There has so far been limited investigation into gender in relation to innovation in fisheries. Therefore, this study investigates how gender relations shape the capacity and motivation of different individuals in fishing communities to innovate. We compare six fishing communities in Cambodia, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands. Our findings suggest that gendered negotiations mediate the capacity to innovate but that wider structural constraints are important constraints for both men and women. Our findings show that mens and womens capacity to innovate is strongly mediated by the behaviour of their marriage partner. Consequently, we argue that gender research from a social relational perspective has an important contribution to make in understanding poor fishing communities where new ways of doing things or new technologies are being promoted."