The University of Arizona

Marisquadoras of the Shellfish Revolution: The Rise of Women in Co-management on Illa de Arousa, Galicia

Sarah Keene Meltzoff


This paper explores connections between macro-structural changes and local fisheries
management on Illa de Arousa, Ria de Arousa, Galicia, Spain to understand political
ecology. It examines the political rises of marisquadoras (women shellfishers) in the
“shellfishing revolution.” This revolution was not in technology, but in management and marketing resulting from infrastructural development. The community responded by resurrecting the cofradía (local fisheries association), to create a bureaucartized form of co-management with the Galician government. The historical convergence of marcostructural changes and local culture facilitated marisquadoras’ inclusion in comanagement and creation of a local ethnic of conservation.

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