- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Name: Fundación Lonxanet
- Submission Document: Download
Full SubmissionSUSTAINABLE CO‐MANAGEMENT OF FISHING RESOURCES: SUSTAINABLE SEAS AND RESPONSIBLE CONSUMERS Submitted by Fundación Lonxanet, Spain 28 October 2011 Contact: Antonio García Allut firstname.lastname@example.org, Chairman, Fundación Lonxanet para la Pesca Sostenible Website: http://www.fundacionlonxanet.org INTRODUCTION Fundación Lonxanet (Spain) is grateful for the opportunity to provide input for inclusion in the compilation document to serve as basis of the Zero Draft for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD 2012). As the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) was underway in Johannesburg in September 2002, Fundación Lonxanet para la Pesca Sostenible was created in North West Spain, in part to respond to the WSSD's call for the creation of an international network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Fundación Lonxanet is an innovative initiative that promotes a change in the mind‐set of artisanal fishermen to minimise the loss of living marine resources and achieve sustainable development. We work with artisanal fishing communities and organisations whose livelihoods depend on any water system (rivers, lakes, estuaries, seas and oceans) from Spain, Latin America and Africa. We develop and promote best practices both by and for artisanal fisherfolk and give visibility to their efforts and contributions to a more sustainable sea and world. RELEVANCE TO THE CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 2012 (UNCSD 2012) Fundación Lonxanet welcomes the efforts to address the sustainable use of marine resources as a central theme of UNCSD 2012. We concur with the view that major conferences on the environment and sustainable development cannot ignore the importance of healthy seas for sustainable development, especially in light of the role played by artisanal fisherfolk in global food security, including what some have described as the blue economy. Our proposal is fully consistent with the goals and objectives of UNCSD 2012 as well as with the Millennium Development Goals. The proposal departs from our assessment that progress achieved to date for sustainable seas and oceans has been insufficient and, that there is a gap remaining in the implementation of ocean‐related outcomes from past major summits on sustainable development, especially the commitment in Johannesburg to establish and maintain an international network of Marine Protected Areas. Our proposal relates directly to key issues listed in the Co‐Chairs? Guidance Note for inputs for Compilation Document: oceans, food security, biodiversity, sustainable consumption and production (including the "green jobs") and adaptation to climate change. This successful experience stems from Lonxanet?s initiative and works accompanying artisanal fishermen, and contributes to the integration of the three pillars of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental. Within this framework, Fundación Lonxanet facilitates the development of processes aimed at aligning artisanal fisherman and the State in the common goal of a sustainable management of fishery resources to achieve social, economic and environmental benefits for both fishing communities and society in general. The creation of symmetric spaces of dialogue between the state and the fisheries sector promotes a change in the fishermen's mind-set leading to co‐ responsibility of the future of the oceans, empowering and involving them in the management of fishery resources under an adaptive and ecosystemic approach. CONTEXT: CAUSES AND CONSECUENCES OF THE GLOBAL FAILURE IN FISHERIES GOVERNANCE Living marine resources in the world are in a critical state. According to the UN FAO, 80% of the world?s fisheries are at risk due to excessive fishing efforts. Within this percentage, 52% are completed exploited, 19% is over-exploited, and 8% has been depleted. Although virtually all governments acknowlege the gravity of the problem and are making efforts to regulate the exploitation of these resources with sustainability criteria, the global state of the oceans and its resources continues to deteriorate. In accordance to the FAO?s analysis, only 1% of the world?s fisheries appear to be recovering from past over‐exploitation. The European Union, with the largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, 88% of its fisheries are over‐exploited and 69% are in danger of depletion. The problems and its consequences can be summarised in six points: (1) Market forces that favour overfishing, (2) Overfishing and depletion of resources, (3) Increasing impacts of climate change; 4) Pollution, environmental degradation of coastal ecosystems and biodiversity loss; 5) Failure of governance in resource management, since it is centralised and hierarchical, (6) Loss of oceans' resilience. This leads to the following consequences: a) Depletion of fishery resources; (b) Crisis of artisanal fisheries sector and local communities; c) Loss of future expectations for the families of those fishermen who abandon fishing: emigration and depopulation; d) Loss of food sovereignty and security. An over-centralised management model, where the artisanal fisherman neither participates nor is represented, brings about an incompatibility between the sustainability objective pursued by the States and maximising fishermen's economic objectives favoured by market forces. The world fish trade sources its products in developing countries to be sold in developed countries. Therefore, the fishing industry and consumer markets in the most developed countries are the main contributors to the fall in resources from the world's coastal, sea and ocean ecosystems. In accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibility" enshrined in the Rio Declaration of 1992, these countries have a special duty to correct and avoid this dramatic situation. Increasing controls on fishermen to correct bad practices is not enough. It also requires a more equitable and sustainable redistribution of fishery resources as a public good between the fleets exploiting them, to correct social imbalances affecting artisanal fisherfolk. Artisanal fishing is often characterised by relatively low impact practices on marine ecosystems, using more selective fishing gear, with a less destructive impact on habitats, less fuel consumption and less fishing effort, far below that of industrialised fishing. Furthermore, as showed by FAO statistics, it should be taken into account that artisanal fishing employs a large number of the people who play a very important role in the social and cultural life of most coastal countries. To address the abuses and excesses of the market, producers and consumers must be made co‐responsible. Yet to date the impact of the majority of awareness policies and campaigns applied to fishermen and consumers remains low. WHAT HAS BEEN DONE, WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED Over the last decade, with a systemic, participatory and bottom-up approach that empowers local artisanal fishing communities through human, economic, social and environmental projects, Fundación Lonxanet has developed ways to minimise the obstacles to sustainable development that artisanal fisherfolk and fish workers have encountered and to develop locally workable conditions that favour comprehensive sustainable development. The Fundación Lonxanet initiative started as a pilot project in the region of Galicia, North West Spain, which included the creation of two Marine Protected Areas of Fishing Interest co‐ managed equally by artisanal fishermen and the public authorities. In addition, a marketing company was created to directly distribute sustainable seafood produced in this area to consumers, with a view to increasing the revenues of the artisanal fishermen and, at the same time, protecting and conserving their resources (?from a sustainable sea to a responsible consumer?). All of this led to the creation of the international Network of Artisanal Fishing communities for Sustainable Development (RECOPADES), active in Europe, Latin America and Africa. These experiences demonstrate that dialogue and collaboration between public authorities and artisanal fisherfolk is not only possible but successful. Placing the artisanal fisherman at the heart of fisheries management on an equal footing with the public administration has opened a consolidation process regarding new ocean governance. This experience has important benefits for the coastal ecosystem and for society in general. A greater involvement of fisherman has been achieved regarding environmental sustainability goals. The catches of certain species have been greatly increased. Conflicts have been reduced and the fishermen feel involved and co‐responsible for their future, applying sustainability criteria in fisheries management. They are being referenced as an example of sustainable experience at an international level. Our experience to date shows how the involvement of fishermen in the co-management of fishery resources and the green economy can be a means to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions (social, economic and environmental), together with the eradication of poverty. This is its added value, in line with the Co-Chairs? Guidance Notes, asking to emphasise what has worked and how to build upon success to seize opportunities for possible elements of an agreement in the outcome document. The proposals we present here address the implementation of a series of guidelines that promote a convergence of state and fisheries towards sustainability as a common goal. It represents a very important step to build an active and participatory citizenship, co‐ responsible for the management of natural resources. EMPOWER ARTISANAL FISHERMEN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE GREEN ECONOMY: We urge the UNCSD 2012 to express in Rio the necessity and their willingness to empower artisanal fisherfolk to both participate in similar processes and in resources management in order to address the changes in production and consumption models that have failed to secure the sustainability of fishery resources worldwide. We also urge the states to enable that fishermen and state representatives go hand in hand in the process of co‐management of fisheries. The approach we request UNCSD 2012 to support comprises a series of measures to promote processes of change in the artisanal fishing sector that can lead to a culture of sustainability and can be applied in a wide range of contexts and scales, with a convergent and coherent view about the future of artisanal fishing and the collective interest of their communities: Respect for fishermen's local environmental knowledge in the design of management plans for fishery resources. Action plans, with a bottom-up approach, and participatory processes to build trust and encourage the participation of small‐scale fishing communities with a leading role. Empower partnerships and networks with other fishing communities and other actors (governments, NGOs, companies, public administrations, etc.) at local, national or international level. Promote, as a result of the required mind shift, artisanal fisherfolk as custodians and guardians of the living marine resources and their habitats. Based on RECOPADES? experience, we urge UNSCD 2012 to encourage and support: Artisanal fishermen's involvement in the process of change through projects that promote the co‐responsibility of future fishery resources, promoting a thinking where they consider themselves trustees and custodians of the sustainability of marine resources and their habitats for future generations. The creation of opportunities for participation and dialogue between states and the artisanal fishing sector directed towards the co‐management of fisheries, by promoting the participation of artisanal fishermen in the diagnosis, planning, management and monitoring of artisanal fishing. The creation of Marine Protected Areas of Fishing Interest, co‐managed as a suitable tool in different contexts, giving the central role of sustainable management to the artisanal fishermen and giving them prominence and visibility in their efforts to develop projects aimed at sustainability. The promotion of differentiated marketing of artisanal fishing as a denomination‐of‐ origin product with added social and environmental value. The transfer of sustainable development methodologies and knowledge among artisanal fishing communities and organisations worldwide and the sharing of successful experiences, in order to disseminate and enhance the good practices developed by artisanal fishermen. Bestowing artisanal fishermen a more equitable representation in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations so they can defend the sustainability of resources. ANNEXE: THE CASE FOR CO‐MANAGED AREAS OF FISHING INTEREST Challenges: There is excessive competition for fishery resources. Exploitation costs grow higher due to the increase in fishing efforts and the decrease in resources. Control and audit systems are inefficient despite high investment from public administrations. Tensions between fisherfolk and public administrations often impede the necessary spirit of mutual understanding and compromise. In certain regions, these tensions can be aggravated by short‐term local political interests within both the fishermen's representative organisations and the public administrations. This can result in favourable treatments for some organisations which create obstacles for comprehensive agreements with the artisanal fishing sector as a whole. Fisheries management systems, influenced primarily by industrial fisheries' interests, fail to address the complexity of artisanal fishing communities and the variety of fishing gear and interests. The majority of current management models fail to involve artisanal fisherfolk and their knowledge. Illegal fishing contributes to worsening the situation. Proposals: Co-managed Protected Areas of Fishing Interest represent? Pilot projects, managed by a management body made up equally of public administrations and artisanal fishermen, in order to create a more complete and co‐ responsible scenario to build a new shared decision culture between the state and civil society. Opportunities for consolidation of this entire scenario, through continuous dialogue and negotiation between artisanal fishermen and public administrations to accomplish the sustainability objectives identified. A response, from the artisanal fishing sector itself, to the lack of productivity of the coastal ecosystems on which they depend. A practical formula to reduce excessive competitivity for limited resources. A tool to avoid the over‐exploitation of fishery resources. An effective way to address administrative loopholes and the pace of bureaucracy, biased in favour of capital‐intensive industrial interests, and local specificities. A bottom‐up opportunity for artisanal fisherfolk to be partners for sustainable development, thus minimising the management costs, which, in most cases, make the current system unsustainable.