Advocating for small-scale fishers’ rights and sustainable marine conservation in Türkiye: The Association of Istanbul Fishing Cooperatives (Istanbul Birlik)

Overfishing and the overcapacity of the industrial fishing fleet are putting immense pressure on marine ecosystems and fishers’ livelihoods in Türkiye. In response, small-scale fishing cooperatives in Istanbul, organized under Istanbul Birlik, are rising against this threat. They are working to build an alternative economic model to protect small-scale fishers’ fish, seas, identity, and livelihoods.

Guardians of Moheshkhali: Defending Traditional Ways of Living by the Sea Against Unsustainable Blue Growth 

Launched in 2015, the Matarbari Mega Project seeks to transform Moheshkhali Island into an economic hub, including a coal power plant and port facilities. Despite promises of modernization, the project has caused environmental harm and displaced 20,000 locals, impacting livelihoods and cultural identity. Since 2018, local ocean defenders have protested, resulting in successes like the cancellation of certain coal plants. Yet, the struggle to preserve heritage and environment against industrial expansion persists. This highlights the crucial role of community involvement in development decisions and the ongoing need for a sustainable and culturally sensitive approach to economic growth.

Diambari Sine: Women’s fish processing organization leads the resistance against industrial fisheries and fishmeal factories in Senegal

In Senegal women are central in marketing and processing fishing catches, mainly coastal small pelagics. Despite gaining social status and financial autonomy through this, they face challenges from industrial overfishing and fishmeal production, depleting crucial sardinella stocks. Women-led groups like Diambari sine advocate for sustainable fishing and resist detrimental industrial activities, striving to preserve their maritime culture and ensure sustainable fisheries management.

Blue Justice? Impacts of oil exploration on small-scale fishers in Ghana

In Ghana’s Western region, over 150,000 small-scale fishers are struggling with the impact of offshore oil exploration, which has restricted their access to traditional fishing grounds. These regulations have drastically reduced their catch and income, deepening poverty and food insecurity. Despite limited resources and influence, the communities have actively campaigned for their rights.

The Alliance of Solwara Warriors’ resistance against deep sea mining in Papua New Guinea

shark calling boat

The Alliance of Solwara Warriors (ASW) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) stands for resistance, resilience, education, and coalition building against deep sea mining (DSM). ASW brings together coastal communities from 6 provinces and various groups to address DSM threats, including concerns about cultural ties to the ocean, livelihood impacts, and potential environmental harm. ASW is committed to pursuing a permanent ban on deep sea mining in PNG.

Ocean-defending small-scale fishers in South Africa say NO to seismic surveys

NO to seismic surveys

As part of their Blue Economy strategy, the South African government has granted exploration permits covering 98% of the country’s EEZ. Small-scale fishers and their partners in South Africa have achieved two successful court cases in 2022, halting seismic surveys by multinational companies exploring for oil and gas. Small-scale fishers have led a strategic resistance, asserting their identity as ocean defenders, and defending their rights, livelihoods, and marine ecosystems.

Resilience Amidst Turmoil: The Ongoing Struggles of Chilika Lagoon’s Small-Scale Fishers Against Aquaculture and Sea Mouth Opening

The Chilika Lagoon, located in eastern India, is a 1100 km² brackish water ecosystem that hosts a stunning array of ecosystems and species and is a vital resource for small-scale fishing communities. However, it faces disruption from shrimp aquaculture and an opening of the lagoon to the sea. These disruptions are directly affecting environmental dynamics, altering access rights, and impacting small-scale fishers.

Small-scale fishers fight against illegal industrial fishing in Northern Peru

Artisanal sailboat fishing with hook and line from Los Organos community in Piura, Peru. Photo by Rocío López de la Lama.

Small-scale fishers from northern Peru are experiencing negative impacts from illegal industrial fishing practices within the protected 5-mile area. Despite the advocacy efforts of local fishers for enforcement of the zone designated for small-scale fishers and for the creation of an MPA, political instability, corruption, and the influence of oil companies have hindered progress.

The struggle of Indigenous peoples to protect the Chilean Blue Patagonia

Marine extractive practice at the Espacio Costero Marino Manihueico Huinay, Los Lagos Region

Local Indigenous communities are establishing “Espacios Costeros Marinos para Pueblos Originarios” (ECMPOs) to increase control over their territories in response to the environmental and social impacts caused by the salmon aquaculture industry in Chilean Blue Patagonia. ECMPOs allow them to protect the environment and their traditional livelihoods, as well as halt the expansion of salmon farms.

Small-scale fishers protest an offshore wind power plant in Saint Brieuc Bay

Small-scale fishers protesting around the wind power plant drilling platform

The Bay of Saint Brieuc in Northwestern France is the site of a protracted conflict over an offshore wind power plant project, with local fishers and residents raising concerns about its impact on ecosystems and traditional fishing livelihoods. Despite protests and challenges, the project is moving forward, resulting in increased distrust among many opponents towards authorities and the wind energy company.

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