Smash and Grab, Conflict, Corruption, and Human Rights Abuse In the Shrimp Farming Industry
Dr Mike Shanahan, Coralie Thornton, Steve Trent and Juliette Williams

  • Publisher: Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF)
  • Number Of Pages: 36
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • ISBN-10 / ASIN:1904523021
  • ISBN-13 / EAN:9781904523024
Shrimp farming has achieved massive growth over recent decades. The industry has been hailed as part of a ‘Blue Revolution’, supposedly capable of producing large volumes of food without impacting marine stocks and increasing availability of food for the hungry.

Governments and the international donor community have promoted shrimp farming as a means of speeding development and alleviating poverty in developing countries. However, the expansion of export-oriented shrimp culture has met with strong opposition from some sectors of society, and serious political, socio-economic and environmental concerns have been raised.

Shrimp farming has increased land values and led to conflict over land rights and access to natural resources. Resulting social problems include increased poverty, landlessness and food insecurity, displacement of communities, pollution of drinking water, poor working conditions, and impacts on health and education.

Large tracts of agricultural land have been inundated with saline water to create shrimp ponds. Shrimp farming physically takes over farmland and salt water intrusion can change soil composition and pollute water supplies. Shrimp aquaculture has had direct impacts on crop productivity and on the health and livelihoods of rural farming communities.

Destruction of wetlands, including mangrove forests, together with shrimp fry collection to stock ponds, have been linked to declines in capture fisheries. Shrimp farms have also blocked traditional users’ access to coastal and estuarine resources, leaving rural communities increasingly marginalised in degraded environments. Loss of mangroves has also increased risks to coastal communities from tidal waves and cyclones. Given the large range of such hidden costs generated by shrimp farming, there are serious concerns over the sustainability of this industry.

The shrimp farming industry is not labour-intensive and loss of employment in the agricultural sector (as a result of the inundation of land) has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from lands used traditionally, and sustainably, for generations. Employment on shrimp farms and processing plants is frequently linked to very poor working conditions and exploitation of workers

Smash and Grab, Conflict, Corruption, and Human Rights Abuse In the Shrimp Farming Industry
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
The blue death
Food for the Hungry
Depletion of coastal resources
Wild Shrimp By-catch
Reduced access to resources
Increased coastal susceptibility
Reduced access to potable water
The Link To Disease
Reduced agricultural productivity
Case Studies
Case study: Vettapalem Mandal, India
Case study: Ca Mau Province, Vietnam
Case Study: India
Case Study: Indonesia
Case Study: Malaysia
Case Study: Ecuador
Case Study: Bangladesh
Case Study: Indonesia
Case Study: Thailand
Case Study: Ecuador
Case Study: India
Land Conflict
Intimidation, Violence & Murder
Intimidation In India
The Philippines
Profit & Loss
Indebtedness & economic loss
Case Study: Indonesia
Occupational Exposure To Chemicals
Labour conditions
Child labour
Burma’s Shrimp Slaves
Law & Disorder
Domestic law enforcement
Conclusions & Recommendations
General Recommendations
Shrimp importing countries
Shrimp farming countries
The shrimp aquaculture industry
Shrimp importers, retailers and consumers
The international donor community
The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation
Research institutions
Back Cover

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