The latest edition of Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2021 – Not our Menu: False Solutions to Hunger and Malnutrition, is out. This edition attempts to create social awareness around the food we eat.
“The growth in production, increased political backing and substantial capital investments in aquaculture […] give rise to some serious problems […].”
In the publication, an article titled “Aquaculture, Financialisation, and Impacts on Small-Scale Fishing Communities” emphasises how the rapid growth of the aquaculture industry under ownership of transnational corporations “stripped fishers of their livelihoods and their traditional rights to their fishing grounds”.
Case studies from India, Thailand and Ecuador were used to illustrate the impact of aquaculture on small-scale fishing communities. The example of the global shrimp industry boom in the late 1980s in India was given. The shrimp cultivation policy reforms were then introduced which resulted in “over 20 000 farms covering an area of 143 000 hectares”.
However, in a Blue Economy Tribunal, local fishers from India expressed that this expansion led to the denial of fisherfolks access to fishing grounds and dispossession of their land.
The aquaculture industry’s impacts on the right to food for fishing families and women are also illustrated in the article, “as fish stocks decrease, so does household consumption of fish, and women are among the most affected because they experience malnutrition the most”.
Nevertheless, small-scale fishing communities have taken a stand against the rapid spread of aquaculture.
“In the face of mounting evidence that aquaculture and financialisation impact their communities, small-scale fisher movements are fighting back to reclaim controls of their territories, restore the natural environment, and advance their food sovereignty agenda”.