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 : Shrimp Aquaculture

Conflicts and Justice

The conflicts arising from shrimp aquaculture in central America can be usefully analyzed from the perspective of environmental justice


Governments in many countries have promoted the shrimp aquaculture industry, through  development agencies and  international financial institutions, as a vehicle for developing impoverished regions. This is the case in the Gulf of Fonseca region of Nicaragua and Honduras (on the Pacific Coast), one of the most densely populated areas in Central America and, at the same time, one of the poorest, whose economy, to a large extent, directly depends on artisanal fishing, specifically, the harvesting of shellfish.

The negative environmental  impacts caused by the promotion of this industry as a mechanism for development are well-studied and widely questioned. However, there are few references about its serious social impacts, such as the growing socio-environmental conflicts which are  often generated between coastal communities and actors in the aquaculture industry.

Industrial aquaculture activities began in Honduras at the start of the 1970s and in Nicaragua in the second half of the 1980s, with small-scale projects. But what began with small experimental trials have grown...

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