What are the class-differentiated implications of food sovereignty in a zone of ecological crisis—Bangladesh’s coastal Khulna district? Much land in this deltaic zone that had previously been employed for various forms of peasant production has been overrun and transformed by the introduction of brackish-water shrimp aquaculture.
Fisheries systems are widely considered to be ‘in crisis’ in both economic and ecological terms, a considerable concern given their significance to food security, international trade and employment the world over. The most common explanation for the crisis suggests that it is caused by weak and illiberal property regimes.
The concepts of “accumulation by dispossession” and “ocean grabbing” are applied to East Africa in order to explain the ongoing dispossession of small scale fisheries. The emergence of a corporate (sea) food regime can be traced, posing challenges for terrestrial food sovereignty via land grabbing and ocean grabbing.
This new report shows how the 'rights-based approach' to fisheries governance is in fact a mechanism for depriving indigenous and subsistence fisherfolk of their traditional waters and transferring them to corporations and economic elites. It must be replaced with a human rights approach.
Industrial fishing, from deep sea trawling to coastal fish farms, is damaging the environment and emptying our oceans. But there is an alternative. Small-scale fishers around the world rely on traditional methods and practices, working in harmony with the environment to feed themselves and their communities. Around the world they are rallying around the idea of food sovereignty and the vision of a global food system with with food producers and human rights at its center.
After a spout of optimism surrounding Myanmar’s so-called democratic transition in the post-2010 period, more recent work by CSOs and academics have emphasized the rampant and violent processes of land and ocean grabbing that this transition is facilitating. Drawing on a case from Northern Tanintharyi in the Southeast of the country, this article attempts to historicize contemporary accounts of these grabbing processes.