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Spread of HIV linked to fishery collapse: Is fair trade fish an answer? by Jamie Bechtel April 12,2012   |  Source: Huffington Post

We hear a lot about the overfishing crisis. Overfishing is, in fact, a crisis and we are running out of fish. Frankly, this is a crisis that you and I will survive. But a billion people are running out of fish, and they won't survive because fish is their main source of animal protein. Importantly, the overfishing crisis is not just about food. It is, perhaps surprisingly, about HIV/AIDS. When a mom runs out of food and cannot feed her children and her children have stopped growing because they have not had protein in months, she will do anything she can to remedy the situation. As a last resort, she will trade sex for food. Women represent 50% of the fishing work force; in some countries that number is as high as 80%. When fisheries around the world collapse, millions of women are left without jobs, money, hope or options. Further, as fisheries collapse, men must travel further and further away from home to make their catch. The longer they are gone, the more likely they are to use drugs, have extramarital affairs, or start a second family. These behaviors increase the rate at which HIV spreads. As a result of these adaptive behaviors, fishing villages all over the world, from to Kenya to Cambodia to Honduras, have dramatically higher rates of HIV than other communities. For


© 2012 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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