Fish for All & Forever
Penang, 3 November
Statement by Patrick Mulvany, ITDG
ITDG thanks the organisers of this Summit for inviting us. Also, we
appreciate the dedication of everyone here in the hall to the goals of
"fish for all and forever".
Chair: I thank you for an opportunity to make a brief comment.
ITDG is proud to have had many decades of work with fisherfolk around the
world and especially to have known and worked with Dr John Kurien and the
fisherfolk of south India, whose efforts to restore the marine biodiversity of
their seas, we salute.
The issues seem to be clear as many speakers have already described and will
Developed (northern) food and fishing industry's dominance of global
fisheries and aquaculture will increase:
- Unjust fisheries agreements with southern developing countries proliferate
with huge impacts on common property resources e.g. Chile, W Africa.
- Massive subsidies to northern fishing fleets and fishing effort, often
hidden by reflagging of Northern fishing boats to developing country fleets.
- Increase resources flow from low-value fishmeal to high value fish.
- Capture of common property resources through unjust agreements and aquatic
genetic resources captured through patents and other intellectual property
- Increased effort to produce transgenic fish, controlled by corporations.
- Hundreds of millions of livelihoods of coastal fisherfolk are threatened.
- Loss of control of aquatic resources by communities and countries.
- Hastened ecosystem collapse through the additional threat of rapid and
uncontrollable spread of transgenes and GMOs in aquatic ecosystems.
Propositions of the June 2002 Forum for Food Sovereignty held in parallel
with the World Food Summit: five years later
- Review all fisheries agreements and assess them for their livelihoods and
biodiversity impacts: end the rape of the seas by industrial fisheries.
- Ban all releases of aquatic GMOs and reject patents and IPRs on aquatic
genetic resources. This technology and these IPR systems threaten production,
livelihoods, biodiversity and genetic integrity.
- Increase research into, and practice of, sustainable productive ecosystems
at watershed, inland waters and marine levels - a priority role for the CGIAR
and especially ICLARM, which we welcome - and that must be led by fisherfolk,
the true guardians of the sea, aquatic biodiversity and coastal resources.
Ian Johnson, Chair of the CGIAR, described Greenpeace's latest media stunt
as 'dangerous', putting young lives at risk. Let's ensure that the CGIAR, and
ICLARM - The World
Fish Center - in particular, also reject danger and find safer ways of
conducting their research in the public domain for the public good, including
their commitment to practice 'Safe Science' with the fisherfolk of the world:
No GMOs nor IPRs in Aquaculture and