Bem-Vindos !

Welcome to Fortaleza, the capital of the State of Ceará, home to a vibrant artisanal fishery, and the venue for the 20th anniversary meeting of ICSF

It is now 20 years since the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) was founded in Trivandrum, India, in 1986. Since then, several changes have taken place in fisheries, especially in the small-scale and aquaculture sectors, as well as in the larger political, economic and social framework in which they operate.

This workshop is being held to understand these changes, and to take stock of important developments in fisheries. Participants include ICSF Members and representatives of fishworker organizations, as well as other individuals/ organizations that have been working with small-scale fisheries in their respective countries.

The following are some of the major issues that will be discussed in the next three days:

?????Responsible fisheries





?????Disaster preparedness and coastal fishing communities


?????Fishworkers’ organizations

Fortaleza was chosen as the venue for the workshop for a couple of important reasons.

The State of Ceará is home to a very important, well-organized artisanal fishery with a long history of strug gle against destructive fishing practices and inequitable policies.

Also, the strategic importance of fisheries for the social and economic development of Brazil has been recognized by President Luiz Inácio da Silva through the establishment of a special Secretariat for Aquaculture and Fisheries.

This workshop is expected to be a forum to share perspectives, discuss and analyze recent developments in small-scale fisheries and fishing communities, explore possible future scenarios, and highlight the actions needed to ensure a secure future for small-scale fishing communities.

Today’s Agenda

?????Inaugural Session

?????Panel Discussions:

  • ?Responsible Fisheries
  • ?Distant-water Fisheries

?????Group Discussions


SAMUDRA for Fortaleza is a newsletter that will report on the proceedings of this workshop. It will also serve as a forum for the sharing of ideas and experiences, in the form of brief write-ups, interviews and opinion pieces. Please contact the SAMUDRA Team or anyone at the ICSF Secretariat if you have something to contribute. Needless to add, the opinions and viewpoints expressed here do not necessarily represent the official views of ICSF.

Founded in 1954, Colonia Ecologica Sesc Iparana (SESC)the workshop venueis just 20 minutes from the Iracema beach, 17 km from the centre of Fortaleza and 27 km from the airport. It offers various options for leisure and hospitality, including sports, ecological trips, parties and social events.

What’s Inside

Reflections ……………… 2

Blast from the Past …. 3

About Fortaleza …….. 4

Helpline …………………. 4

Portuguese …………….. 4


John Kurien

From Rome to Fortaleza…

The plan for the Rome Conference came out of the blue. A letter. A challenge. With key facilitators around the globethree women and one manthe job of coordination was so much easier and enjoyable. The event itself was a combination of discussionsvery serious and top-rateand great fun. The involvement of the Commune of Rome and permission to use the Piazza Novona for a cultural event added public legitimacy and popular participation to the event. Overlapping it with the World Conference on Fisheries organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) brought about the widest possible press coverage.

Nostalgia apart, in the runup to Rome, there was more decentralized, democratic preparatory work, and, at Rome itself, a more delectable assortment of passionate conference agenda and celebratory side events than we seem to be able to put together these days.

We thought it was over with Rome. But the commitment made to the fishworkers to create a supporters’ forum lingered. It took over two years to fructify. Discussions in India. Visits by some of us to Norway, Rome, Senegal and Canada, in between. Finally, the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) was born in Trivandrum, India, in November 1986.

We had a dream: Make this support network a “force to reckon with in the world of fisheries. Bangkok in 1990 confirmed that we should move on. Cebu in 1994 set a new agenda. The creation of the two world forums of the “fishworkers and the “fisher people made us question the need for our continuance when we met again in Trivandrum in 1998. But in 2002, at Maputo, we reaffirmed a new vision for support.

Since then, global recognition has come from several quarters: Most importantly, the FAO awarded the Margarita Lizárraga Medal for 2002-2003 to ICSF in recognition of its “comprehensive, sustainable and catalytic initiatives in support of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, through workshops, outreach and advocacy activities, as well as by mobilizing grassroots support and enhancing human capacity- building, particularly in developing countries. And, more recently, in 2005, Svensk Fisk awarded the Kungsfenan Swedish Seafood Award (also referred to as the “Nobel Prize of the Seafood Industry) to ICSF in recognition of its “efforts to promote sustainable fishing, for working closely with small-scale fisheries and their communities, and for conveying news relating to fisheries and information about sustainable fishing to the general public living in coastal communities.

Thus, we have been able to silently influence major fisheries discussions at FAO, the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Our success in influencing global policy in fisheries has perhaps been far beyond our expectations. However, the recognition from fishworkers and fishing communities themselves has been uneven and varied across the continents.

The strength of any network depends on its weakest link. For us, this has been the difficulty to enlist new members as supporters. Perhaps this mode of support is not relevant anymore.

Perhaps the class approach to defining contradictions in the sector is not valid anymore. The need of the times is for support to coastal communities around the world to resolve complex, evolving and multi-dimensional issues by taking contemporaneous action at the global and the local levels. To achieve this, we have to ask ourselves: How appropriate is the structure we have today to cope with these challenges? Are the links we have made in the last two decades strong enough to further the cause? How effective is our working style in delivering our promises of support? How good is our stock of knowledge for launching such a pursuit? How best can the goodwill we have earned over the years be used as a foundation to build upon for the future?

Today, these are some of the crucial issues that stare down at us. We need some soul-searching. The onus is on each one of us to articulate our thoughts and offer frank opinions. We came to Rome in 1984 in faith and with expectations and hopes.

At Trivandrum in 1986, we envisioned an approach to support. We reach Fortaleza today, two decades later, with questions and a choice of crossroads. Only time will tell which was the real watershed.

John Kurien, currently Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, India, is a Founding Member of ICSF

Blast from the Past

We, fishworkers and their supporters from 34 countries of the world who struggle for survival and sometimes die for their cause, urge governments to be responsive to the demands of the local fishworkers’ organizations to:

• Reserve and protect for small-scale fishing all near-shore waters and fishing grounds accessible to it

• Ban all technologies that disturb the balance of the ecosystem either through overfishing or pollution, and prevent the use of chemicals that are forbidden in the industrialized countries

• Associate local fishermen’s organizations or fishermen communities in devising and implementing regulatory measures (with concrete possibilities of control)

• Respect and guarantee the fundamental rights of fishworkers to free association; withdraw all measures that penalize the workers

We recommend that governments of the Third World co-operate on a regional basis to ensure effective management of their fish resources in the long term.

We stress the essential role of women in fishing communities, considering their sensitivity to the deteriorating quality of life.

We support them in getting organized to:

• protect their activities in the production process

• improve their working conditions

• alleviate the burden of their work

• actively reduce pollution, and protect the environment

We call for a collective effort in changing attitudes and values towards women in order to get their full participation in decisionmaking at all levels.

We emphasize the positive contribution of non-governmental organizations in the development of technology and forms of participatory management that ensure the future of small-scale fisheries. Priority should be given to lessening dependency on foreign capital, equipment and knowhow.

We ask that all scientists who recognize the importance of conserving and enhancing the person-nature relationship take a strong stand on behalf of the small-scale fishermen.

We urge them to work in collaboration with local fishermen’s organizations to complement their knowledge of the sea and to enable them to regain their rights over the sea.

About Fortaleza

Fortaleza (Portuguese for fortress) is the State capital of Ceará, located in northeastern Brazil. With a population of more than 2 million, it is considered the second most important city in the region in economic terms, after Salvador in Bahia. Fortaleza has an area of 336 square km. To the north of the city lies the Atlantic Ocean, to the south the cities of Pacatuba, Eusébio, Maracanaú and Itaitinga, to the east is the county of Aquiraz and the Atlantic Ocean and to west is the city of Caucaia.


Fortaleza’s history began February 2, 1500 when the Spaniard Vicente Pinzón landed in Mucuripe’s cove and named the new land Santa Maria de la Consolación, but because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, the discovery was never officially sanctioned. The real colonization started when the Dutch constructed Fort Schoonenborch in 1649. Later, the Portuguese expelled the Dutch and renamed it Forte de Nossa Senhora da Assunção. Around the fort, which even today is perfectly preserved, a small village grew to become the fifth largest city in Brazil. In 2004 Luizianne Lins was surprisingly elected as mayor.


A complete infrastructure, three thousand hours of sun per year and the constant ocean breeze give the full dimension of this paradise. For those who have more energy, the nightlife is full of attractions, with bars, restaurants, and shows. Not even on Mondays does Fortaleza cool down. The city is known for having the “wildest Monday nights in the world. The Praia de Iracema (Iracema’s beach), one of the first urban nuclei of the city, holds many bars and restaurants. There, the Ponte dos Ingleses (Bridge of the English), the old docks, is located and used to watch the sunset, and spot dolphins.

Warm waters bathe Fortaleza’s urbanized beaches, which offer every comfort to the tourist. The scenery is complemented by the jangadas (small and rustic rafts used by many of Ceará’s fishermen). From the jangadas come the sea’s fruits, responsible for the best Ceará’s cuisine. The Praia do Futuro (Beach of the Future) is the meeting place for bathers, concentrating a large number of typical beachside restaurants, with carnauba straw used in its construction. The local population calls them “Barracas de Praia. Thursday nights, the beach becomes the biggest sensation in the capital’s nightlife, with live music, forró and a lot of crab to eat.

A few kilometers away from the city are some well-known beaches as Prainha, Iguape and Porto das Dunas. In the latter, there are two large water parks.


Fortaleza has a strong and traditional cultural life. Since the end of the 19th Century, the city has had various cultural institutions. The Instituto do Ceará (Ceará Institute) was estabilished in 1887, and is the oldest institution. Its reseach has a historic, geographic and antropologic type.

The Acad-emia Cearense de Letras (Cearense Word Academy) was the first institution of the sort in the country, being established in August 15 of 1894.

In 1892 Fortaleza was the place for a cultural movement of literary expression called “Spiritual Bakery and its praised literary style was used during the Modern Art Week of 1922.

There are many other cultural centres like the Banco do Nordeste Cultural Centre and the most important, Dragão do Mar Centre of Art and Culture, which is placed on the quarter of Praia de Iracema, an important cultural centre of Fortaleza.


???? José de Alencar playhouse

???? Mucuripe lighthouse

???? Cathedral

???? Iracema Statue

???? Nossa Senhora da Assunção Fort

???? Palace of Light


There are several soccer clubs based in Fortaleza such as Fortaleza EC, Ferroviário AC and Ceará SC.

With strong winds the Praia do Futuro is an excellent place for nautical sports. Fortaleza hosts world competitions of surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing.

From Wikipedia

Know Your Portuguese


Hello Olá

Good day Bom dia

Good evening Boa tarde

Good night Boa noite

Hi Olá

Good bye Adeus

See you soon Até logo/Até a vista


Yes Sim

No Não

That depends Depende

I don’t know Não sei

I don’t think so Acho que não

I suppose so Suponho que sim

I think so Creio que sim

It doesn’t matter Não importa

I don’t mind Não me importo

Of course Claro

True Verdade

With pleasure Com prazer


Where? Onde?

When? Quê?

Why? Quem?

What? Qual?/Quais? (pl.)

Who? Como?

How? Quanto?

How much/many? Quanto/Quantos?

Is/are there? Há?


Conference Secretariat
Salao de Eventos 2 (adjacent to Conference hall)

SESC Reception (Tel: 55 85 3318 6000)

Money Changing
SADOC (Cambio e Tourismo,
Fortaleza. Tel: 3219-7993)

Emergency Numbers
Police 190
Ambulance 3433-7373

SESC Address

Colônia Ecológica Sesc Iparana
Praia de Iparana S/N Caucaia
Cep: 61.605-600
Tel: 55 85 3318 6000
Embratur: 20.03.612.122/0004-70

“This (Rome) conference was not conceived as an intellectual experience. It became a living human experience in which spontaneity, life-sharing and self-expression at all levels played a major role. from the 1984 Rome Conference Report


???? FAO Technical Guidelines

???? Biodiversity & Ecosystem Approach

???? Fish Trade

???? Disaster Preparedness

???? Video Documentary Show

Samudra for Fortaleza is a special publication brought out by the SAMUDRA Team for ICSF’s 20th Anniversary Meet at Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil