SAMUDRA Report

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Issue No:61
  • :0973-1121
  • :March
  • :2012

The Maldive Shark

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,

How alert in attendance be.From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril’s abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat—
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.

—Herman Melville

Central America : VG-SSF

Unity in Diversity

Voluntary Guidelines to Secure Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries (VG-SSF) promise an overarching framework that recognizes the rights of fishing communities to life and livelihood


Twenty-five years on, the rights of fishworkers and their communities, notably those in the small-scale and artisanal sectors, to life and livelihood continue to be a central plank in the work of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF). In the years since its founding in 1986, considerable support has been garnered towards defending the rights of fishworkers and their communities. Indeed, there are now increasing calls for the adoption of a 'human-rights approach' to fisheries. Such an approach places human rights at the centre of fisheries policy dialogue and at the centre of the debate on fisheries development. It is an approach that challenges a more technical rights-based approach, which tends to promote economic interests and economic development over social development. Often based on assigning property rights to individual fishers or companies, this latter approach tends to favour the individual over the collective, and corporate interests above community interests, and to see fisheries through a productionist lens.

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