Loop wrote about the small-scale fishers and community representatives who had come to the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon to address their exclusion from the negotiating table. In decision-making processes, their needs often come second to large corporate interests, and they are generally excluded from policy decisions that disproportionately affect their lives and livelihoods.
UNOC’s final draft declaration, entitled ‘Our ocean, our future, our responsibility’, fails to recognise the vast contribution that small-scale fisheries make to food security, employment, income and ocean protection and even endorses initiatives that may undermine this vital role.
Read the full article by Loop, including powerful quotes from small-scale fisheries representatives Gaoussou Gueye and Micheline Dion Somplehi:
Gaoussou Gueye, President of Confédération Africaine des Organisations de Pêche Artisanale (CAOPA) (Senegal), said: “We cannot survive if we have to compete with powerful, polluting and environmentally destructive sectors in the marine and coastal environment.”
Micheline Dion Somplehi, President of the union of women fish processors cooperatives (Union des Sociétés Coopératives des Femmes de la Pêche et assimilées de Côte d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast), said: “Artisanal fishing is as much about women as men. But their contribution is often invisible, while their working conditions are disastrous.”