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Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 08:35:41 +0800
To: asia-apec@jca.ax.apc.org
From: GABRIELA <tpl@cheerful.com>
Subject: [asia-apec 722] 2nd Announcement: APPA Workshop on Fisheries
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From: nacfar@mnl.sequel.net

Workshop on Globalization and Fisheries Fisherfolk Say No to Monopoly Capital's Thirst for Profit

Pamalakaya: Second Announcement and Invitation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 11 November 1998

[This workshop is part of the Forum on Land, Food Security and Agriculture of the Asia-Pacific Peoples' Assembly (APPA) which is being held parallel to the 1998 APEC Leaders Summit. It is being organized by PAMALAKAYA (National Federation of Fisherfolk Organizations in the Philippines) and NACFAR (Nationwide Coalition of the Fisherfolk for Aquatic Reform - Phil).]

Many of the world's most productive ecosystems are found in Asia. The region has nine of the world's top fishing nations. Ironically, the developing countries of the region have not been able to derive full benefits from their resources. It is rather the developed and affluent countries which have profited from the exploitation of the region's resources.

Over the years, the fisheries sector has been on the decline all over the world, but the solutions that governments, especially Asian regimes under pressure from global powers, resort to are liberalization, denationalization and privatization. Lately, fishery plans under Asian governments have become the center of attraction in the drive for globalization because Asian fisheries has become the primary target of Japanese, US and European trade and investments. Wide open are the opportunities to globalize the capital and products of multinational and transnational corporations (MNCs/TNCs) facilitated by provisions of WTO agreements and speeded up by regional trade blocks like NAFTA and APEC. Globalization, government leaders and technocrats claim, is the panacea to the woes of the sector and the poverty of the fisherfolk.

Globalization has given rise instead to the uncontrolled expansion of large fishing fleets mercilessly devastating productive fishing grounds with their ever advancing technology and ever present capital. The result is monopoly of vast waters in the hands of those who already have the most concentration of capital and the best of technology -- the MNCs/TNCs -- and the global powers -- the US, Japan and the EU.

The wholesale commercialization and subsequent disintegration of vital fishery resource bases are then used to rationalize the expansion of unsustainable corporate aquaculture operations as a placebo to the continued collapse of coastal and traditional capture fisheries production. Worsened is the degradation of the already critically fragile coastal zone ecosystems. In the end, supposed hopes of `saving the environment' become naught with the reality of unabated degradation of coastal and offshore resources and ecosystems.

Globalization renders traditional fisheries uncompetitive through the systematic manipulation of national programs and policies to suit the profiteering motives of capital-intensive, commercially-efficient, high-valued and export-geared fisheries production. What it results into are highly unsustainable fishing practices, fishery trade crises, and the uncontrollable price increases of basic fishery commodities.

The capitalist-imperialist competition for fishery enclaves causes the vicious depravity of millions of artisanal fisherfolk and the dangerous imperilment of food security all over the world. But the very same phenomenon of imperialist globalization that intensifies global economic and financial crisis strengthens fisherfolk and peoples' resolve to resist and to struggle to change their situation.

Programme: [. . .]