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Issue No:62
  • :0973-1121
  • :July
  • :2012

 It is a fabulous place: when the tide is in, a wave-churned basin,
creamy with foam, whipped by the combers that roll in from the
whistling buouy on the reef. But when the tide goes out the little
world becomes quiet and lovely. The sea is very clear and the bottom
becomes fantastic with hurrying, fighting, feeding, breeding animals.

—from Cannery Row by John Steinbeck


Brazil : Fishers' Rights

Staking Claims

Artisanal fishworkers of Brazil are mobilizing in defence of their territories through a campaign for a new bill of rights

This article has been written by Naína Pierri (, Member, ICSF, Brazil, Natália Tavares de Azevedo (, PhD in Environment and Development and Beatriz Mesquita (, Member, ICSF, Brazil

In recent years, artisanal fishworkers and their communities in Brazil are being forced out of their traditional territories or are being subject to increasing pressure to leave their territories, multiplying the risks to their economic and cultural survival. The cause is a new wave of development, in the form of public and private investments and construction of large-scale infrastructure projects, which advance by occupying spaces whose populations and traditional uses are considered obstacles to 'progress' and the 'public interest'.

In the face of this, the National Movement of Artisanal Fishermen and Fisherwomen has taken the initiative to draw up a bill for the recognition of their collective right to stay and use their territories. In early June 2012, the Movement launched a national campaign to collect signatures to force the entry of the bill in...

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