FISHERIES AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC (FMERI

)

BACKGROUND PAPER PREPARED FOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FISHERIES AND GLOBALIZATION
19 – 21 September 2012 Iloilo, Philippines

THE STATE OF THE FISHERIES SECTOR UNDER GLOBALIZATION
Introduction In a hungry world, and 925 million hungry people can attest to that, the fisheries sector is a valuable source of food. Globally, fisheries provide 4.3 billion people with about 15 % of their animal protein intake. Fish (and fisheries products) is one of the most globalized commodities in the world with trade values estimated at US$102 billion of which 50 % is attributable to developing countries. Revenues from fish and fish products are thus one of the more important sources of foreign currency. But the global fisheries sector is in crisis. The crisis is characterized, not only by stock depletion and wanton destruction of resource habitats, but more importantly, by the marginalization of small-scale fishers and fishworkers brought about by the intensification of globalization of the fisheries sector. More than anything else, it is the pursuit of profits that drives overcapitalized commercial fishing fleets from developed countries to overexploit to the point of collapse, first, the fishing grounds within and those surrounding their home countries, and then the high seas and the waters within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of developing countries in the South. National subsidies, official development aids (ODAs) and other forms of capital incentives from international financial institutions facilitated the expansion and, subsequently, the globalization of the fisheries sectors in the recipient countries. These financial interventions in turn caused the overexploitation of resources, threatened the livelihood source of millions of people and jeopardized the food security of these countries. Small-scale fisherfolk are the primary producers of fish for direct human consumption. The small-scale fisheries sector also supports the livelihood of a significant number of people in the secondary sector and their dependents. Since fish is one of the more important sources of foreign currency for the developing countries, small-scale fisheries contribute as well to their respective national economies. Additionally, small-scale fisheries are more energy efficient and ecologically sustainable. The shift towards export-driven production (both in capture and aquaculture fisheries), the dominance of multinationals in fisheries, and the collapse of fishing resources and stocks have further marginalized the small-scale fisherfolk and their communities. Given their role in the production of fish and fish products for human consumption, the marginalization of small-scale fisheries has threatened the food security of billions of people who count on fish as one of their main and cheaper sources of protein.

FISHERIES AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC (FMERI)

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International instruments, operating within the framework of neo-liberalization and globalization, and implementing guidelines in regulation and resource management at the national levels have not resolved, and in fact, have only further aggravated, crisis in the fisheries sector. The role of small-scale fisherfolk in poverty alleviation and food security has long been ignored and there is a need to formulate policies and regulations that ensure both resource sustainability and the essential role of small-scale fishers, their organizations and their communities in policyformulation and implementation. There is also a need to strengthen the representation of fisherfolks’ social movements and organizations in policy formulation. This can only be driven forward through a complete system change in which sustainable fisheries systems are implemented by first dismantling export-led fish production and in its place promoting local food sovereignty and secondly by dismantling the corporate control of fishing fleets and fish markets and trade. I. Global overview of fisheries and aquaculture a. Global data and trends on capture fisheries and aquaculture Global production FAO (2012) statistics showed that the total reported fisheries production is 154 million tons, 85 % of which is utilized for human consumption. The world fish food supply has grown at a rate of 3.2 per cent annually from 1961 to 2009, outpacing the population growth rate of 1.7 per cent per year. Though the bulk of the production is supplied by marine capture-fisheries, it was aquaculture’s expansion that pushed the upward trend in global production (see ). World fish production in aquaculture has expanded at an annual average rate of 8.8 per cent, thus making it the fastest growing food system globally, with Asia accounting for 89 per cent of the production by volume1 ( (FAO 2010). On the other hand, among the developed industrialized countries, there is a noticeable trend in cessation of expansion and even contraction in aquaculture production, with their production dropping from 21.9 % by quantity and 32.4 % by value in 1990 to 6.9 % and 14 %, respectively, in 2010 (FAO 2010).

1

The top aquaculture producers are China (accounting for 60 %% of the global aquaculture production), India, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines and Japan.

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Table 1. World fisheries and aquaculture production, 2006-2011 (FAO 2012) 2006 PRODUCTION Capture Inland Marine Total capture Aquaculture Inland Marine Total aquaculture Total world fisheries 31.3 16.0 47.3 137.3 33.4 16.6 49.9 140.2 36.0 16.9 52.9 142.6 38.1 17.6 55.7 145.3 41.7 18.1 59.9 148.5 44.3 19.3 63.6 154.0 9.8 80.2 90.0 10.0 80.3 90.3 10.2 79.5 89.7 10.4 79.2 89.6 11.2 77.4 88.6 11.5 78.9 90.4 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Income and employment The fisheries and aquaculture sector sustains the livelihoods of an estimated 54.8 million people engaged in primary fish production and 660 to 820 million people engaged in the secondary sector and their families in 2010 (FAO 2012). The majority of these fishers and fish-farmers are in employed in small-scale fisheries and are found, in terms of regions, mostly in Asia. Capture fisheries employs 70 % of the total number of people engaged in the primary sector of fisheries and the rest are engaged as fish farmers, though fish farming has increased by 5.5 per cent per year from 2005 to 2010 as compared to the 0.8 % annual growth of capture fisheries of the same period (FAO 2012). Fish as source of food Fish and fisheries product are very valuable sources of protein and essential micronutrients for the world’s population. Globally, fish provides about 3 billion people with almost 20 % of their animal protein intake and 4.3 billion people with about 15 % of such protein (FAO 2012). Though in developing countries, the share contributed by fish to its peoples’ animal protein intake is higher at 19.2 % and for low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), it was 24 % (Bene, Macfadyen and Allison 2007). This data highlights the fact that fish and fisheries products are one of the more accessible and cheaper proteins for the world’s poor.2 In terms of per capita consumption, however, there is a gap between the developed and developing countries. Overall, the developed countries’ per capita consumption ranges between
2

In some countries where total protein intake is low, proteins from fish and fisheries products may be higher in proportion, for example: in West Africa, the proportion of animal protein derived from marine products is 48 % in Senegal; 62 %% in Gambia; and 63 % in Sierra Leone and Ghana (Bene, Macfadyen and Allison 2007).

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24.2 kilograms for the North Americans and 22.0 kilograms for Europeans. Developing countries’ per capita consumption, on the other hand, is 17.0 kilograms while those in the LIFDCs it is 10.1 kilograms with the African people consuming the least per capita and Asians accounting for two-thirds of total consumption (FAO 2012) 3. Traded fish Because of sustained and increasing demand, trade liberalization policies, the globalization of food systems and technological innovations, the value of trade in fish and fisheries products leaped from US$8 billion in 1976 to US$111 billion in 2010 (FAO 2012). FAO statistics also showed that more than 50 % of all fisheries exports in value terms and more than 60 per cent in terms of quantity came from developing countries. Developed countries, on the other hand, tended towards increased fisheries trade within their regions. In 2010, in value terms, 79% of fisheries exports from developed countries were destined to other developed countries and about 52% of fisheries imports of developed countries originated from other developed countries. Industrial fishing fleets Large-scale fishing vessels comprise only 2% of the world’s motorized vessels, or 1% of the global fishing fleet (FAO 2012). This percentage has not changed much since 1998. Then, Greenpeace estimated that this relatively miniscule number of industrialized fishing vessels makes up about half of the total capacity of the world’s entire fishing fleet and accounts for 50 to 67 per cent of all the fish caught in the oceans (Greenpeace International 1998). Table 2. World fishing fleet - 2010. (FAO 2012) World Total number of fishing 4.36 million vessels Motorized < 12m LOA ≥ 24m LOA Non-motorized < 12m LOA 2 616 000 2 223 600 52 320 1 744 000 1 709 120 Marine Fisheries 3.23 million Inland Fisheries 1.13 million

2 228 700

406 800

Many of the industrialized fishing fleets are owned by trans-national and multinational companies with hugely diversified operations and with market access and fishing grounds access rights all over the world. For example, Japan’s second largest marine products operations, Nippon Suisan Kaisha (more commonly known as NISSUI) has 77 subsidiaries and 32 associated companies that are engaged in food processing, refrigeration storage and transportation of marine products, pharmaceuticals and health food, ship construction and repair and marine transportation and engineering services. NISSUI’s fishing operations account for more than a third of its sales and its subsidiaries and associated companies operate globally.

3

Per capita consumption for these and other regions is as follows: Africa at 9.1 kilograms, Asia at 20.7 kilograms, Oceania at 24.6 kilograms, and Latin America and the Caribbean at 9.9 kilograms (FAO 2012).

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b. State of fisheries stocks and resources In 2007, FAO reported that 52% of global fish stocks were fully exploited, 28% were overexploited or depleted, 20% were moderately exploited and only 1% showed signs of recovery. 75% of fish catches are harvested from fully exploited or overfished fisheries, and more over 10% from collapsed fisheries (Khan, et al. 2006). Yet the size of the global fishing fleet continues to expand. Countries which traditionally have industrial fishing fleets are not reducing the overcapacity of their vessels but instead are ‘reflagging’ their fishing vessels to register them under other countries or have exported their overcapacity to other countries through joint ventures. Figure 1. Global trend in the status of marine fisheries resources. Based on FAO statistics in 2003 and the methods and definition by Froese and Pauly. Source: (Khan, et al. 2006).

Though global fisheries statistics seems to suggest a stabilized fisheries with annual production averaging around 80 million tons, the overfishing of local fish populations have been largely masked by landings from new fishing grounds (Pauly, Watson and Alder 2005) as well as intensification of fishing effort using new technologies, continuous geographic expansion of fishing activities and the exploitation of alternative fish stocks (Kura, et al. 2004). The serial depletion, as Pauly (2005) calls it, had expanded to deeper waters and towards the southern hemisphere (see Figure 2). The southward and depth trends of global fisheries landings also coincide with the growing trend in the exportation of high-priced, deep-sea fish species from developing countries to developed countries. Freshwater fish stocks are not faring any better. Though, more than the rates of exploitation, development aggression has far-reaching and negative impacts on inland fisheries resources and stocks. Freshwater systems are stressed by water abstraction and diversion caused by dams and irrigation systems, hydroelectric development, the draining of wetlands, pollution, and siltation and erosion from changing land-use patterns.

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Figure 2. Mean depth of global fisheries landings, by latitude, from 1950 to 2000 (Pauly, Watson and Alder 2005)

c. The fisheries subsidies Khan et al. (2006) estimated that the total subsidies to global fisheries are US$34.5 billion with approximately US$26 billion provided towards non-fuel subsidies and US$8.5 billion towards fuel subsidies. In 1999, FAO estimated that there is a 30 to 40 % overcapacity in the global fishing fleet, a situation that leads to economic inefficiency and undermines the sustainable management of resources. A case in point: between 1970 and 2005, the global fleet capacity index increased by a factor of six during which period the global harvesting productivity also decreased by the same amount (Garcia and Rosenberg 2010). On Non-Fuel Subsidies Khan et al (2006) estimated that the total global fisheries non-fuel subsidies to be about US$26 billion with about US$16 billion directly contributing towards an increase in fishing capacity4. Non-fuel subsidies have allowed the industrialized fishing fleets to further develop its fishing gear and vessel technology to levels that radically impact the marine ecosystems: fishing fleets have become so powerful that they were able to chase down fish into refuges previously inaccessible to the fishing fleets. The fishing fleets’ improved capacity and efficiency have increased fishing mortality; spread overfishing worldwide and degraded resources (Allison 2001).

4

Khan et al showed in their study that 38 developed countries provided 49% of the total global subsidy and the remaining 51% is provided by 103 developing countries. The top three subsidizers of their fisheries are India, Japan and EU.

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Table 3. Global fisheries non-fuel subsidy estimates per year in billion US$ (Khan, et al. 2006). Subsidy program types Developing Developed Global total (US countries (US$B) countries (US$B) $B) 0.7 5.1 5.8 0.4 1.3 0.7 1.1 0.3 1.0 0.9 1.7 0.3 (0) 0.9 1.9 8.0 1.6 0.7 1.0 0.9 1.7 2.5 0.9

Fisheries management programs and services Fisheries research and development 0.5 Boat construction, renewal and modernization program Fishing port construction and renovation programs Marketing support, processing and storage infrastructure programs Tax exemption programs Fishing access agreements Vessel buyback programs 0.6 7.3 0.5 0.4 (0) (0)

(0) Fisher assistance programs Fisheries development projects and 2.2 support systems Rural fishers community 0.9 development programs Totals 13.0

12.7

25.7

Overseas Development Assistance to Fisheries as a Subsidy Subsidies, in the form of ODA, are one of the drivers of globalization of the sector. Fisheries ODAs have facilitated the expansion and growth of the fisheries sectors of recipient countries for export. The export of fish and fish products has generated hard currency that has then been used to import cheaper food and has undermined the food security of these countries’ populations. This was the case in Senegal which relied on revenues from fish and fish products exports to sustain 60 % imports of essential grains until the food crisis of 2008. The government of Senegal has now embarked on a plan to reach 100% food self-sufficiency to reduce vulnerability to changes in global food prices. ODA has also contributed to the overexploitation of these countries’ marine resources and thus threatened the sustainability of such resources by encouraging excessive exports. d. The Blue Revolution The so-called Blue Revolution, like the Green Revolution, was heavily promoted and subsidized by international and national lending agencies citing global food security as its justification. It was supposed to increase production of large volumes of seafood, fish and fish products to increase the availability of food for the hungry without further exploiting marine stocks that were showing strain from decades of overfishing. Aquaculture has been one of the fastest growing food production systems in the world with an average annual growth rate of more than 11 % during 1984-1998, higher compared to the

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annual growth rates of 3.1 % for terrestrial-farmed animal meat production and 0.8 % for landings from capture fisheries (ADB 2005). In terms of employment, there has been a higher increase in the number of people engaged in fish farming: 5.5 per cent per year versus 0.8 per cent per year in capture fisheries (FAO 2012). In 1998, almost 85 % of aquaculture occurs in low-income food deficit countries where the development aid agencies and export markets encouraged fish farmers to increase output with fewer species and more intensive production (McGinn 1998) – all geared towards the international markets. Aquaculture that primarily meets local food requirements has received little support compared to commercial aquaculture, particularly shrimp aquaculture which has become the main beneficiary of these subsidies and institutional supports (Barraclough and Finger-Stich 1996). II. The framework for globalized fish production and trading Inland and marine waters are good fields of investments. Trade in fish and fishery products alone in 2012 is now worth US$111 billion from US$80 billion around a decade ago. The value of investments related to marine resources from trading, offshore mining and other marine resources total to around US$550 billion excluding the value of biomes. With such vast resources and value, many of which are untapped especially in countries in the south, investments have been encouraged through deregulation, privatization and liberalization. The framework of a market-oriented economy as the engine of growth in poor countries, as opposed to a self-sufficient and self-reliant economy, has been in place since the late 1970s as big nations shifted to neo-liberalization from the Keynesian economic model. The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were the main agents in this economic remodeling. Debt-trapped economies were forced to restructure their mostly backward agricultural economies to fiscal and economic programs that cemented the world’s LDCs and poorer countries to absorb the excess capital from developed countries, supply the market with their cheap labor, and open up their natural resources to exploitation. These programs were packaged under structural adjustment programs (or SAPs). The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995 to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of 1948 as a main arena to promote international liberalized trading through negotiations and formal trade agreements including fish and fishery products. With the entry of China in 2001 and Russia in 2011, all major fish producers in the world are now under WTO. The international legal and policy framework governing trade in fish and fish products is largely shaped by the WTO and the investments for development. However the Agreement on Agriculture of the Uruguay Round excludes fishery products from its coverage, to the disagreement of the member nations because in many countries, a fishery is in fact an extension of agriculture. Trade of fish and fishery products are subjected to general WTO rules that apply to non-agricultural products, that is, industrial products. Trade in fish and fishery products is not one of the mandated subjects for multi-lateral trade negotiations (MTN) that began in 1999. However, disputes involving fishery products are on the rise and a number of related issues, for example subsidies to the fishery sector and its impact on the environment, are being intensely debated in several international forums, including the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE). In view of this, there is some expectations that the next MTN may include trade in fish and fishery products (FAO n.d.)

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In the current Doha Round of negotiations started in 2001 and which remains pending, fisheries are dealt with at five different levels: (a) market access for non-agricultural products or NAMA; (b) the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures or ASCM; (c) Trade and the Environment, particularly with regards the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); (d) the Anti-Dumping Agreement or ADA; (e) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services or GATS. These areas of negotiations essentially ensure that fish and fishery product trading are based on market demands that no barriers limit the flow of trading. Reduction of subsidies that supposedly distort profitability, the dismantling of tax and tariff restrictions and selling catch quotas are designed not so much as to correct fish depletion and poverty in the fishery sector as to how to make the sector more efficient to the demands of the market forces. The international trading scenario underscores the consequences of opening fisheries to policies of liberalized trading. LDCs and developing countries export food because of market demands to generate necessary foreign exchange to pay debts and maintain mandated international reserves. III. On small-scale fisher-folk and aquaculturists Small-scale fisheries plays a significant role in food security and in providing livelihoods to millions of fishers, fishworkers and those involved in the post-harvest and trading sectors of fisheries. In the global scale, small-scale fisheries contributed 70 % to the world’s total fish supply used for human consumption (see ). However, small-scale fisheries and the communities that are dependent on fishing are often marginalized. The fishers, the fish-workers and their communities, unless they are organized, have minimal political leverage and so little representation that they are often left out in the decision and policy-making processes that eventually have repercussions on their welfare, their communities and their resources. It is not surprising then that the sector suffers from poor resource management, competition from commercial and industrial fishing sectors, development aggression and inability to cope up with the impacts of climate change. Around 90 % of the 38 million fishers of the world are classified as small-scale and the majority of them are found in the developing countries in Asia (more than 87%), Africa (more than 7%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (3.6%) (Bene, Macfadyen and Allison 2007). Bene et al. also estimated that 100 million were involved in small-scale post-harvest sector with women heavily involved in the processing and trading of fish and fisheries products. Thus, if we also consider the dependents of the fishers and those involved in the post-harvest and trading sectors, then we are talking of hundreds of millions of people dependent on small-scale fisheries for their livelihood.

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3800000 Small‐scale Large‐scale

34200000

Source: Bene, Macfadyen and Allison 2007 In 2004, of the top seven fish-producing countries, five are developing. Three of these five (China, India and Indonesia) have populations of almost 1 billion people living below the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) poverty line of US$1 per day (Staples, Satia and Gardiner 2004). In these countries, where the majority of people are among the poorest and the least food secure, the contribution of fisheries to its food supply can be significant. Ninety to ninety-five per cent of small-scale fisheries production goes to feed these nations’ populations (FAO; World Fish Center 2008) where fish is considered one of the main and cheaper sources of protein, essential micronutrients and fatty acids. Small-scale inland fisheries Inland capture fisheries contributed 11.5 million tons to the global production, and since 2004 had increased its production by 30 per cent (FAO 2012). FAO also reported that the growth in global inland water catch is wholly attributable to Asian countries; with this region’s share approaching 70 % of the global inland capture production. Meanwhile, in Africa, the main producers of inland water fisheries products are Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania – fishing mostly in the African Great Lakes – and Nigeria and Egypt’s river fisheries (FAO 2012). The impact of inland fisheries can be gleaned better when looking at its contribution to smallscale fisheries, which itself provides food, and livelihoods to so many people. Inland capture production is 30% of the total production from small-scale fisheries. Approximately the same %age of its production is used for domestic human consumption (FAO; World Fish Center 2008). Inland fisheries has a larger share in providing livelihoods both in the primary and the secondary sectors in small-scale fisheries compared to small-scale marine capture. The FAO and World Fish Center report showed that 55 % of small-scale fishers are found plying their trade in inland fisheries, and 53 % of those who work in the processing and marketing sectors are in inland fisheries, and more than half of all those employed in inland fisheries are women. Overall, for every 1 000 tons of fish caught, 4 600 people are employed (see ). In terms of efficiency, the same report found that inland fisheries has negligible discards, and for every ton fuel consumed, inland fisheries catches 5 to 15 tons as compared to 1-10 tons caught by marine small-scale fisheries.

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Compared to the status of marine fishing grounds and stocks, freshwater stocks are not faring any better. However, more than the rates of exploitation, development aggression has farreaching and negative impacts on inland fisheries resources and stocks. Freshwater systems are stressed by water abstraction and diversion caused by dams and irrigation systems, hydroelectric development, the draining of wetlands, pollution, and siltation and erosion from changing land-use patterns. A clear indication that when multiple ‘development’ goals and conflicting interests compete over the same bodies of water, including rivers and other inland bodies of water, the welfare of those dependent on inland fisheries loses out. Table 5: Tentative and updated Thomson table for developing countries (FAO; World Fish Center 2008) Small-scale fisheries Marine Inland Subtotal PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION Annual catch (million 28 – 30 tons) Annual catch for domestic human Approx consumption (million 25 million tons) Annual catch for domestic Approx consumption as a 90 share of the total catch (%) Discard share of Approx catch (%) 0.5 EMPLOYMENT Number of fishers (millions) 9 – 13 37 – 43 Large-scale fisheries Marine Inland Subtotal 31 – 43 Very little 31 – 43 Total 68 – 77

Approx 10 Approx Approx Approx Approx 50 Very little million 35 million 15 million 15 million million

Approx 95 90 – 95 Approx 0.5

Approx 45

n.a.

Approx 45

Approx 70

Negligible

Approx 2 n.a.

Approx 2 Approx 1

11-12

14 – 15 36 – 37 50 – 52

25 – 27 68 – 70

1–2 5–6 6–8 Approx 70 200

Very few 1 – 2 Very few 5 – 6 < 0.5 Approx 30 Few 6–8 Approx 65 200

26 – 29 73 – 76 99 – 105 Approx 50 1 400

Number of jobs in processing and 32 – 33 marketing (millions) Total 43 – 45 Of whom are women Approx (%) 50 People employed per 1 000 tons of fish 1 500 caught FUEL EFFICIENCY Fish caught per ton of fuel consumed (tons)

93 – 97 Approx Approx 55 60 4 600 2 400

1 – 10

5 – 15

2 – 12

1–5

n.a.

1–5

2 – 10

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The fate of small-scale aquaculture FAO defined small-scale aquaculture as “a system with a small annual production (maximum one ton per unit and 10 tons total), made of one or more small production units; family or communally run; low to moderate input levels and limited external labor,” where their own food supply may be a motive.” Because aquaculture production requires access to land and water, and to some extent capitalization, small-scale fish-farmers or landholders with fishpond are not necessarily categorized as marginally poor or the poorest, though most of them do teeter precariously above the poverty line when they do not have the capacity to cope with vulnerabilities, crisis situations and risks (Asian Development Bank 2004), since little support have been extended to small-scale aquaculturists. b. On the fringes: the marginalization of small-scale fishers and their communities The impacts of structural adjustment programs The fisheries-related structural adjustment programs (SAPs) introduced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) in the 1980s compelled the recipient governments to adopt new technologies, increase fisheries exports and redefine access rights to coastal marine resources (J. Kurien, Small-scale fisheries in the context of globalisation 1998). Small-scale fishermen were convinced to adopt new fishing technology and gears, the most important of which were the outboard motors, beach landing crafts and fishing nets that were made of new materials. The new technology did not enhance fish harvest nor did it result to better market price for the fish products. Instead, small-scale fishers got caught in indebtedness as the outboard motors needed to be replaced every two years and fuel prices continue to rise. In the end, the real beneficiaries of the so-called ‘propulsion revolution’ were the financiers, the fish merchants and the multinationals that produced the outboard motors ( (J. Kurien, Smallscale fisheries in the context of globalisation 1998) SAPs also required the recipient developing countries to increase its exports of agricultural and fisheries products which was favorable to these countries’ government that were keen on earning foreign currency. Although the exportation of fish and fish products did bring in higher foreign revenues, these earnings did not trickle down to the fishers and the fish-workers. Exportation of fish that were also popular in the domestic markets had its negative impacts on the nutritional status of the local consumers, especially amongst the fisher and their families themselves, as well. The liberalization policies that were part of the SAPs included the opening up of the developing countries’ less intensively fished EEZs to foreign fishing vessels. This, of course, resulted in unfair competition with large fishing vessels for the same stocks and fishing grounds that are well within the access of those countries’ small-scale fishing fleets. Small-scale fishers and the looming industrial fishing fleets “The key motivator for commercial fishing is profits,” Khan et al (2006) wrote. Profit was the main driver that had caused the overexploitation and the eventual collapse of fishing grounds surrounding the industrialized countries and, since the 1950s, the globalization of fisheries. In pursuit of such profits, the world’s large-scale industrialized fishing fleets have reached, not only the international high seas (the last refugia of fish), but also the EEZs of the southern and mostly developing countries.

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Highly subsidized and with high technology, these industrial fishing fleets 5 are sweeping through the developing countries’ fishing grounds with the same efficient destructiveness that had depleted their own national fishing grounds. Industrialized fishing fleets are now exploiting coastal waters of countries such as Argentina, Senegal, Guinea and Chile. Access agreements entered into by these countries’ government with the EU, for example has led to the overexploitation of its coastal waters, affecting the livelihoods of coastal fishers especially those engaged in artisanal fisheries. Most of these large-scale fishing fleets use fishing gears that are indiscriminate, or destructive, or both. Their operations result in huge amounts of by-catch (discarded catch), destruction of benthic ecosystems, and increased mortality of target species and changes in structure and composition of species. This situation is made worse by the frequent illegal encroachment of industrial and commercial fishing vessels into fishing grounds close to the near-shore and the primary fishing areas for most small-scale fishers – sometimes destroying their nets, other times, losing their lives when their small boats are hit by the large fishing vessels. The resulting decline in fish catch for the small-scale fishers, either through competition with the industrial and commercial fishing fleets, overexploitation of a commercially valuable fish or the degradation of fishing grounds, have a wide-ranging and long-term impacts on the food supply and livelihoods of the small-scale fishers, their families and their communities. Small-scale fishers are more often than not tied to a certain fishing ground, with their fishing methods or gears tailored to catch particular species, thus making it difficult to switch locations or target another type of fish when their traditional and preferred species are depleted or their traditional methods become unprofitable (Kura, et al. 2004). Subsidy impacts Only developed nations could afford to subsidize their fisheries both within their EEZs (with fisher assistance programs) and internationally as distant water fleets (boat construction, renewal and modernization programs and fishing access agreements). It is not coincidental at all that fishing access payments for distant water fleets are provided by only a handful of countries who also have contributed significantly to the total global catch, including the EU, Japan, China, USA, Russia, Taiwan and Korea. Subsidies towards fishing access plus those towards vessels buyback programs proved inimical to the economic and resource conservation interests of developing countries in the South. Fishing access subsidies have transferred the excessive fishing capacity of developed nations towards the southern waters that are part of the EEZs of developing nations. For example, most EU agreements with West African states do not contain catch quotas for EU vessels resulting in overfishing. Decommissioned vessels, on the other hand, usually find their way into southern waters via fishing access agreements and joint venture agreements. Fisheries subsidies to developing countries, on the other hand, included capital aid projects and technical assistance provided and coordinated by multilateral agencies, international development agencies and regional development banks and which usually involves loans or direct financial inputs. A significant portion of these subsidies were directed towards fishing port construction and renovation programs, as well as fisheries development projects and support services, which benefited primarily the commercial fishing sectors of these countries and is indicative of the export orientation of fisheries development in these countries.

5

For example, the Spanish-owned Albacora SA, which owns the largest purse seiners in the world, have fishing vessels that can catch around 3,000 tons of tuna in a single fishing expedition, the quantity of which is almost double the entire annual catch of some Pacific Island nations (Greenpeace 2010).

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Conclusively, such subsidies have overfished the waters around these coastal countries, and consequently threatened the livelihoods and food security of the people in the South6. Fishing access agreements pretend to reconcile trade and aid and yet they barely contributed to the development of local fishing industries of these coastal states (Milazzo cited in Khan et al, 2006). IV. On fish-workers in commercial fishing fleets and aquaculture farms FAO (2012) reported that there is an estimated 4.26 million fishing vessels plying the world’s bodies of water in 2010. Of these, about 3.23 million vessels operate in marine waters and the remaining 1.13 million vessels operate in inland waters. Sixty % of these fishing vessels are engine-powered. Sixty-nine % of vessels operating in marine waters are motorized, and 36 % of vessels plying the inland waters are motorized. Asia has the largest fleet with a total number of 3.18 million (or 73 % of the world’s total), followed by Africa (11 %), Latin America and the Caribbean (8 %), North America (3 %) and Europe (3 %) (FAO 2012). The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that there are 24 000 fatalities per year and 24 million non-fatal accidents in capture fisheries, thus making fishing at sea probably the most dangerous occupation in the world. The loss of life falls heavy on the fishers’ dependents, especially to those in the developing countries where there is no social welfare to speak of and the families have no alternative source of income. Eighty % of accidents in the fishing industry are caused by poor judgment and brought about by the pressure to increase profits or to simply to remain financially viable (FAO 2008). The pressure to continue increasing one’s profits in the face of intense competition in the global market and for limited resources drives the owners of the large and industrial fishing fleets to overfishing as well as cutting down on costs which impacts vessel maintenance, provision of safety equipments and crew size. Of particular concern is the situation of fish-workers aboard illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels. Operations on such vessels are characterized by the lowest standards of working conditions and extensive reports of abuse. Human rights violations include financial exploitation; poor health-care, food and accommodation; poor vessel safety; verbal and physical abuse; incarceration; and abandonment. (EJF 2010). Hired by unscrupulous recruitment agencies, the majority of workers on IUU fishing vessels come from rural areas in the developing countries where poverty is rampant and jobs are desperately short in supply. What is criminal is that these abuses are heaped upon fish-workers who worked so hard in such hazardous situation, paid the minimum, and unprotected by laws so that they can provide food to markets all over the world. Meanwhile the big corporations and individuals who own these IUU fishing vessels raked in profits upon the untold hardships and misery of the fish-workers with such impunity and without legal sanctions from the judicial bodies governing such cases.7

6 A case

in point would be that of Senegal and Mauritania’s catch of which 80% was taken by DWF nations from 1950 to 1994 (Bonfil, 1998). This exemplifies the problem of transfer of protein and wealth from developing countries to relatively rich DWF nations.
7

Estimates show that illegal fishing accounts for 13-31% of total catches worldwide with a value of US$10-23.5 billion per year and representing between 11 and 26 million tons of fish (EJF 2010).

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V. Secondary sectors in fisheries Secondary sector of fisheries include such post harvesting activities as processing, transportation, marketing and distribution, and pre-harvesting activities such as net and gear making, boat building and other such activities. a. Women in post harvest sector FAO had estimated that for each person employed in the primary sector, there could be four employed in the secondary sector, with most of the post-harvest tasks being done by women. Further, FAO case studies suggest that women may comprise up to 30 % of all those employed in the primary and secondary activities in fisheries. Women make up at least 50 % of the workforce in inland fisheries and they market at least 60 % of seafood in Asia and West Africa (FAO 2012). The secondary sector of fisheries entails an enormous amount of labor that supports the primary or core fisheries. In small-scale fisheries, women are essential partners in the fishing production system ensuring that the produce accesses the market. However, since there is little data, women’s labor and contribution to the sector is, for the most part, invisible and ignored. This, of course has led to their marginalization and exclusion from the processes of policy formulation and decision-making, from the most profitable markets and enterprises and highly paid posts in fish processing factors. b. Fish processing industries Development in food processing technology and packaging has progressed rapidly, with processing becoming more intensive, geographically concentrated, vertically integrated and increasingly linked with global supply chains with large retailers controlling the growth of international distribution channels (Biswas 2011). There is a growing trend towards outsourcing some parts of fish processing to countries where wages are comparatively lower and production costs are cheaper. A growing share of exports from the developing countries consisted of processed fisheries products prepared from imported raw fish, processed, and then re-exported. Processors and producers are becoming integrated – with large processor rely mainly on their own fleet of fishing vessels. In aquaculture, large producers of farmed salmon, catfish and shrimp have established technologically advanced centralized processing plants. VI. Emerging trends for fisheries Export-driven fisheries In the last twenty years international trade in fish and fisheries products has grown very rapidly, and as discussed earlier, fish has become the most heavily traded food commodity in the world and the fastest growing agricultural commodity in the international markets. Developing countries play a major role in the trading of fish, going from being net importers from developed countries to becoming net exporters, the shift occurring dramatically during the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. That the revenues from fish exports are highly valued as a source of foreign currency for developing countries can not be contested. Export-values have risen significantly from US3.7 billion in 1980 to US$27.7 billion in 2010 (FAO 2012). Exports of fish products from developing

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countries are higher than those of several other agricultural commodities. Thirty-eight % of the world’s fish produce is traded as compared to say wheat (18.0%), maize (8.6%), meat (8.9%) or dairy products (6.8%) (Guzman 2008). A case study done on 11 countries from Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and Oceania, however, suggests that “there is little evidence of significant real improvement in the overall food security of local households (both producers and consumers) that can be directly associated with harvesting or producing high priced fisheries products for exports,” (J. Kurien 2004; C. Bene 2006). This is in stark contrast with the substantial net gains from hard currency that governments make from the hard labor of these food producers, as well as the huge profits that exporting firms make from exporting fish and fisheries products. In 2010, the majority of traded fish (67%) from the developing countries were directed to developed countries with the three major importers of fisheries and fisheries products – Japan, the United States of America8 and the European Union9 – accounting for about 58 % of the world’s total fisheries imports in terms of volume, though in terms of value it is 76%, reflecting the higher unit value of products imported by developed countries (FAO 2012). This only means that the majority of internationally traded fish and fish products are sold and consumed in developed countries, rather than in developing countries in whose EEZ the fish were caught. Traded fish and fish products largely consist of high-priced species such as shrimp, prawn, salmon, tuna, groundfish, flatfish, seabass and seabream. While wealthy states enjoy the high value species traded from developing countries, low value-species such as small pelagics are traded in large quantities to the developing countries to feed its low-income consumers. Not only are the developing countries dependent on the developed countries’ markets for their exports and as their suppliers for cheap subsidized imported food, they are also importing fish from the developed countries for their processing industries. A growing portion of the developing countries’ exports consists of processed fish and fisheries products that were prepared from raw imported fish, processed and then re-exported to the developed countries. Emerging trends in aquaculture With the continued decline and collapse of global fisheries resources and stocks resulting in stagnating, if not declining, production in marine capture fisheries, aquaculture is emerging as a major player, both in fish production and in providing livelihoods. However, challenges have emerged in aquaculture as well: the expansion of industrialized aquaculture that mainly serves the export-orientated character of the sector, corporatization of aquaculture seed sources, the development of aquaculture biotechnology, and development of proprietary strategies (foremost the terminator technology) to ensure the corporations’ control and monopoly over aquaculture. These trajectories were no different, and in fact, have followed in the blueprints of the Green Revolution in the 1970s and more recently, the Gene Revolution that had been instrumental in

8

Both Japan and the United States of America are highly dependent on imports for their fisheries consumption reaching 60 %% and 54 %% respectively.
9

The EU on the other hand is the largest single market for imported fish and fisheries products. Their 2010 imports of US$44.6 billion represent 40 %% of the world’s total imports. Excluding intra-EU trade, EU still accounts for 26 %% of the world’s imports.

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the dismantling of self-sustaining and self-reliant farming systems that had disenfranchised and impoverished small-scale farmers all over the world. Gender in fisheries Fishing, even more so than agriculture, is perceived as a male-dominated occupation. But the real contribution of women to the sector is greater than is appreciated. As women are overlooked, there are few gender-disaggregated statistics reflecting the real contribution of women. But as a starting point, there are some estimates that illustrate the essential contribution of women to the sector: in 2008, it was estimated that about 12 % (5.4 million) of world’s fishers and fish farmers in the primary sector were women. In the two major fishproducing countries, China and India, the figures are higher: women representing 21 and 25%, respectively, of all fishers and fish farmers in those countries. Women make up at least 50% of the workforce in inland fisheries, while in Asia and West Africa, women market at least 60% of fish and fish products (FAO 2012). But the actual number of women engaged in fisheries and fisheries support work is much higher. The role of women in fisheries varies according to country and culture, household context, type of fishing production and economic status. Depending on these variables, women engage in a wide variety of activities in the fishing sector. In capture small-scale fisheries (90% of global fishers) women maintain fishing gear, process and market the harvest, and in some countries many women own fishing vessels – and yet despite facilitating the activities of their male counterparts they are overlooked in fishing statistics. Women are more active in aquaculture, given that they can engage in it without being far from the home and their domestic duties, and in some countries it is common for women to farm fish in the back of their property as a means to supplement their income – in Sri Lanka 60% of ornamental fish is grown by women. However, gathering of fish and seafood extends beyond aquaculture and capture fisheries to include shore based harvesting (in coastal areas and river beds). Women primarily harvest in these areas as they are not far from their domestic obligations and can partake in such activities part time. Their gathering of fish and seafood supplements their diet and income where there is another income earner and in some communities where there are single female heads of the house, this will be the sole means of providing for the family. And again, it is noted that these activities are not taken seriously. Although women participate in a multitude of tasks across the fishing sector, they are rarely seen as productive and many of the tasks that they engage in are seen as part of their duties under their ‘domestic sphere’ and not as ‘real work.’ Other factors exacerbate the struggles of women including that in many countries they are excluded from inheritance of resources (land holding aquaculture farms, fishing vessels, and most recently fishing rights), they find it harder to access resources than their male counterparts and are frequently excluded from representative bodies. While fisherfolk organizations are not well represented in general, women are further marginalized within fisherfolk associations. There are often objections that one representative per household is allowed – which by default will go to the male head of the house – or that they are outright not permitted to join. For example in Brazil, fisherwomen are legally recognized however, they still find it harder than their male counterparts to obtain licenses and become members of fishing ‘colonias’.10 Female fishworkers also find it more difficult to access state credit schemes or loans. Female fishworkers have also been disproportionately impacted by the depletion of natural resources: traditionally women fished coastal resources, especially mangroves, which have now been
10

ICSF, Workshop on Gender and Coastal Fishing Communities in Latin America, 10-15 June 2000 Brazil

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degraded by anthropogenic causes. In addition, the exploitation of these resources have forced fisherfolk to go further out to sea discouraging fisherwomen because of obligations in the home. In Brazil, only fisherwomen who are directly involved in fishing are considered fishworkers, they are excluded if they only have indirect involvement such as net making. 11 Despite the extra barriers facing small-scale fisherwomen, they also play an active and vibrant role in their community and in their own organizations. Many women challenge their exclusion from organizations representing their communities. And they also have been active in taking up causes when they have lost their partners at sea. Fishing consists of more than the immediate harvesting of fish. It is a collective effort in which women are active participants and facilitators. Women, who are already experiencing the negative factors that male small-scale fisherfolk contend with, also struggle with the problems that face them as female fisherfolk. Their contribution to food security and their role in fisherfolk communities should not be overlooked. VII. Policy and Regulatory Development International legal and policy frameworks have been developed to answer concerns related to fisheries such as overexploitation of fish stocks, damage to the environment and the deterioration of small-scale fisheries conditions due to the export-oriented fish industry. Conservation efforts have been undertaken to address the decline in the productivity of fisheries, which threatens food security. The most significant multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which was signed on December 10, 1982 and came into force on November 16, 1994 with 60 ratifications. It defined internal waters, territorial waters, archipelagic waters, contiguous zones, EEZs and the continental shelf, and provided mandate for the formation of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), whose role were strengthened by the UN Fish Stocks Agreement. However, conservation instruments of the UN, which “provides the legal basis for the sustainable development and management of fisheries resources”, are often in conflict with trade liberalization policies of the World Trade Organization (Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements 2006). The fish industry is not part of the Agreement on Agriculture during the Uruguay Round of negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) but is treated as an industrial sector and likewise subject to reduction and elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers. This allowed the nations with diminished fish stocks and a supply gap to fish in the waters of another country, through fisheries access agreements, trade agreements and direct investments, with detrimental effect to the fish stock, environment and food security of the host country. The overexploitation of fish stocks is partly attributed to fisheries subsidies. Although the purpose of subsidies is to assist the fisheries sector and to develop the fish industry, encourage employment and provide incentive for the protection of the marine environment, it leads to excessive fishing capacity.

11

ICSF, Workshop on Gender and Coastal Fishing Communities in Latin America, 10-15 June 2000 Brazil

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In a study on non-fuel subsidies, a classification of subsidy was made based on its potential impact on the sustainability of the fisheries source (Khan, et al. 2006) • • Good subsidies are investments in fisheries management programs and research and development that optimize the societal benefits of natural capital assets. Bad subsidies, on the other hand, are cost-reducing and take the form of vessel construction and modernization, fuel subsidies, tax exemptions, fishing port construction and renovation, marketing support, and foreign access agreements. Fishing effort continue to increase, exceeding the maximum economic yield (MEY) which is lower than the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), despite the decline in revenue until it equals cost. Lastly, ugly subsidies, such as vessel buyback, fisher assistance and community development programs, are good or bad depending on its implementation and impact.

The November 1995 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) states that management measures should ensure that fishing effort is “commensurate with the sustainable use of fisheries resources.” Hence, the International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity (IPOA-Capacity) was adopted in February 1999 during the 23rd session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and implemented by regional fisheries bodies (RFBs) and formally adopted by some states at the national level which involves the provides for the reduction and elimination of subsidies that promote overcapacity. At the WTO’s Fourth Ministerial Conference in November 2001 in Doha, it was agreed that rules on fisheries subsidies must be clarified and improved due to its impact on the environment based on the studies of the Trade and Environment Committee. By 2009, drafts, roadmaps and proposals on fisheries subsidies are still being addressed, reviewed and considered by the Negotiating Group. In the Plan of Implementation that resulted from the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, there was a call to “eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to overcapacity, while completing the efforts undertaken at WTO.” Furthermore, it encouraged the application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) by 2010 to address the damage of fisheries on the environment. Previous management systems focus only on the target species while EAF is a system that considers all the essential components in an ecosystem and its sustainability (FAO 2012). The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) first defined EAF in 1993 and FAO published the guidelines in 2003. Small-scale fisheries have not been the focus of policy development until the 29th session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) when it was agreed that an international instrument for small-scale fisheries should be crafted. There is already a draft International Guidelines on Securing Small-scale Fisheries which is undergoing an open consultation process. It is aimed to be endorsed by May 2013. Conclusion The world is producing enough food for its growing population using technologies that were developed precisely to increase food production, so as to supposedly meet the needs of a growing population. Yet the world has not solved the problem of chronic hunger and in fact, the levels and depth of hunger has increased. Worsening social inequities, aggravated by

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unsustainable models of production and development, are at the root of poverty, which in turn engenders chronic hunger (IBON International 2012). Efforts at solving global hunger have failed because these efforts have been concentrated on the wrong approaches on food (fish, included) production – industrialization driven by profit and capitalist accumulation, and corporate market-dictated production - that in the final accounting have exacerbated poverty and hunger. It is against this backdrop that a people’s movement to struggle for food sovereignty took root. Food sovereignty being “the right of the people and communities to decide and implement their agricultural and food policies and strategies for sustainable production and distribution of food… the right to adequate, safe, nutritional and culturally appropriate food and to produce food sustainably and ecologically… the right to access of productive resources such as land, water, seeds and biodiversity for sustainable utilization.” (People’s Convention on Food Sovereignty, Preamble). It is within this framework that the fisheries sector should be considered. Fisheries policies, instrumentalities and management regulations should be guided by the principles and goals of food sovereignty which include: right-to-food as a basic human right; communities’ collective right to produce their food sufficiently and self-reliantly; empowerment of small food producers and food programs that are based on the people’s full participation; the state as the prime dutyholder responsible for the nation’s food system; and, food and food production that is environmentally sound. (IBON International 2012) In 2009, more than 1 billion people went hungry, a scandalous state of affairs amidst the world’s wealth and capacity to produce more food. They are hungry, not because there is not enough food to be had, but because of decades-old structural problems in our societies. It is therefore of vital importance for the people, the food producers, and communities to build and strengthen social movements to advance the struggle for food sovereignty, not only in their own countries, but at the international levels as well.

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