Press Releases

Press Releases

Conclusions left dangling at Latino artisanal fishing workshop

by Brian O'Riordan

In the coming weeks a virtual editorial panel will attempt to achieve what eluded 80-odd delegates from 12 countries during the four-day workshop on "Artsianal Fishing (Consolidating and Securing Arisanal Fishing Access and Use Rights) in Latin America", from 4 to 8 August in Punta de Tralca, Chile.

The panel has been tasked to produce a common statement from Latin America with concrete proposals to be submitted to the World Conference on Small-scale Fisheries, to be organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Bangkok, Thailand, from 13 to 17 October.

The Punta de Tralca Workshop was the third in a series of workshops organized and supported by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), designed to focus discussions, and reach some common understanding on the rights and responsibilities of coastal and artisanal fishing communities whose livelihoods depend on access to, and use of, resources in marine and inland fisheries. Similar meetings in Asia and in eastern and southern Africa had produced common statements and drafted proposals for action.

But reaching such agreement proved elusive for the fishworker representatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), functionaries and researchers at the Punta de Tralca workshop. On several occasions during the workshop, tensions and frictions within, and between, national delegations threatened to disrupt the process sketched out by the organizers of the event. The ICSF, the National Confederation of Chilean Artisanal Fishermen (CONAPACH), Centro Ecoceanos and CeDePesca, had been planning, discussing and making arrangements for the workshop since April 2008, building on discussions going back four years to the “Santa Clara Workshop” of March 2005. It therefore came as a surprise that several delegates appeared to be both ill informed about, and little prepared for, the event.

Particular issues of contention included that of fishmeal production, where certain interests claiming to belong to the artisanal fishing sector use industrial methods to catch small-pelagic resources for reduction to fishmeal. Another bone of contention concerned the role of other social actors in the sector – notably, NGOs and indigenous people. Some felt that only fishworker representatives should decide on rights issues, and that other social actors should be excluded from the process. These frictions meant that such important issues as rights-based fisheries management, the threats and opportunities of aquaculture, and how globalization processes impact at all levels were not given the prominence and attention they merit.

Despite such difficulties, the virtual committee has a rich source of material to draw on, including the proposals produced as a result of a three-hour open discussion among fishworker representatives, which others observed. There are also the reports from the six panels of working groups who deliberated and made recommendations on the three main themes of the forthcoming FAO Conference. These working group discussions focused on those rights of importance to artisanal fishing and coastal communities (inland and marine) in Latin America as regards access to, and use of, resources, post-harvest benefits, and social, economic and human rights. Each group drew conclusions and made recommendations on how to secure such rights, ensure their recognition, and defend them against other interests.

The key lesson in the run-up to the FAO Conference in Bangkok is that preparation is vital for a successful outcome. Delegates in Punta de Tralca were clearly ill prepared or otherwise unwilling to focus on the task of producing consensus. This must be avoided at all costs at Bangkok, feel supporters of small-scale and artisanal fisheries.

Press release from CeDePesca
"Consolidar y Garantizar los Derechos de Acceso y de Uso de la Pesca Artesanal"

El Colectivo Internacional de Apoyo a la Pesca Artesanal ICSF-CIAPA, la Confederación Nacional de Pescadores Artesanales de Chile CONAPACH, el Centro Ecoceanos y CeDePesca, se encuentran organizando el Taller Latinoamericano de la Pesca Artesanal "Consolidar y Garantizar los Derechos de Acceso y de Uso de la Pesca Artesanal", a desarrollarse entre los días 4 y 8 de agosto de 2008 en Punta de Tralca, Región de Valparaíso.

Pese a las restricciones presupuestarias que debieron superarse, este Taller contará con la participación de organizaciones de pescadores artesanales de más de 11 países del Continente, que junto a organizaciones ciudadanas e investigadores de Universidades y Centros de Estudio de América Latina y El Caribe se reunirán para evaluar, discutir y generar propuestas referentes a las políticas y derechos de acceso y uso a los recursos y ecosistemas costeros.

Esta participación refleja el crecimiento de nuestro Foro, que incluye más países y organizaciones que hace tres años atrás, cuando se realizó el primer taller en Santa Clara, Argentina.

La presentación del Taller Latinoamericano se realizará el día lunes 4 de agosto a las 12:00 hrs. en el Salón Eyzaguirre del Congreso Nacional, en la ciudad de Valparaíso. A esta ceremonia asistirán autoridades nacionales y regionales, académicos, estudiantes, organizaciones ciudadanas y pescadores artesanales de América Latina.
Las actividades del Taller se reflejarán mediante boletines especiales de la comisión organizadora del evento.


Ecoceanos News and CONAPACH News
Latin American Fishworkers to discuss access and use rights to marine resources
The meeting is to take place from 4 to 8 August in the coastal district of Punta de Tralca, in the central region of the country. It is the second such event to be organized, following the workshop organized in Santa Clara del Mar, Argentina in 2005.

Fishermen from over 11 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean will participate.

Valparaíso, 18 July 2008. (Ecoceanos News/Conapach)— The National Confederation of Chilean Artisanal Fishermen (CONAPACH) will play host to the their counterparts in Latin America, and to a variety of NGOs, academics, researchers and national and international functionaries who will meet in the first week of August in the central coastal region of Chile to discuss coastal communities’ access and use rights in ecosystems and to marine resources.

The aim of this event, being co-organized CONAPACH, the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), Ecoceanos and CeDepesca, is to discuss “the views of coastal and artisanal fishing communities about fisheries and aquaculture policies, coastal management, access to markets and the conservation of aquatic biodiversity in Latin America.”

This Latin American workshop will also develop proposals for presentation at the FAO’s World Conference on Artisanal Fishing, to be organized in Thailand this October. Representatives from the FAO will present the objectives of this Conference and the issues to be discussed there at the workshop.

The workshop will discuss and agree common positions on how to consolidate and secure lasting and sustainable access to resources and to markets for artisanal fishermen, at local, regional and international level. In addition, the relations between human rights, biodiversity and fishery management tools, and their importance from the perspective of artisanal fishing communities, will be reviewed.

The workshop expects to identify issues for joint action, based on a critical analysis of the impact of neo-liberal fisheries policies in the Latin American region, particularly as regards privatization of resources and coastal and marine areas.

An issue to be afforded special attention in this regard is the expansion of industrial aquaculture, notably salmon aquaculture in Chile and shrimp aquaculture in tropical Latin American countries (including Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Honduras).

In addition, cultural aspects of fishing communities will be discussed, as will the rights of women as fishers and workers, and as wives and mothers of fishers, providing a for a rich debate amongst the fishermen leaders and specialists associated with defending and developing coastal communities in Latin America. ENDS

For more information: Contact Brian O’Riordan, Secretary, ICSF Belgium Office

Tel: 00 32 26525201; Fax: 00 32 26540407 E Mail:


Ecoceanos News/Conapach News

El encuentro se desarrollará entre el 4 y el 8 de Agosto en la localidad costera de Punta de Tralca, en la costa central del país y es la segunda ocasión en que se realiza un evento de este tipo, luego del Taller realizado en Santa Clara del Mar, Argentina, en 2005.

En la actividad participarán pescadores de más de 11 países latinoaméricanos y de El Caribe.

Valparaíso, 18 de julio de 2008. (Ecoceanos News/Conapach)— La Confederación Nacional de Pescadores Artesanales (Conapach) será la anfitriona de recibir a sus pares de América Latina, a diversas ONGs, académicos, investigadores y funcionarios nacionales e internacionales que se reunirán la primera semana de agosto en la costa central de Chile a discutir acerca de los derechos de acceso y uso de los ecosistemas y recursos marinos por parte de las comunidades costeras.

La actividad organizada -además de Conapach-, por el Colectivo Internacional de Apoyo a los Pescadores Artesanales (, Ecoceanos y Cedepesca de Argentina, busca también dialogar acerca de la “visión de las comunidades costeras y de la pesca artesanal sobre las políticas de pesca y acuicultura, la gestión costera, el acceso a los mercados y la conservación de la biodiversidad acuática en el continente”.

En este Taller Latinoamericano también se elaborarán propuestas para ser presentadas en la Conferencia Mundial de la FAO sobre la Pesca de Pequeña escala, a realizarse en Tailandia, en Octubre de este año. Representantes de la FAO expondrán en el taller los objetivos y temas de esta Conferencia.

El encuentro se desarrollará entre el 4 y el 8 de Agosto en la localidad costera de Punta de Tralca, en la costa central del país y es la segunda ocasión en que se realiza un evento de este tipo, luego del Taller realizado en Mar del Plata, Argentina, en 2005.

La reunión además busca discutir y desarrollar propuestas que tiendan a consolidar y garantizar el acceso a los recursos y los mercados para los pescadores artesanales a nivel nacional, regional e internacional, de modo permanente y sustentable.

Los pescadores y sus organizaciones asociadas discutirán la relación entre derechos humanos, biodiversidad, y las herramientas de la gestión de pesca y su importancia desde el punto de vista de las comunidades de pescadores artesanales.

Se espera que el Taller elabore líneas de acción común, a partir del análisis crítico del impacto que ha tenido a nivel latinoamericano la implementación de las Políticas Pesqueras de carácter neoliberal, especialmente la privatización de los recursos y zonas costeras y marinas.

En las discusiones además tendrán gran importancia la expansión de la acuicultura industrial, especialmente la salmonicultura en Chile y la camaronicultura en Ecuador y en los países tropicales latinoamericanos (Brasil, Ecuador, Colombia, Perú y Honduras, entre otros).

Y los temas de cultura de las comunidades y los derechos de las mujeres como pescadoras, trabajadoras, ciudadanas, esposas, y madres de la gente de mar también serán materias que fortalecerán el debate de los dirigentes y especialistas vinculados a la defensa y desarrollo de las comunidades costeras de América Latina.*****FIN*****


Ramón Olalla, CONAPACH, ++ 56 32-2232602;
Patricio Igor Melillanca, Periodista Centro Ecoceanos, ++ 56 2 6336183;