Readers’ Responses to SAMUDRA Report

In my opinion, SAMUDRA Report is an essential and extremely important tool for the leadership of fishermen’s associations. In this era of globalization, it is crucial for us to be able to form opinions on the vast array of issues that affect fishing at the international level and place our own particular situations against this context, so as to develop practices and initiatives that serve our members better. Increasingly, SAMUDRA Report continues to provide a formula for forcing our gaze away from purely local or national questions, and allows us to incorporate internationally applied approaches.

Finally, the SAMUDRA Report perspective, which touches as well on social justice and philosophies fundamentally associated with fishing and other primary industries, engenders an absolutely necessary reflection on the ‘big picture’, and in this way, on the well-founded, and sometimes very difficult and opposing, claims that must continually be put into practice by many fishers’ associations.

SAMUDRA Report helps me to reflect on matters that, given the nature of my organization, would not form part of my daily routine if it did not exist. SAMUDRA Report is a fundamental tool for provoking reflection on the state of things in the fisheries world on this increasingly small planet. At each reading, I rejoice in finding similar, if not identical, cases to ours in North Africa, in Viet Nam, or in the European Union, which puts my work into perspective on a much larger framework and which directs it towards a more global objective.

Christian Brun, Executive Secretary, Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU), Canada

We have been working with SAMUDRA Report for so many years that it has now become a fundamental part of the artisanal fishermen’s struggles at the global level. For us, it is a basic tool that disseminates knowledge for an important group of fishermen and scientists, and allows us here in Chile to use this knowledge for the defence of our sector. The articles in SAMUDRA Report dealing with trawling and ITQs, among others, have enabled us to discuss these issues more clearly, using the examples provided.

For us, there would be no discussion on fishery issues without a means of communication like SAMUDRA Report.

Cosme Caracciolo, General Sectetary, Confederación Nacional de Pescadores Artesanales de Chile (CONAPACH, National Confederation of Artisanal Fishermen), Chile

As part of the team of CONAPACH professionals, I can say that SAMUDRA Report is something we constantly review, and through which we compare the various global realities that apply to fisheries issues and to artisanal fishing communities. It is most useful as its analysis, in general, is made from a highly critical perspective, which questions the models of fisheries management being pushed under the neoliberal agenda, responsible, to a large degree, for the problems of marine resources and ecosystem sustainability, as well as the quality of life that fishing communities have, placing special emphasis on the very rights of these communities.

In this way, several times we have been allowed to visualize the effects that certain fisheries policies have had in other parts of the world, and in this way strengthen our points of view, arguments and capacity for action.

It is for this reason that we constantly use and diffuse articles from SAMUDRA Report to artisanal fishery specialists, government fishery services and parliamentarians.

Another important aspect is that through the work done by ICSF and SAMUDRA Report, one can access a large and valuable network of contacts with institutions, organizations and people from the artisanal fishing sector or who are connected with it.

Finally, it remains for me to thank and congratulate ICSF for its important commitment and for the work it undertakes through SAMUDRA Report and through other means, which is always of great help to understand the complex problems facing the Chilean artisanal fishing sector, as well as in other parts of the world. I hope that you will be able to continue your important work, with ever greater success.

Jorge Pereira, Adviser, CONAPACH, Chile

SAMUDRA Report is very important for me because it shows that it is not only in the Var that small-scale fishers exist; that problems are similar in the North and the South, despite vast differences in regulations, support, society, policies, etc.

It’s difficult to get this message across to our members because sadly, solidarity between them and, to an even greater extent, between them and fishers elsewhere, is less and less present. “Each for his own is the practice, and sometimes, at our level, that is discouraging!

Justly enough, SAMUDRA Report gives back to us, the staff, balm for our hearts! So come what may, please continue! It seems that perseverance will pay one day or another! Much courage! There is much to do!

Dominique Saux, General Secretary, Local Sea Fisheries Committee, Var, France

SAMUDRA Report provides a means of communication and union between fisher peoples. It is an informative report and well set out. Frankly, its readership here is limited only because we don’t yet have a library where those interested could access it.

The content of SAMUDRA Report is good, up-to-date and informative, and stimulates reflection on what goes on in different latitudes. It inspires struggles for improving the quality of life through its analyses of the fishery situation, and threats and possible solutions. The translation in Spanish is good.

Jorge Adalberto Varela Marqués, Comité para la Defensa y Desarrollo de la Flora y Fauna del Golfo de Fonseca (CODDEFFAGOLF, Committee for the Defence and Development of the Flora and Fauna of the Gulf of Fonseca), Honduras

SAMUDRA Report is a very useful and informative publication for fishers’ organizations. Reading its articles provides an opportunity for better understanding of contemporary and contentious issues in fisheries. It is a good forum for glimpses of different trends prevailing and emerging in the fisheries sector worldwide. Between its covers, SAMUDRA Report gives readers a good idea of the world fisheries situation.

Maintaining regularity in publication of such periodicals is always a challenging task. The SAMUDRA Team deserves genuine appreciation for standing the test of time.

We appreciate SAMUDRA Report as an important source of information dissemination and a good medium of debate. On several occasions, it has helped national or local fishers’ struggles reach out to larger circles and has also provided scope for sharpening arguments and fortifying stands on different issues.

I think SAMUDRA Report will remain an outstanding publication in the world of fisheries if it can steadily maintain its ‘bias’ towards the traditional, small-scale and artisanal fisheries.

Harekrishna Debnath, Chairperson, National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), India

SAMUDRA Reports have been very informative. Reading them is the best way I come to know of what is happening in the world of fisheries, fishing and fishers. It helps us to act. It builds within us a confidence to go forward because others are acting in a similar way.

What is needed more is information on how the traditional, beach-based fishers can act and fight for their survival. There is a need for these fishers to become self-sufficient, both financially and in terms of skills, to fight for their livelihoods. Examples of struggles are needed that will help others. The struggles of fishers in Pakistan, for example, are political and need to be reported more. The fishers’ struggle in Chile is another example. The fight of fisher people against individual transferable quotas (ITQs) in Iceland is another. One area to ponder is how we can help each other through communications.

Thomas Kocherry, Fisheries Activist, India

If my modest contribution on traceability is today known about and appreciated by many people, it is thanks to SAMUDRA Report. I encourage you to persevere with your activities and know that their value is appreciated in the fishing sector, in general, and in the artisanal fishing sector, in particular. SAMUDRA Report is a tool that permits communication with others to develop and share information about the communities that we represent.

Gaoussou Gueye, Vice President, Conseil National Interprofessionnel de la Pêche Artisanale au Sénégal (CONIPAS, National Confederation of the Senegalese Artisanal Fishing Sector Organizations), Senegal

SAMUDRA Report is invaluable to us, providing indepth and comprehensive reporting.

Here in the United States, our news sources, even the best, tend to be America-centric, so having SAMUDRASAMUDRA Report, and the SAMUDRA News Alertshelps us in better understanding what our fellow fishing men and women throughout the rest of the world are facing. It helps us put our problems in perspective and gives us insights on how to deal with the issues confronting the fishing community globally.

Zeke Grader, Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association, United States

SAMUDRA Report provides information on timely and emerging issues pertaining to fisheries, artisanal fishers and fishworkers. It is easy reading, and its analyses assist us in developing a perspective to better understand issues in the international fisheries arena.

Tambuyog Development Centre, Philippines

To me, SAMUDRA Report is a close friend and information source for fisher people. It provides information of struggles, organizations and their achievements, and the inter-connections of fisher people throughout the world.

SAMUDRA Report has helped enhance my knowledge in vast areas of fisheries activities, and has strengthened relationships and our efforts in the local, national, regional and international levels. I get new dimensions on fisheries through the articles of SAMUDRA Report and we congratulate the SAMUDRA Team for its good work in educating our fisheries organizations.

Herman Kumara, Convener, National Fisheries Solidarity (NAFSO), Sri Lanka

SAMUDRA Report puts forward varied views on fisheries at the international level, and provides a space for sharing experiences through articles that are independent and, in general, of good quality.

In our case, SAMUDRA Report is useful for obtaining information on global processes in industrial and artisanal fishing. It also provides a lot of statistical information. I access the articles through the ICSF website.

The quality of the translation is very good, and the content of the articles is also good, and reflect the reality of each country discussed. While it is always possible to improve, I think that SAMUDRA Report is a good journal that offers knowledge of fisheries at the international level.

Oscar Galli, Red de Écología Social – Amigos de la Tierra (REDES), Uruguay

SAMUDRA Report is an excellent and informative journal on fisheries in general and small-scale fisheries, including aquaculture, in particular. While it is essential for us to know the reality in the field in order to formulate global fisheries policy and assure its implementation at global, regional, national and local levels, it is rather difficult for us working at the Headquarters of FAO in Rome to keep up with the latest developments in the field with regard to small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. For example, SAMUDRA Report No.47, July 2007, well covered the Siem Reap Meeting that I contributed to as a keynote speaker. I also particularly appreciate the timely covering of events and other news in relation to FAO. For example, in SAMUDRA Report No. 49, the most recent issue we have received, the information provided on the upcoming Global Conference on Small-Scale Fisheries, to be held in Bangkok, October 2008, was highly appreciated. Such publicity is of great importance and contributes to the success of our conferences.

SAMUDRA Report is a kind of window through which we can gather important experiences and stories from the field in relation to small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. Furthermore, SAMUDRA Report provides valuable information on the opinions of small-scale fishers and fish farmers. As you are well aware, the small-scale fisheries issue is one of the emerging issues we address during the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) meetings. The forthcoming Global Conference in Bangkok is one of the consequences of such discussion and will further enrich the deliberations during the forthcoming Session of COFI, scheduled to be held in March 2009. Therefore, it is essential for us to be well informed on small-scale fisheries, and SAMUDRA Report is an indispensable tool, being one of the best sources of information on the topic. The journal is always well appreciated and circulated by the officer in charge of NGO matters in the Department through members of the FI Task Force on Co-operation with NGOs.

Ichiro Nomura, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO, Rome, Italy

SAMUDRA Report offers a useful perspective on small-scale fisheries and the issues facing them. For my purposes, a hard copy version is perhaps not as important as an e-version that could be more widely disseminated electronically.

SAMUDRA Report has helped in the past to get a broader and more grass-roots appraisal of issues from the small-scale fisheries perspective. A good example is the SAMUDRA Dossier on marine protected areas that I have just received with thanks! This is an excellent summary of opinions which would be almost impossible to obtain through any other mechanism.

Simon Funge-Smith, Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC), Thailand

 SAMUDRA Report tends to give readers a different take on major societal and resource problems in fisheries and aquaculture around the globe. The usually well-researched articles often contrast information from the institutional or ‘official’ media. They are, therefore, a valuable stimulus to public debate, and give a voice to people and perspectives, which might otherwise not be heard sufficiently or at all. That is a very important function other media cannot easily fulfil. It is particularly interesting to get a sense of the capacity to reflect and put forward alternatives to many unsustainable practices. Clearly, different perspectives and ethical behaviour towards fellow citizens and nature are essential to finding robust solutions to the current crisis.

SAMUDRA Report helps inform my own monitoring of developments in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and has also enabled me repeatedly to draw other people’s attention to additional sources of information, which they had not been aware of. That has sparked them to take note, stimulated some questioning and debate, and helped to broaden perspectives. To quote just two examples: Sergi Tudela’s article about tuna fattening in the Mediterranean, and Brian O’Riordan’s article about practices in the Chilean aquaculture industry.

Cornelia Nauen ,Principal Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Research, Belgium

SAMUDRA Report brings me hope, through accounts of initiatives in other parts of the world that promote equity and link the artisanal fisheries sector with endogenous development and the recovery of cultural identity, which is so important for communities in the developing world.

The lessons learned from other countries allow us to share this hope at the local and regional levels. CoopSoliDar R.L. is linked to CoopeTarcoles R.L., an artisanal fishing community on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and we share interesting articles from SAMUDRA Report with the community and discuss the lessons learned at our meetings. SAMUDRA Report articles have also been shared with members of our co-operatives.

The SAMUDRA Report content is excellent. We also find the translation excellent, which makes it easy to share the journal’s contents with others.

Vivienne Solis Rivera, Chair, Board of Directors, Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Profesionales para la Solidaridad Social R.L.(Coope SoliDar R.L.)
Costa Rica

 SAMUDRA Report provides information on artisanal fishing at the global level, with first-hand information and anecdotes on projects and conflicts in artisanal fisheries. SAMUDRA Report provides a critical analysis of problems related to artisanal fisheries, and what’s more, it is open to reports from anywhere in the world.

SAMUDRA Report is useful for keeping me informed about events happening elsewhere and comparing them with what’s happening here. I use SAMUDRA Report in my work and I also diffuse some of its articles amongst people working in fisheries. It also gives me information about events that I share with others. Its articles cover a very wide range of artisanal fishing issues, which is good. Equally, the quality of the translation is good, and both the editorial and articles are easy to read.

Marco Oviedo Barreno, Director, Presedencia De La Republica Instituto Nacional Galapagos, (INGALA, The Galapagos National Institute), Ecuador

SAMUDRA Report is more than a report; it allows us to get to know about the activities at local, regional and international levels. SAMUDRA Report allows us to see and understand how people go about their business in their communities. It also allows exchanges and contacts to be made by giving an opportunity to each organization to learn about its weaknesses and through such an experience, to try and correct certain weaknesses. It also gives an opportunity to learn of solutions and stories that can equally contribute to the qualitative valorization of our organizations.

Mamayawa Sandouno, Chief Fisheries Inspector, Ministry of Fisheries, Guinea, and President, ADEPEG-CPA (Association for the Development of Artisanal Fishing Communities in Guinea), Guinea

I have been receiving every issue of SAMUDRA Report since the very beginning of its publication and have kept every issue. I think that says a lot about how much I value this publication. It is the most authoritative and balanced reporting in the world on the state of the small-scale fisher.

I believe SAMUDRA Report has helped me primarily in providing the basis for doing some fresh thinking and stimulating new approaches in my work.

John Kearney,Independent Researcher, Canada

Thank you for sending me SAMUDRA Report regularly all these years. I am able to get the opinions of stakeholders from different countries on some of the current issues in the fisheries sector. The stakeholders are from different levels and their views are valuable.

I refer to the articles appearing in SAMUDRA Report for my own interpretation of research findings and also for preparing policy briefs. For instance, I extensively used the article published by V. Vivekanandan on the listing of sharks in India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 to present a Shark Management Plan in Colombo at a meeting organized by the Bay of Bengal Programme in March 2008.

I appreciate and congratulate the efforts of the SAMUDRA Team and wish them all the best as SAMUDRA Report celebrates its 50th issue. I look forward to your continued good efforts.

E. Vivekanandan, Marine Scientist, India

SAMUDRA Report is like the grain of salt that makes the food for thought tastier. SAMUDRA Report is like the grain of sand that blocks the blind machinery of conventional thinking, and helps us take a refreshing look at fisheries issues.

SAMUDRA Report is like the tide, coming precisely three times a year, bringing in its waves a bounty of experiences, ideas and stories that can only be seen by people who take the time to walk along the beach…

Solutions: Thanks to the indepth analysis of issues provided, and first-hand testimonies, SAMUDRA Report helps to go further than just examining problems, and helps design solutions that are workable for small-scale fishing communities.

Advocacy: Thanks to its wide readership, SAMUDRA Report helped our campaigns to get a wider audience.

Monitoring: SAMUDRA Report provides excellent and regular monitoring of international develop-ments that I would not otherwise be aware of.

Understanding: SAMUDRA Report has helped me to better understand the complexity of situations, and develop a more balanced approach, including to aspects of gender in my work.

Dreaming: SAMUDRA Reports’ beautiful cover pictures often make me dream…

Reading: I often give out SAMUDRA Report to visitors, students and others as reading material, as a way for them to get to grips with artisanal fisheries issues, and now it’s also possible to send them the links to the online Web version.

Admiration: The SAMUDRA Report production team is an example for us all!

Beatrice Gorez, Belgium

I wish to refer back to your first issue in 1988, which reported on a seminar that discussed depleting fisheries resources and picked up the situation in Kerala, India, as an example. Indonesia is also struggling with a similar situation.

SAMUDRA Report inspires me, and brings complicated matters into sharp focus and in a manner that is easy to understand. During my time as Director of Fisheries Resources, your reports, together with other important sources, served as the basis for my policy papers.

To me, SAMUDRA Report is unique. It is internationally oriented, while also focusing on domestic issues. Most importantly, it addresses grass-roots matters, both positive and negative, that help us create a better world.

For me, SAMUDRA Report is very meaningful. One of my books, published in 2007, deals with the issue of sustainable fisheries development, which was first raised by SAMUDRA Report.

Suseno Sukoyono, Fisheries Adviser, Indonesia

I have been reading SAMUDRA Report since 2000 and for the last four or five years, I have consulted it on the Internet. I find it an appropriate, opportune and needed publication. It holds special significance for artisanal fishers. It is the only report on artisanal fishing that is widely diffused in three languages and comes from an organization that supports and defends the sector.

SAMUDRA Report reflects different perspectives on problems. Its clear language encourages people to read it. It is a journal for both experts and for people from the artisanal sector.

SAMUDRA Report provides me with an up-to-date understanding of the different problems at the global level. For me, it also provides material for reflection.

The SAMUDRA Monograph series is really excellent and encourages reflection by going into great depth on different topics.

I believe SAMUDRA Report is the only journal in the entire world dedicated exclusively to addressing artisanal fishing from a critical and constructive perspective.

If it were not for SAMUDRA Report, there would be no way of knowing about the specific problems of fishing communities in different parts of the world. It is arguably the only source that makes visible and lets the world know about the situations of injustice that face many artisanal fishermen who lack a voice and the means to inform the world of their situation.

While it is technical and specialized, SAMUDRA Report is very informative. The translation seems excellent to me. It is easy to understand and I have not come across significant errors in the Spanish version.

Antonio Garcia Allut, Anthropologist, University of La Coruña, Spain


On the Origins of SAMUDRA Report

When SAMUDRA Report was conceived over two decades ago, it was meant to be a biannual publication of ICSF, primarily intended for ICSF Members interested in defending the way of life of fishworkers around the world, especially in developing countries. It was also meant to be a forum for dissemination of news about how individuals, organizations and institutions were supporting fishworkers’ struggles in different parts of the world. SAMUDRA Report was intended to be a clearing house for ideas about the development of fisheries and fishworkers.

The first issue of SAMUDRA Report saw the light of day in March 1988. Pierre Gillet, an engineer from Belgium, who was also an accomplished boatbuilder with rich experience in working amongst the traditional fishing communities of India, was the first editor of the journal. Pierre was fortunate to have the advice and guidance of Michael Francis Belliveau, an ICSF Member from Canada, who helped especially with the layout of the journal in its formative days.

François Bellec, a French activist-cum-journalist, edited the second and third issues of SAMUDRA Report, before the mantle of editorship fell on Héctor-Luís Morales, a sociologist and Member of ICSF from Valparaiso, Chile, who oversaw publication during the period 1991-1992.

Since 1993, SAMUDRA Report has been published by the ICSF Secretariat out of the Indian city of Chennai (erstwhile Madras). The journal has been coming out regularly thrice a year since then. The journey of SAMUDRA Report over the past 50 issues could not have taken place without the unstinting support and encouragement of several people. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge them.

For help with designing SAMUDRA Report, from its first makeover in 1993 and its more recent redesign last year, we owe special thanks to Satish Babu, who has also guided all the technology-related initiatives of ICSF. For all that and much more, thanks, Satish.

For translating SAMUDRA Report into French, merci to Gildas Le Bihan, Pierre Gillet, François Bellec, Françoise Wautier, Evelyne Briffault, Alain Le Sann, Radha Ramakrishnan, Malavika Shivakumar and Danièle Le Sann.

For the Spanish translation, muchas gracias to Aïda Martinez Prat, Mercedes Rafael Ramos, Alejandro Bertrand Y Jorge Cambias, Patricia Labrana, Jorge Cambias, Elba Zamalloa, David Diegues, Ernesto Godelman, Nuria Gregori, Luz Pisúa, Anna-Rosa Martinez Prat and Juan-Pablo Morales.

We also remember with gratitude Clothilde de Jamblinne, for her support, and Julica Werry, who offered voluntary translations during 1986-1989. Among those who provided valuable support in those early days were the Orients Association and Ms and Mr Pierrard, who offered us the use of the Brussels premises free of cost.

In carving out a unique niche in information resources on fisheries, SAMUDRA Report owes a wealth of gratitude to all its contributorswriters, photographers, illustrators and printersas well as donors, editors, translators and designers, and, most importantly, our readers, some of whose responses can be found in these pages. More significantly, perhaps, for constantly maintaining the focus and coverage of the journal, we are indebted to ICSF Members, who have long kept a keen and unwavering interest in the publication.

To all of you who have made SAMUDRA Report what it is, our heartfelt thanks.




A tribute to a regular, oldtime reader of SAMUDRA Report

At the age of nine, Armand Féchant boarded a sailing boat on a tuna trip off France. At 14, as an apprentice, he journeyed to Mauritania to target lobsters. Then came longlining operations in the Channel: a tough job. And on to sardine fishing around Belle-Île island, where he met Mimi, his wife, and settled for good. They bought a small boat, called L’Indépendant, and went for longlining throughout the year. Mimi would sell the catch: beautiful bass, seabream, pollack…Armand made a name for himself as a thinking man in the Bay of Quiberon.

During the 1970s and 1980s, an increasing number of pelagic trawlers came into the fisheries. With small-mesh nets, meant for blue fish (sardine, anchovy, sprat), they also targeted white fish (hake, seabream, bass). The small-scale fishermen often had face-offs with these new operators. Armand and his son were among those from Houat island and Quiberon who blockaded the Quiberon harbour, demanding rules to be established to ensure an equitable share of the fish resources. But their efforts were in vain…

Throughout his life, Armand would lament over the rampant plundering of fish stocks, and the consequent mortgaging of the future. Yet he always maintained his sing-song way of speech and the witty parlance typical of his birthplace, Douarnenez, which was then still a thriving fishing community. A regular reader of Pêche et Développement and SAMUDRA Report, he found comfort in the fact that many people worldwide upheld the social and economic rationale and values of artisanal fisheries as reflected in the pages of SAMUDRA Report.

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