Kafayat Adetoun FAKOYA
Department of Fisheries
Faculty of Science
Lagos State University, Ojo,
Badagry Expressway,
Lagos State, Nigeria

Dr. Kafayat Adetoun Fakoya is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Lagos State University, Nigeria.  She holds a PhD in fisheries and her research work has covered many areas including but not limited to governance, management, science and gender in fisheries and aquaculture with a focus on small-scale fisheries. She is an advocate of action research, active in stakeholders’ engagement and has undertaken key roles in reviews and technical working groups of validation workshops on fisheries and aquaculture policies, Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and pre-assessment of shrimp resources in Nigeria. In demonstration of policy analysis, she contributed to GAFS position statements on Global Forum and Food and Nutrition Forum on World Food Security (CFS) Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition and Implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Small – Scale Fisheries.

Dr. Fakoya has won several international traveling grant awards and research grants. In the Illuminating Hidden Harvests Nigeria small-scale fisheries, she was a case study author and the national gender advisor. Currently, she is the National Contact, Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR), Member Steering Committee, Specialist Group, Seabreams, Snappers and Grunts, International Union for Conservancy of Nature (IUCN) and Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) Country Coordinator.

Dr. Fakoya is a founding member, the inaugural Secretary and the first Executive Secretary of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section (GAFS) of the Asian Fisheries Society (ASF). For her services to the strategic directions, professional development and partnerships of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section, she received the AFS Certificates of Appreciation in 2017 and 2019 respectively, and the AFS Merit Award in 2022. She is well published, keen on mentoring young researchers and active building networks for collaborative research across intergenerational, geographical, inter-racial, cultural and disciplinary divides.


Gender and Social Inclusion in Fisheries Consultant

Arlene (Jigsz) Nietes Satapornvanit has been professionally and directly involved in gender integration in the workplace and in project management since the 2000s, working with sustainable aquaculture and fisheries projects in the region. She has expertise in gender equality and social inclusion, sustainable and ethical aquaculture and fisheries, capacity development and training, project management and coordination, and participatory field research. Her key skills include managing project activities and people, and integrating gender considerations in technical project design, implementation, communication, and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL). She has been involved in various projects with gender as a cross-cutting theme, such as the CIDA-funded project on Urban Environmental Management in Southeast Asia with the Asian Institute of Technology, the EU-funded project, Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade with the University of Stirling, Kasetsart University and a consortium of various universities and organizations in Asia and Europe, and USAID-funded projects such as Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development, and Trade with the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, the Oceans and Fisheries Partnership with Tetra Tech ARD, and most recently, Sustainable Fish Asia Local Capacity Development Activity with RTI International.

Arlene is an alumna of the University of the Philippines (BSc Fisheries), Asian Institute of Technology (MSc Aquaculture), and University of Stirling (PhD Aquaculture). She is a member of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section of the Asian Fisheries Society (GAFS/AFS), World Aquaculture Society, Social and Gender Steering Committee of the Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative, and the International Organisation for Women in the Seafood Industry.


A K M Nowsad ALAM
 Department of Fisheries Technology
 Bangladesh Agricultural University
 Mymensingh, Bangladesh

A K M Nowsad Alam is a Senior Grade Professor of post-harvest fisheries, seafood quality and safety in the Dept. of Fisheries Technology, Faculty of Fisheries, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh.  Having a B.Sc (Honours) in Fisheries as a basic degree and a M.Sc. in Fisheries Biology & Limnology, he obtained MS and PhD from Japan on fish biotechnology and biochemistry in 1992 and1995.

Dr. Nowsad has been serving BAU in diversified academic and administrative positions like selection committee members for professors and associate professors, Director- BAU Fish Farm, Director- BAU Field Laboratory and Hatchery Complex, Head of the Department of Fisheries Technology, administrator in student hall, national committee members under the Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock on fisheries policy and guideline formulations, technology transfer, quality assurance, organic aquaculture, etc.   He worked for FAO for 9 years and also for other organizations (UNIDO, UNDP, DFID, WorldFish) at home and abroad as post-harvest fisheries and climate adaptation expert to promote fishers’ livelihood, with focusing on climate resilient fisheries value chain development and women empowerment. Dr. Nowsad has supervised 8 PhD and 65 MS students and completed more than 35 research projects. He has published more than 100 scientific papers in Scopus indexed journals and 36 books and manuals.  He has pioneered a model of participatory self-facilitated training of trainers for small-scale post-harvest fisheries extension – the approaches and methods were published by the FAO. 

Prof Nowsad has been involved in developing and popularizing many low-cost technologies related to small-scale fish processing, along with value-added fish products from low-cost fish, and training fisher women, men and youth aimed to promote income generation through entrepreneurship processing and selling fish-based fast-food items at rural markets. Nowsad’s endeavor across the fishing community improved the livelihood of fisher women and men and created opportunity to increase farmgate prices of low-cost fish, while the consumers are getting safe nutritious food locally.  Many of his technology books are published by FAO.

Dr. Nowsad led Bangladesh Fisheries Research Forum (BFRF)  as  President and received ‘Life-Time Achievement Award’ from Bangladesh Food Safety Association (BFSA) in 2020 for his  contribution to post-harvest loss reduction, seafood quality and safety research.  Dr. Nowsad is very keen to integrate his research and extension work to better learn and contribute for gender in aquaculture and fisheries.

Prof Nowsad has been involved with AFS since 1986 as a student member and joined GAFS from GAF7.


Alice Joan FERRER
University of the Philippines Visayas
General Luna St.,
5000, Iloilo City, Philippines

Dr.  Alice Joan G. Ferrer is Professor 12 of Economics at the University of the Philippines Visayas and University of the Philippines Scientist III. Currently, she is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2021-2024). 

Dr. Ferrer is a member of the Asian Fisheries Society since 2004 and became its councilor (2013-2015), vice-president (2015-2019), president (2019-2022), and now the immediate past president (2022-2025). She has been active as a member of the Gender and Fisheries and Aquaculture since 2004 and has served in the GAFS interim Executive Committee and in the first GAFS Executive Committee (2017-2022) as Constitution Coordinator.  

Dr. Ferrer has gender research projects and projects with a gender component. Among her recent research involvement was being a Gender Advisor for the Philippines in the Gender Component of the Illuminating Hidden Harvest project of the Food Agriculture Organization in 2019-2020. She was also the Country Representative for the Philippines in the Gender Mainstreaming Guidelines for Regional Plastic Management project funded by World Bank (2020-2021). She has authored or co-authored gender articles on children’s nutrition, small-scale fisheries, aquatic-agriculture systems, mariculture, among others.

Dr. Ferrer is also the National Deputy Director of the Economy and Environment Group Philippines,   Board of Director of Philippine Economic Society, Executive Director of the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (2011 to present), Chair of the Regional Ethics Monitoring Board in Western Visayas (2021 to present), among her various local current designations.


Project Manager
Joint Institute of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Danika is a Social Research Project Manager with the Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research with the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Centre based in Honolulu. In 2014 she was awarded a PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. Bringing together a background in biology and women’s studies her dissertation focused on gender and small-scale fisheries characterization and management in the Central Philippines.

Dr. Kleiber has gone on to do social and gender fisheries research in Palau and Bangladesh, and most recently worked with gender and fisheries researchers around the world to analyze the gender components of the Voluntary Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines. Her research interests include social indicators for small-scale fisheries monitoring with a particular focus on food security and gender dynamics in small-scale fishing communities. Her current work includes examining and testing indicators of well-being in Hawaii, Guam, CNMI, and American Samoa.

She has been a contributor to GAF since 2011 and was an Inaugural Officer of GAFS


Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Victoria

Sarah is an interdisciplinary fisheries researcher with over 10 years of experience working on gender and fisheries. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Victoria and the Wildlife Conservation Society, working to understand and advance gender equitable outcomes of coral reef management in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Kenya, and Madagascar. Sarah completed her PhD at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries in 2019, where she focused on highlighting the contributions by women to fisheries economies around the world.

Her research weaves together social, economic, and policy dimensions of fisheries, focusing on a broad set of themes including gender equality, Indigenous rights, fisheries access, subsidy reform, and climate adaptation. She has collaborated extensively on fisheries related research and initiatives around the world and worked with numerous environmental NGOs including the Nature Conservancy/Nature United, Oceana, and Ecotrust Canada to better incorporate gender and equity considerations into their initiatives. Sarah recently co-led the gender theme for the Illuminating Hidden Harvests project, a collaboration between the FAO, WorldFish and Duke University, and is an instructor for the Haida Gwaii Institute’s course on fisheries co-management of the North Pacific Coast. Sarah lives and works on the ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples in the place also known as Vancouver, Canada.


Ann Elizabeth FLEMING
Research Program Manager,
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra,
and Adjunct Professor, James Cook University, Townsville

Prof. Ann Fleming is the Fisheries Research Program Manager for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research – ACIAR. Prior to joining ACIAR, Ann was Manager of Aquaculture in NT Fisheries for five years, and for the 10 years prior she was Assistant Leader and then Leader of the Abalone Aquaculture Subprogram for the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Ann has a PhD in Aquaculture from the University of Melbourne, a BSc (Hons) from Monash and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management from Flinders University.  She is currently undertaking a Masters in International Development at RMIT.


Postdoctoral Fellow,
University of Waterloo

Dr. Madu Galappaththi is a Postdoctoral Fellow affiliated with both Brock University, Ontario, Canada and Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. Madu’s research interests include the areas of social wellbeing, gender and intersectionality, and environmental governance in the context of small-scale fisheries. She recently completed her doctoral degree at the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Canada. Madu’s doctoral research examined gendered dimensions of wellbeing within dried fish value chains with empirical focus on Sri Lanka and was conducted as part of ‘Dried Fish Matters’ International Research Partnership.