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Research on the high seas: women scientists aboard the Nansen

As part of the EAF-Nansen Project, women scientists from Australia, Ghana and Indonesia join the crew of the the R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen – the only ship in the world to fly the UN flag.


For over 40 years, FAO has been working in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development cooperation (Norad) and the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) of Bergen, Norway on a joint program to strengthen national and regional knowledge of marine resources in developing countries, and to build their capacity for fisheries research and management.

The resulting EAF-Nansen Project carries this out largely through the operation of the R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, a marine research vessel on which scientists conduct marine research studies around the world – but primarily along the coastlines and waters of Africa.

For each survey voyage, young scientists from the countries being surveyed are selected to bring their expertise on board and to learn and develop their skills through the Nansen experience. Because the Nansen project has a gender policy, it has been very active in selecting women scientists for each survey voyage. 

For example, Abena Serwah Asante of the Fisheries Commission of Ghana joined the Ghana coastal survey voyage in April 2016 as the co-cruise leader, and assisted the team with sampling, sorting and weighing the fish and entering data in the onboard NANSIS database.

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