Roundup News, events, briefings and more…
Coronavirus hits Torres Strait’s traditional fishers as rock lobster market hits rock bottom
January and February are usually the busiest time of year for longtime Torres Strait fisherman Boggo Billy. Ordinarily, just before dawn or dusk, he would navigate out in a dinghy from his home on Warraber, a 37-ha island between the top of Cape York and the southern coast of Papua New Guinea, which is home to around 250 people. The reefs around the island teem with life: bêche-de-mer (sea cucumbers), dugongs, crabs and tropical rock lobsters that are usually worth around $70 a kg from middlemen supplying fish markets in China.
Billy’s local knowledge, inherited from generations before him, means he knows when the good tides will roll in and what they mean for the crustaceans, which leaves him perfectly poised to capitalise on the boom brought on by lunar new year.
But this year the boom was a bust. Live crayfish prices plummeted after the outbreak of coronavirus in December. China cancelled many lunar new year celebrations and banned the import of live seafood.
On the Torres Strait, rock lobsters are the region’s second-most valuable fishery and a vital source of income for people in small island communities. Now, Billy says, you’ve got to try and get many more crayfish to make $1,000.
Rather than increasing the size of their catch, which could cause problems in the heavily regulated industry, most fishermen have chosen to stay ashore…
Illegal industrial fishing hampers small-scale African fisheries
In a study published in the journal Fish and Fisheries, a team of researchers shows that nearly 6 per cent of the industrial fishing effort in the waters around 33 African countries and territories occurs in zones reserved for small-scale fishing communities. In some places, that figure is much higher in what the authors describe as the most common form of illegal fishing in the region.
These incursions threaten the sustainability of fish stocks, create conflict over those resources, and endanger the lives of the fishers themselves, said Dyhia Belhabib, the study’s lead author. In West Africa, for example, 250 people every year die in collisions with industrial vessels within their artisanal waters, Belhabib, principal investigator for fisheries at the NGO Ecotrust Canada , said in an interview. And this is not a small number.
The study builds on data from the research platform Global Fishing Watch, which tracks the positions of fishing vessels through their onboard automatic identification system, or AIS. This system was initially designed to keep ships from running into each other. But it has since become an indispensable tool for authorities and conservation groups to verify that fleets are complying with the laws of the country in whose waters they’re operating.
NPSSFW(I), the National Platform for Small Scale Fish Workers (Inland)
NPSSFW(I) stands and advocates for a fisheries policy that protects both the fish resources and the small and marginalized fishing communities’ right to use the fish resources in harmony with nature. It works to establish an alternative system for sustainable development with peoples’ rights. It was established because India did not have any national organization of inland small-scale fish workers with this mission and vision. It seeks to build on the awareness and capacity of the community, campaigning for policies and programmes that protect their rights and entitlements at the national level. It includes fishers, fish farmers, fish vendors and other workers related to fisheries.
Constituted in 2016 as a united forum for inland fish workers’ organizations, NPSSFW(I) had raised from its inception the demand for a national policy on inland fisheries. Its work bore fruit when the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare constituted an expert committee to prepare a draft policy. In 2017 the platform has produced a comprehensive position paper on the national policy through a rigorous research and discussions among fishing community representatives and activists from 10 states. The expert committee received the recommendations with appreciation.
When a national workshop was held on April 26-27, 2018, in Mumbai, NPSSFW(I) was present. It organized the first consultative meeting with civil society organizations on livelihood issues of inland fishworkers on July 10, 2018, in Delhi. The platform moved the ministry’s Department of Fisheries a number of times to publish the draft policy for public comments. The Draft National Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy (NIFAP) was published in February 2019. NPSSFW(I) worked tirelessly to serve its constituents.
Along with policy issues, NPSSFW(I) is engaged in awareness and capacity building of the small-scale fish workers to protect their livelihood and its natural resource base.
Organizations from 18 states are affiliated to NPSSFW(I). They have more than 60,000 members. Any organization seeking NPSSFW(I)’s affiliation can apply. It must accept the mission document and agree to abide by the platform’s norms of cooperation and self-discipline. NPSSFW(I)’s National Committee is the sole authority to grant affiliation.
NPSSFW(I) regards trade unions of fishworkers the preferred form of organization to protect life and livelihood of small-scale fishworkers. Its relentless efforts are focused on developing trade unions of small-scale fishworkers all over the country. At the same time, it is willing to work with any association, cooperative or group of small-scale fishworkers to achieve its mission. NPSSFW(I)’s National Conference is its highest policy making body. It is convened once a year and all affiliated organizations are represented. The committee constitutes the national vouncil as the highest decision making body, operating through the year. At present the council has 27 members.
NPSSFW(I) constitutes its regional and state centres as and when necessary to attend to regional and state issues respectively. The national conference also proposes advisors to the NPSSFW(I) from experts on fisheries and related subjects. It has elected three office bearers: Pradip Chatterjee is the convenor; Soumen Ray is the national coordinator; and Dipak Dholakia is the coordinator in Delhi.
Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 May 2019 at the 2020 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development:
The General Assembly
Recalling the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012, entitled The future we want,
Reaffirming its resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015, entitled Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in which it adopted a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Sustainable Development Goals and targets, its commitment to working tirelessly for the full implementation of the Agenda by 2030, its recognition that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, its commitment to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner, and to building upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seeking to address their unfinished business,
Reaffirming further that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals will depend upon a revitalized and enhanced Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, bringing together Governments, civil society, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors, andnoting in this regard the interest expressed in holding future conferences or events at a high level that would complement but not duplicate existing efforts and activities to support the implementation of and to maintain political momentum to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14,
Recognizing the central role of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, and the high-level political forum on sustainable development held under their auspices, as well as the significant role of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea and the important contribution of all relevant specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14,
Recalling also its resolution 71/312 of 6 July 2017, in which it endorsed the declaration entitled Our ocean, our future: call for action adopted by the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, and in this regard affirming the important role of the declaration in demonstrating the collective will to take action to conserve and sustainably use our oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,
Recalling further that the Sustainable Development Goals and targets are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental,
Recognizing the important contributions of the partnership dialogues and voluntary commitments made in the context of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development to the effective and timely implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14,
Recalling its call upon all stakeholders to urgently undertake, inter alia, the actions highlighted in the declaration entitled Our ocean, our future: call for action and implement the respective voluntary commitments pledged by individual Member States and other stakeholders during the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,
Recalling also that the high-level political forum on sustainable development convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, held from 10 to 19 July 2017, reviewed in depth Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14, as well as Goal 17, which is reviewed annually, and that the outcome of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development was welcomed in the ministerial declaration of the 2017 high-level political forum convened under the auspices of the Council on the theme Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world,
Recognizing synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 20152030, Acknowledging the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole,
Source:A/RES/73/292 – 2020 United Nations Conference to Support Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
INFOlog: New resources at ICSF
Addressing the climate change and poverty nexus
Climate change threatens our ability to ensure global food security, eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. About 736 mn people live in extreme poverty, and the global response to climate change today will determine how we feed future generations.
Fishing for Catastrophe: Fishing for Catastrophe: How global aquacutlure supply chains are leading to the destruction of wild fish stocks and depriving people of food in India, Vietnam and the Gambia
Based on findings from undercover investigations in Vietnam, India and The Gambia, this report presents damning evidence that the production of fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO) for use in the growing global aquaculture industry is destroying fish stocks, marine ecosystems and traditional livelihoods as well as undermining the food security of vulnerable communities.
Guidelines for increasing access of small-scale fisheries to insurance services in Asia: A handbook for insurance and fisheries stakeholders
These Guidelines for increasing access of small-scale fisheries to insurance services in Asia have been developed to support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines.
Securing sustainable small-scale fisheries: sharing good practices from around the world
This document includes eight studies showcasing good practices in support of sustainable small-scale fisheries.
Competing for kayabo: gendered struggles for fish and livelihood on the shore of Lake Victoria
The dry-salted trade of Nile perch or kayabo is important for many along the shores of Lake Victoria. The kayabo trade started in the 1990s and has been increasingly restructured due to changing regional and global trade relationships. This shift has led to the emergence of hierarchical trading relations, which create an exploitative network in which powerful middlemen control the access of trade for women from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and marginalizes the Tanzanian women, changing the organization from a poly-centric to a more centralized trade organization in the hands of a small group of powerful business men.
Women of the Shore
In the island of Mindoro, fishing villages have been suffering from less fish day by day as women give birth to more and more children. This documentary explores the need for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights awareness amongst these communities, a way to give resilience to the mothers of the shore and the future they face.
A Human-rights Approach to Fisheries
The green economy’ that Rio+20 hopes to focus on cannot afford to ignore a human-rights approach to sustainable fisheries
Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the United Nations (UN) is again bringing together governments, international institutions and major groups to Rio in June 2012 for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20. This time, the aim is to secure political commitment for sustainable development, assess progress since the Earth Summit, and look ahead 20 years.
Rio+20 will focus on how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and poverty alleviation, and how to improve international co-ordination for sustainable development (see page 4). So far, 147 Member States have been inscribed to speak at Rio+20. Of these, 108 are either heads of State or government, making the expected participation higher than the Johannesburg Summit in 2002.
As far as sustainable development of marine fisheries is concerned, since the Earth Summit, there have been four significant global developments worth mentioning: the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA); the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the Jakarta Mandate on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); and the International Labour Organization’s Work in Fishing Convention, 2007.
There are several international mechanisms building up on the first three developments, whose ramifications range from the global to the national and local levels. While too much attention has been given to the economic and environmental pillars of sustainable fisheries, the social pillar has been neglected. We hope Rio+20 will redress this imbalance. In order to strengthen the social pillar of sustainable development, particularly in fisheries, a human- rights approach is needed.
A human-rights approach towards sustainable fisheries will sufficiently emphasize the social dimension of sustainable fisheries. It will promote the contribution of marine living resources to eliminate malnutrition. It will recognize the importance of sustainable small-scale and artisanal fisheries, and protect the rights of subsistence, small-scale and artisanal men and women fishers and fishworkers to a secure and just livelihood, and ensure preferential access.
from SAMUDRA Report No. 61, March 2012
COFI-Committee on Fisheries Thirty-fourth Session 13-17 July 2020, Rome, Italy
Technical meeting on the future of work in aquaculture in the context of the rural economy
The meeting will discuss issues relating to the future of work in the aquaculture sector as well as to the promotion of decent work in the rural economy, with the aim of adopting conclusions, including recommendations for future action.
Women and the ocean: Changemakers challenge
The World Ocean Initiative’s Women and the ocean: Changemakers challenge, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, aims to showcase leading female changemakers working to develop business solutions to achieve ocean-related sustainability. The goal is to ensure that women are visible across the ocean supply chain and that their contribution is recognized and elevated.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
17 Goals to Transform Our World: The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities