A model act, which provides guidelines to the ... Major Port Trust Act, 1963 [MoS] ..... One major limitation is the legal tangles involved in establishing a zone ...
Building Sustainable Governance
Building Sustainable Governance
Review of Selected Indian Fisheries and Coastal Policies against the ESPA Approach, Neighbourhood and Global Policy Guidelines C.M.Muralidharan FAO National Consultant Preparatory paper prepared for ESPA Workshop 3 28 October – 1 November, 2009, MIDS, Chennai, India. Project: Building Capacity for Sustainable Governance in South Asian Fisheries: Poverty, Wellbeing and Deliberative Policy Networks
Building Sustainable Governance Introduction and background The Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme advocates sustainably managed ecosystems, whilst contributing to poverty reduction and wellbeing improvements in developing countries. Funded by NERC, ECRC and DFID, one of the sectors chosen for the research is the marine fisheries sector in South Asia. This project aims to build capacity for deliberative policy networks which will seek to advance new forms of governance, centred on the concept of human wellbeing, to better accommodate the agendas of ecosystem health and poverty alleviation within South Asian fisheries (Coulthard.2009).The project anchors around the well being approach and the interactive governance approach. Wellbeing is a state of being with others, where one‟s needs are met, where one is able to meaningfully pursue ones‟ goals, and where one is able to experience a satisfactory quality of life (McGregor, 2009). According to the millennium ecosystem assessment the constituents of well being are a basic material for good life, security, health, good social relations along with freedom of choice for action. The pursuit of human wellbeing drives human behaviours and actions including their exploitation of natural resources such as fisheries. Conflicts in fisheries can be interpreted as being underpinned by conflicts between the wellbeing aspirations and strategies of some people with those of others. An understanding of the motivations for the way and the extent to which people exploit a fishery, as part of their pursuit of wellbeing, provides a basis for formulating effective systems of governance and policy. The interactive governance approach recognises that the governing system will have its values, principles, institutions, tools and instruments. This system will interact with the system to be governed which consists of both the human and natural systems. Interactive governance emphasizes the diversity, complexity, and dynamics of fisheries and the varying positions of the coastal poor therein. A policy focus directed to improving the wellbeing of the coastal poor needs to be responsive to these variations (Bavinck 2009). This paper attempts to start with a quick look at the marine fisheries development in India, the different policy and legal frame works that have direct influence on the fisheries, fishers, coastal resources and fisher welfare. Out of this, three selected policy areas are taken out for detailed discussion mainly from a well being approach of the stake holders and the status and scope for interactive governance. These policies are quickly looked against the guidelines under the FAO Code of conduct for Responsible fisheries. Finally the World Bank proposal on the reforms in the Indian Fisheries sector is discussed. All these are analysed under the well being and interactive approaches within the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) frame work.
The marine fisheries sector in India The Geographic base of Indian marine fisheries has an 8,118 km coastline, 2.02 million sq. km. of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) including 0.5 million sq. km. of continental shelf. Some 3.52 million fishers who belong to 756,212 households live in 3,202 marine fishing villages (CMFRI 2006).Of the 238,722 fishing craft in India, 58,911 are mechanized and 75,591 motorized. Along the east coast fish production tends to be dominated by the motorized and non mechanized fleet, while on the west coast it is dominated by the mechanized fleet, except in Kerala where the motorized fleet dominates. There are 1,896 traditional fish landing centres, 33 minor fishing harbours and 6 major fishing harbours. 80 out of the 180 deep sea fishing vessels are said to be operational (CMFPI, 2004).
Building Sustainable Governance The marine fisheries development in India has passed through 3 clear phases since independence in 1947. Now it is going through a fourth phase. This has been described well by CMFRI and World Bank 2008. Phase I was a pre-development stage (up to 1965) where fishing was still largely dominated by small indigenous craft and gear, and mechanization was in the very early stages. Phase II (from 1965 to 1986) reflected a major expansion in the use of synthetic gear, a focus on exports, increases in the number of larger mechanized vessels, government investment in new fishing harbours, introduction of purse seine harvesting, and the start of motorizing smaller artisanal boats that could then extend their range further offshore. Phase III (1986-2000) was characterized by a rapid growth in motorizing the artisanal fleet, further extension of fishing offshore and extended voyage fishing, and introduction of seasonal closures of selected fisheries as concerns developed over fish stocks. A fourth phase (post-2000 modernization) is now emerging, characterized by declining fish catches, depleted fish stocks, increasing conflict over fish resources, mounting investment needs, and export market fluctuations coinciding with major changes in the global and domestic macro-economic environment (see figure below). It is at this crisis situation that we have to seriously look into the existing policy and legal frame works and its real practice.
Based on CMFRI and World Bank 2008 Fisheries management within the territorial waters is the mandate of the state Governments while the management mandate of fishing beyond territorial water that of the central Government. There are a multitude of policies by the central Government and the State governments that have a direct influence on marine fisheries. The following table is an attempt to summarise the salient policies.
Building Sustainable Governance Analysis of policies - The policies that influence marine fisheries, costal resources and fisher welfare can be summarised as follows (partially based on Kurup 2008 and Sonak et.al) Existing Act/rules 1.Fishery related policies Indian Fisheries Act, 1897 [MoA] Marine Fishing Regulation model bill, 1978 (Leading to state level marine Fishing regulation acts) [MoA]
Deep Sea Fishing Policy,1991 [MoA]
Comprehensive Marine Fisheries policy, India,2004 Indian Ports act,1908 [MoS] Major Port Trust Act, 1963 [MoS]
Merchant Shipping Act,1958 [MoS]
Coast Guard Act, 1950 [MoD]
Maritime Zones Act, 1976 [MoA] The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of fishing by foreign vessels Act, 1981 (No. 42 of 1981) (MoA)
Salient Features Offers protection to fisheries against explosives or dynamites. A model act, which provides guidelines to the maritime states to enact laws for protection to marine fisheries by regulating fishing in the territorial waters. The measures include: Regulation of mesh size and gear, reservation of zones for various fishing sectors and also declaration of closed seasons Laws framed and Amended from time to time by different maritime states (discussed in detail) Allows foreign fishing vessels into Indian waters beyond 12 nautical miles. Protests from local fishermen Charter and leasing operations of foreign trawlers suspended in 1997. No granting of new licences to joint venture companies operating in the EEZ. Deep Sea Fishing Policy, 1991 practically scrapped in 1997. Policy to integrate the management of fisheries in the traditional coastal fishing sector along with the deep sea sector (discussed in detail). Enactment relating to ports and port charges. Provides for rules for the safety of shipping and conservation of ports. The Act makes provision for the constitution of port authorities for certain major ports in India and to vest the administration, control and management of such ports in such authorities and for matters connected therewith. Control of pollution from ships and off-shore Platforms. Very crucial in the wake of new ports coming up and more ship traffic from various points of the coast. The recent incident of the oil pollution from a ship that sank along Paradip coast is the best example. Provides levying of heavy penalties for the pollution of port waters, In 1993, Coast Guard under Ministry of Defence, made directly responsible for combating marine pollution. Describes various zones such as territorial waters, EEZ, Continental shelf etc. The Act‟s main provisions deal with the grant of licences, prohibition of Indian citizens using foreign vessels, procedures for granting of permits or licenses, and the responsibility of permit holder for compliance.
Building Sustainable Governance 2.Environment/Coastal management policies Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986 An umbrella Act. • Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991 Regularizes the various activities in the coastal zone. • Coastal Zone Mgmt Plans (CZMPs) Supreme Court Intervention that all the Coastal states prepare their CZMPs by 1996. • Hazardous Waste Management Act,1989 This Act provides guidelines for hazardous waste management and also for the import and export of hazardous waste in country. • Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, The objective of this act is to conserve and 1994 [MoEF] protect the environment. The different policies under this act are critical in protecting the coastal habitat of the fishers as well as the environment of the coastal waters which have direct effect on the resource base on which their livelihoods depend. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Control of pollution from land-based sources Act,1974,Amended in 1988 [MoEF] Pollution Control Board was constituted under this act. Includes tidal waters, unlike many other countries and has jurisdiction up to 5 km in the sea. Very significant in the context of the major industries and Special Economic Zones coming along the coast. Untreated effluents are a major threat to marine fishery resources and also to the living environment along the coast. Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Amended in Protection to marine biodiversity. Deals 1988 [MoEF] primarily with using forestlands for non-forestry purposes, mainly industry and mining; so it protects fisheries habitat and water quality. Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Amended in 1983, Offers protection to marine biota. Creates 1986, 1991, 1997, 2001) [MoEF] conditions favourable for in situ conservation of fauna and flora. Amended in 1991 to prohibit fishing within the sanctuary area of Gahirmatha, annual mass nesting place for Olive Ridley turtle, and endangered species, accorded the status of marine sanctuary in 1997. Amended in 2001 to include several species of fish, corals, sea cucumbers and sea shells in Schedule I and III. Whale shark placed in schedule, A major concern is that the livelihoods of many fishers in the protected areas are at hold as the approach is more protectionist rather than participatory and conservatory. The coordination between the wild life department and the Fisheries department is again.
Building Sustainable Governance 3.Fisher Welfare Existing Schemes Act/rules Salient Features Centrally sponsored 1.Fishery related policies state level Fisher welfare Centrally sponsored schemes; schemes and programs. a. protection Development of model against fisher villages. Indian Fisheries Act, 1897 [MoA] Offers to fisheries explosives b. Group accident insurance for active or dynamites. Marine Fishing Regulation model bill, 1978 A modelfishermen. act, which provides guidelines to the c. Saving (Leading to state level marine Fishing regulation maritime statescum to relief enact laws for protection to State [MoA] level Fisher welfare schemes and programs marine Related to variousbysupport to fishfishing vendors acts) fisheries regulating in and the post harvest pension territorial waters.fisheries, The measures include:schemes, education support schemes etc.gear, reservation Regulation of mesh size and of zones for various fishing sectors and also declaration of closed seasons Laws framed and Amended from time to time by different maritime states (discussed in detail) Deep Sea Fishing Policy,1991 [MoA] Allows foreign fishing vessels into Indian waters beyond 12 nautical miles. Protests from local fishermen Charter and leasing operations of foreign trawlers suspended in 1997. No granting of new licences to joint venture companies operating in the EEZ. Deep Sea Fishing Policy, 1991 practically scrapped in 1997. Comprehensive Marine Fisheries policy, Policy to integrate the management of fisheries India,2004 in the traditional coastal fishing sector along with the deep sea sector (discussed in detail). Indian Ports act,1908 [MoS] Enactment relating to ports and port charges. Provides for rules for the safety of shipping and conservation of ports. Major Port Trust Act, 1963 [MoS] The Act makes provision for the constitution of port authorities for certain major ports in India and to vest the administration, control and management of such ports in such authorities and for matters connected therewith. Merchant Shipping Act,1958 [MoS] Control of pollution from ships and off-shore Platforms. Very crucial in the wake of new ports coming up and more ship traffic from various points of the coast. The recent incident of the oil pollution from a ship that sank along Paradip coast is the best example. Coast Guard Act, 1950 [MoD] Provides levying of heavy penalties for the pollution of port waters, In 1993, Coast Guard under Ministry of Defence, made directly responsible for combating marine pollution. Maritime Zones Act, 1976 [MoA] Describes various zones such as territorial waters, EEZ, Continental shelf etc. The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of The Act‟s main provisions deal with the grant of fishing by foreign vessels Act, 1981 (No. 42 of licences, prohibition of Indian citizens using 1981) (MoA) foreign vessels, procedures for granting of permits or licenses, and the responsibility of permit holder for compliance. 2.Environment/Coastal management policies Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986 An umbrella Act.
Building Sustainable Governance • Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991 • Coastal Zone Mgmt Plans (CZMPs) • Hazardous Waste Management Act,1989 • Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 1994 [MoEF]
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1974,Amended in 1988 [MoEF]
Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Amended in 1988 [MoEF] Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Amended in 1983, 1986, 1991, 1997, 2001) [MoEF]
Regularizes the various activities in the coastal zone. Supreme Court Intervention that all the Coastal states prepare their CZMPs by 1996. This Act provides guidelines for hazardous waste management and also for the import and export of hazardous waste in country. The objective of this act is to conserve and protect the environment. The different policies under this act are critical in protecting the coastal habitat of the fishers as well as the environment of the coastal waters which have direct effect on the resource base on which their livelihoods depend. Control of pollution from land-based sources Pollution Control Board was constituted under this act. Includes tidal waters, unlike many other countries and has jurisdiction up to 5 km in the sea. Very significant in the context of the major industries and Special Economic Zones coming along the coast. Untreated effluents are a major threat to marine fishery resources and also to the living environment along the coast. Protection to marine biodiversity. Deals primarily with using forestlands for non-forestry purposes, mainly industry and mining; so it protects fisheries habitat and water quality. Offers protection to marine biota. Creates conditions favourable for in situ conservation of fauna and flora. Amended in 1991 to prohibit fishing within the sanctuary area of Gahirmatha, annual mass nesting place for Olive Ridley turtle, and endangered species, accorded the status of marine sanctuary in 1997. Amended in 2001 to include several species of fish, corals, sea cucumbers and sea shells in Schedule I and III. Whale shark placed in schedule, A major concern is that the livelihoods of many fishers in the protected areas are at hold as the approach is more protectionist rather than participatory and conservatory. The coordination between the wild life department and the Fisheries department is again.
Building Sustainable Governance 3.Fisher Welfare Schemes Centrally sponsored state level Fisher welfare Centrally sponsored schemes; schemes and programs. a. Development of model fisher villages. b. Group accident insurance for active fishermen. c. Saving cum relief State level Fisher welfare schemes and programs Related to various support to fish vendors and post harvest fisheries, pension schemes, education support schemes etc.
Attempt is made to analyse policies namely, the Marine Fishing Regulation acts, the comprehensive Marine Fisheries Policy India 2004 under the fisheries policies and the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification under coastal management policy. Additionally the centrally sponsored and state Government fisher welfare schemes are looked into.
Selected Marine fisheries policies Marine fishing regulation acts The thrust of Fisheries development in the 60s and 70s in India was the introduction of mechanized boats, mainly trawlers. Though it helped boost the fish production especially the exportable shrimp, the continued marginalisation of the artisanal fishers especially in the context of advent of mechanised fishing boats combined with squalor, poverty and slow deprivation of their livelihood provided enough ground for the dissent and protest (Kurien and Achary, 1988). This resulted in the fisher folk movement starting from Kerala mainly by non party social activists mainly with church background. Later in many other states the fisher movements had political party affiliations. The result of the fisher movements in the 1970s was the appointment of a committee, the Majumdar Committee in 1979. The committee recommended that marine fishing regulation be legislated to protect the artisanal fishermen and preserve the fish resources. Fisheries being a State subject Government of India prepared a model bill and recommended each maritime state to legislate the acts. The Marine Fishing Regulation Act was then enacted one after the another starting with Kerala in 1980.The latest was the Gujarat in 2003 or still latest, that of Pondicherry in 2009. The main objectives of the acts (Vivekanadan et al 1997) are:
Protection of artisanal fisher rights
Preserving the fishery resources
Ensuring law & order.
The act provides the state with the power of introducing necessary rules & regulations to regulate marine fishing activities within the state government‟s jurisdiction of 12 nautical miles, with the above objectives. The acts and the rules and regulations mainly cover the following areas:
Registration of fishing vessels.
Licensing of fishing vessels.
Zone regulatory powers for restricting particular type of fishing in particular zones.
Control/Restriction of use of gears/mesh size.
Building Sustainable Governance
Power to declare closed season for fishing (General or specific), or restriction of fishing on specific days or specific times of the day.
Recommended sea safety measures and equipment in different types of vessels(not in all MFRAs).
Spelling out the enforcing authorities, means of legal action, penalties appeals, etc.
The rules and regulations are to be framed as per the need and are supposed to make the act work. Registration and licensing of vessels Registration of fishing vessels is for identity and actual craft statistics. The periodical (1 to 3 years in different states) licensing fee is to ensure the availability, movement or withdrawal of a particular fishing vessel from different areas. This is supposed to identify and keep track of the fleet strength and to take management decisions accordingly. Most states have a nominal registration and annual licensing fee. The registration and licensing is essential for all crafts including non-motorised country crafts. Kerala is an exemption where country crafts were exempted from registration and licensing fees. In some states, there is an exemption to those registered under MPEDA act (1972). It is mandatory in all states that the registered number to be written legibly and displayed on either side of the fishing craft. Zone Regulation for fishing This is one of the most important areas of the acts and the rules and regulations. Different states have earmarked different zones from the coast for artisanal fishing crafts, mechanised fishing vessels of different sizes, deep-sea vessels etc. Almost all maritime states follow a distance based zonation from the coast, except Kerala which follows a depth based zonation. From the available information, a comparison of this zone regulation in selected maritime states is made. Marine Fishing Zone regulation in different states according to MFRA Andhra Pradesh Non-motorised traditional fishing crafts Motorised traditional crafts
Mechanised fishing vessels below 15 m. OBL or 25 GRT Mechanised fishing vessel above 15 m. OAL or 25 GRT
8 km and up to territorial water "
5 Km and beyond "
8 km to 23 km
Beyond 5 km
Beyond 23 km
Beyond 10 km
Tamil Nadu (Act 1983 Rules 1983) Up to 3 nautical miles and beyond
10km and beyond
Beyond 3 nautical miles (5.4 km)only
Beyond 10km only
Beyond 16 Fathom depth (south) Beyond 8 Fathom depth (North) Beyond 20 Fathoms(S) Beyond 10 Fathom (N) Beyond 35 fathom (S) Beyond 20 fathom (N)
Building Sustainable Governance The different maritime states have followed different zone restrictions, may be based on productive area of the continental shelf area available. The scientific community may have to justify the criteria. The 17th meeting of the Central Board of Fisheries held in Hyderabad in 1992 had recommended 10 km on the West Coast and 7 Km in the east coast to be exclusively reserved for traditional fishers, but not yet followed. In the above context, an analysis of the continental shelf area available exclusively for traditional fishermen using artisanal crafts in Andhra Pradesh works out as follows (Vivekanadan et al. 1997). District-wise details of continental shelf available for artisanal fishers for fishing in Andhra Pradesh S. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Srikakulam Vizianagaram Vishakapatnam East Godavari West Godavari Krishna Guntur Prakasam Nellore Total
Length of coastline (km) 200 29 136 161 20 111 43 105 169 974
Areas of continental shelf Sq. km. 8,770 1,202 4,288 7,521 536 865 1,373 3,859 4,763 33,177
Area available exclusively for artisanal fishing (coast length x8km) 1,600 232 1,088 1,288 160 888 344 840 1,352 7,792
Percentage of continental shelf available 18 19 25 17 30 100 25 22 28 23
23% of the shelf area is available for fishing for artisanal fishers if the enforcement zone regulation takes place in the strict sense. However, the argument of the mechanised fishers is that, they too depend heavily on the resources of this close shore area. If they are forced to only fish beyond 5 or 8 kilometres, as per the MFRA, their profitability drops and may not be viable. Gear Regulation: Mesh size regulation is the major provision under this head. In Andhra Pradesh the restriction is for mesh size below 0.5 inch. It is 25 mm for gill nets in Tamil Nadu and 37mm and 40mm respectively for cod end of shrimp and fish trawl nets in Tamil Nadu while it is 35mm in Kerala. Some nets like purse seine, ring seine and pair trawling is prohibited in some MFRAs (e.g. Tamil Nadu.). The different acts have provision to completely, seasonally or zonally ban or regulate a particular gear. Closed season fishing: Another provision in most of the acts is to declare a particular season as closed for fishing for a particular type of fishing (gear/craft) or for complete fishing itself. For example, Kerala has been practicing a closed season during monsoon for trawling, this being the breeding season of many fishes and prawns. Similar bans are there in Karnataka and Maharashtra. In the east coast states the closed season for fishing is 45 days from April 16 to May 31 – a pre monsoon ban. This is restricted to mechanized sector in many states. Regulating fleet strength: Regulating the number of fishing crafts under different categories to ensure sustainable yield from fisheries is one of the unsaid agenda of the marine fishing regulation acts. This could be
Building Sustainable Governance one of the major reasons why registration and licensing is given such importance. But none of the MFRAs has clearly specified the fleet strength allowable except the MFRA of Orissa: But here too there in no mechanism to comply with the same. The Kerala MFRA has stopped registration of new mechanized vessels and motorized boats since October 2008. Enforcement of Marine Fishing Regulation Act: The enforcement of Marine Fishing Regulation Act is found to be the weak area in most maritime states. The designated officers in the department are empowered to look after the activities related to MFRA and enforcing the same. In Andhra Pradesh there are 26 designated Fisheries Development Officers to enforce the same. This is apart from their other responsibilities. In a real sense it means each officer is responsible for 37 kilometres coastline and 19 villages on an average considering the coast length and number of marine fishing villages. These responsibilities may be supported by one or two field-men under each Fisheries Development Officer. Bavinck (2001) analysed the situation in Tamil Nadu. A Fisheries Officer is responsible for 6.9 kilometres of shoreline, 3 fishing villages and 3,200 fishing people (maybe this is considering all officers responsible for various activities of the Department of Fisheries along the coast). This points out the impossible task of enforcement solely by the designated officers of the department in most States. Registration of crafts and to some extent periodical licensing of the fishing crafts is the only part of the act that is enforced comparatively better in many states. In Andhra Pradesh, the registration of crafts was in full swing during 1999-2001. Similar drives were also reported in Tamil Nadu (Bavinck 2000). The drive has intensified after the proliferation of motorized FRP crafts after the tsunami of December, 2004. But, due to various limitations, none of the States are able to claim near complete and foolproof registrations. It was found that in most cases the registration is not done after physical verification of the craft by the officer (this could be partly due to manpower shortage in the department). What will this lead to? Incorrect crafts statistics at all the levels. This affects management decisions on fleet strength (if at all taken). Quite often, the Department of Fisheries may not be able to assess the actual loss and compensation for loss of crafts. Another major concern is the non-serious approach to the display of registration numbers (on fishing crafts). The identity of the craft itself is in question. The most serious concern in almost all the maritime states is the almost total non-enforcement of the fishing zone regulations. All states except Kerala have a distance based zonation from the shore. How do you decide this distance in the sea (3 nautical miles, 8 km, 5 km, 23 km so on) given the lack of minimum navigational equipment even in mechanised boats (except deep sea vessels). On the contrary, none of the state fisheries department too has a mechanism to access the distance. In this situation, it is very difficult to decide and prove violation of zone regulation unless a violating mechanised boat is very close to the shore. Added to the above-mentioned limitation, there is hardly any infrastructure or manpower to enforce the zone regulations. Though some of the states procured or hired patrolling boats, none could effectively use the boats along the long coast to enforce zone regulations. As mentioned earlier in most of the states except maybe Kerala and Goa, or Tamil Nadu to some extent, the artisanal fishermen consider it a problem only when a mechanised boat runs over their fishing nets or damages their crafts. In such cases, when the traditional fishers approach the mechanised boat owners association and if not resolved, or when it grows into any conflicting situation, the Department of Fisheries intervention is sought. The
Building Sustainable Governance role of the departments becomes more important when mechanised boats of neighbouring states intervene into each other‟s State area. It has been especially true in south Andhra Pradesh where mechanised boats of Tamil Nadu do fish in inshore waters of south Andhra Pradesh up to Guntur district. There have been many cases of confiscation of Tamil Nadu boats and conflicting situations wherein Tamil Nadu officials had met Andhra Pradesh officials to resolve the issues. One major limitation is the legal tangles involved in establishing a zone violation. The unwritten rule seems to be unless an enforcing officer personally confiscates a violating vessel, establishing the violation and penalising become difficult. The gear/mesh size regulation is hardly enforced. Almost all maritime states have started enforcing closed season for fishing. If it is only for mechanised boats in Kerala during June/July or it is for all fishing vessels including artisanal fishermen fishing in Andhra Pradesh. The closed season is enforced much effectively. Some of the concern would be:
How scientific and viable are the results of the closed season?
Is the closed season observed at the right season in the different states? Alternatively, need it to be specific even region to region within the state?
Is it necessary to observe close season even for non-mechanised groups?
Is it more viable if certain gears are banned in certain seasons?
In many of the acts, there is even a clause that fishing vessels registered at a particular area do intimate the base office/officer if the vessel moves for fishing elsewhere. This is hardly practiced. If followed strictly, this give an authentic picture on which vessels do fishing at what areas? Again, this would be helpful in management decisions. This also helps establishing any issue that may crop up in that area with evidence. This was found to be strictly followed along the Palk bay coast of Tamil Nadu, where both mechanised and traditional crafts go for daily fishing and on alternate days (Sathyapal et al 2008).
Review of MFRAs from the ESPA angle The marine fishing regulation acts attempt to address the wellbeing of the fisheries especially the artisanal fisher folk, by providing them exclusive rights to fish in earmarked coastal zones. This is to avoid conflicts. The identity and security of registering and getting license to the vessels is important and the compulsory sea safety measures in MFRA in many states. The original guideline of MFRA is as a result of fisher struggles and demand for artisanal fishing right as well as conflict reduction. So the origin of MFRA is a reaction to stakeholder demand. But later on for each state there had hardly been any systematic approach in the involving stakeholders especially fishers at the local level to formulate the MFRA and its rules and regulations. The major weakness of the process had been that the local specificities of fisheries or local fisheries management practices if any had hardly been considered. One example of the non consultative approach adopted quoted is the way the mesh regulations are fixed. In Tamil Nadu gill nets below mesh size 25 mm is banned. The fishers wonder how they are supposed to fish anchovies in anchovy season. The regulation should be specific mesh sizes for specific seasons for specific species. The check on this is possible only by involving the community in the enforcement.
Building Sustainable Governance Unfortunately the guidelines for MFRA in India were formulated before any of the serious international guidelines such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the FAO code of Conduct for Responsible fisheries1995. The serious gap is found to be the information dissemination on the detailed provisions and regulations within the MFRA. This information gap on the details is found to be serious both among the fishers and the grass root level officers. How do we expect implementation unless one is clear of what does the existing policy say. The rules and regulations in the demystified form in local language need to be disseminated among the grassroots level stakeholders. Another major issue had been the zone regulation for fishing for artisanal and mechanised sector. The zones based on the distance from coast are hardly recognisable by fishers or the enforcing officers. An attempt in Andhra Pradesh on the request of AFPRO (a national NGO) had been to list out the hydro graphic depth details in fathoms for the 8 km zone (artisanal vs. mechanised cut off zone) against each major landing centre so that they know approximately whether they have violated the zone while fishing in a particular area (Muralidharan, 2005) Fishers have their own way of measuring the depth with plumb line. Even this attempt remained at the theoretical level. In spite of the growing recognition for fisheries Co management as an effective fisheries management approach, in the global context, none of the Marine Fishing Regulation act in India have given any importance to co- management, or not even mentioned it. Many of the questions raised under the limitations in enforcement of MFRAs above, could be addressed if other stakeholders like the research institutes like Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, and the people who actually fish and the right fisher level institutions are involved. If equity in fisheries system is to be ensured, shift from open to the limited access fisheries, with a positive bias to small scale fisheries and a practical participatory implementation mechanism need to be evolved. But in a situation where the livelihood base (sustainable or non sustainable) of large number of fishers and related stakeholders are dependent on coastal fishing, this limited access system is a challenge
Comprehensive Marine fisheries policy, India 2004 The fisheries management within the territorial waters in India is the mandate of the State Governments while the fishing beyond territorial water the management mandate is with the central Government. Hence in the past, the Govt of India focussed only in the deep sea sector hence leaving a gap in integrating needs of the traditional coastal marine fishers with deep sea sector for harmonized development. The comprehensive marine fisheries policy 2004 is said to be an answer to it. The policy objectives are: (1) to augment marine fish production of the country up to the sustainable level in a responsible manner so as to boost export of sea food from the country and also to increase per capita fish protein intake of the masses, (2) to ensure socioeconomic security of the artisanal fishermen whose livelihood solely depends on this vocation, and (3) to ensure sustainable development of marine fisheries with due concern for ecological integrity and bio–diversity. The policy is divided under the subheads. The salient points under each sub head is summarised below.
Building Sustainable Governance 1. Marine Fisheries Resources
Focus shift to tap estimated additional 1.2 million ton mainly from oceanic waters.
Shift from open access system to a stringent fisheries management mode in the territorial waters.
2. Harvesting Of Marine Fish Resources
Categorised as (i) subsistence fishing (ii) small-scale fishing and (iii) industrial fishing.
Protection, consideration and encouragement of subsistence level fishermen, technology transfer to small scale sector and infrastructure focus for the industrial sector.
Zonal Fishing zone marked for non- motorised, mechanised, sector (already covered in MFRAs).
50% subsistence fishing sector to be motorised.
Incentives to small mechanised sector for shifting to multi day fishing.
Quality fish landing for export would be provided special incentives.
Encouragement for introduction of above 20m resource specific vessels to exploit deep sea resources of EEZ and international waters.
The principle of Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing Operations would be incorporated.
Assessment of existing fishing capacity and plans for regulating or developing one or the other sectors of EEZ.
3. Post-Harvest Operations
Ensuring minimal post-harvest losses.
To strictly enforce international quality regimes for fish and fishery products both for export and domestic market – a separate nodal and regulating agency proposed.
Hygiene in fishing harbour/pre-processing and processing centres would be streamlined.
4. Resource Management
Realising that the existing policies have sufficient provisions for resource management but lacks in implementation, a fresh model bill with focus on limited access in coastal marine sector through policy legislation and awareness creation.
Registration of boat building yards, boat (including below 20 m) quality standard and insisting construction of boats only after obtaining licence.
Uniform closed season on either coast.
Strict ban on all types of destructive methods of fishing.
Mesh size regulations.
Quota for different classes of fishing vessels in any region.
Building Sustainable Governance
Legislative prohibition of catching of juveniles and non- targeted species and discarding by catches.
A resource enhancement programme will be taken up on priority -sea ranching, designating marine sanctuaries, open sea cage culture, fish aggregating devices.
5. Fishermen Welfare
Top priority to ensuring their social security and economic well being.
Each household card for identity.
Strengthening fishermen cooperative and extension state apex bodies to be linked to national body.
Uniformity in welfare schemes operated in parallel by States and Centre would be rationalized.
Greater participation of cooperatives, NGOs and local self Governments.
Contribution towards Insurance coverage restricted to boat-less.
Fishermen Housing Schemes to be unified and implemented as a master plan through a national agency.
Financing Institutions would be asked to give greater focus to the sector.
Programmes to improve safety at sea and also to have an early weather warning and inclusion of same in MFRAs.
6. Environment Aspects
Liaison with Central and State Pollution Control Board for suitable legislation for controlling marine pollution.
Coastal area protection through participatory mangrove regeneration.
To make best use of the CRZ regulations.
7. Infrastructure Development for Marine Fisheries.
Facilities would inter alia include jetties, landing centres, provision for fuel, water, ice, repairs to vessels and gear.
Master plan based approach for infrastructure.
Build-Operate-Own and Build-Operate-Transfer basis of infrastructure management.
Internal resource generation, maintenance and upkeep planned.
8. Legislative Support
Reviewing the existing legal frame work, introduction of additional legal instruments in areas of operating deep sea vessels.
A mutually agreeable system to be brought in with neighbouring countries and due importance to Regional Fisheries Management Bodies (RFMB) for cooperation.
Building Sustainable Governance 9. Policy for Development of Fisheries in the Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The goals of food for all, economic growth and employment generation in these Islands, employment and economic well being.
Special focus to check IUU fishing and ill effects of unregulated fishing of the straddling and highly migratory species.
Planned and systematic up gradation in of fishing, post harvest fisheries and fishery infrastructures in the islands.
Required human resource development in the fisheries sector in the islands.
Discussions from a well being approach The Comprehensive Marine Fishing policy 2004 has emerged from the realisation that the recent Central Government policies in fisheries were concentrating only on the deep sea fishing sector and the artisanal and near shore fisheries were neglected. Hence a policy integrating all the sectors together is framed. While the production objective has domestic food security among export promotion, one among the three objectives of the policy is to ensure socio-economic security of the artisanal fishermen whose livelihood solely depends on this vocation. The division of the fishing sector into (i) subsistence fishing (ii) small-scale fishing and (iii) industrial fishing give room for exclusive treatment for the marginal and small scale fishers. Provision for exclusive fishing zone for the artisanal sector (other than non motorised and motorisation) is positive move to protect the artisanal fisher right, but there is hardly any evidence of this provision being made in the State Marine Fishing Regulation acts where the traditional sector includes both motorised and non motorised sector whose present exclusive zone itself is hardly protected. Meanwhile the non motorised artisanal sector is slowly vanishing and getting replaced into motorised sector.50% of the artisanal sector is proposed to be motorised. This could be a capacity up gradation to the artisanal sector. In the present context, the economics of burning the fuel for lesser catch is to be examined. The policy emphasises on maintain high quality standards fish both to meet international standards and domestic market demands. Hygienic harbour and pre processing facility is another point. This can be assured only if the primary producers can realise a better price for better products. Otherwise it will end up in just the well being of the processors and exporters. The policy gives top priority to ensuring their social security and economic well being of fishers. Strengthening existing cooperatives is strong agenda, which could be practical only after a complete review of the reasons of the failure of existing cooperatives and reviving accordingly. Special considerations for fishers without boats, emphasis on housing, financial services are positive well being approaches. But much to be done ensure enabling environment. The fisher welfare is addressed; there is no specific mention of poverty alleviation. But many other centrally sponsored and state sponsored schemes take care of the insurance, pension, and housing. When the fisher livelihoods are at cross roads due to over capacity and over dependence on fishing, livelihoods enhancement and diversification strategies is not addressed. A detailed study and a tool box developed by FAO/UNTRS on Fisheries livelihoods enhancement and diversification (Salagrama and Thadeus 2008) may give some directions.
Building Sustainable Governance There is special focus on the fisheries of the islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands the goals are food for all, economic growth and employment generation in these Islands, employment and economic well being.
Discussions from the Interactive Governance point The policy envisages a deviation from the open access system to a limited access system but does not give any direction. The CMFPI 2004 also advocates for uniform exclusive zones to be adopted by different states but does not seem to be any interactive platform to discuss and finalise this in the inter-state level. The policy also envisages incorporation of principles of the Code of conduct of responsible fisheries but no strategies defined. There are already agencies responsible for the ensuring quality standards of exported fishery products, such as the Export Inspection Agency and the Marine Products Export Development Authority. It is not clear whether the present policy suggest another nodal agency and regulatory body. The need of multiple agencies needs to be reviewed as well as the coordination between the agencies, exporters, processors and producers need to be ensured. The policy recognises that the marine fishing regulation acts of different states have the provisions to manage the fishery resources but implementation is the issue. But unfortunately the suggestion is for review and a model bill on coastal fisheries development and management with a re-orientation on limited access in coastal marine sector. But just a review and model bill will not be sufficient, but need to conduct stake holder consultations on the practical local specific management. With so much of thrust on fisheries comanagement elsewhere, it is surprising to note that there is no mention at all of fisheries co management in this policy document, except a cursory mention of community based management of Fish aggregating devices to develop multi stakeholder level consultations. The policy envisages that greater participation of cooperatives, NGOs and local self Governments would be sought in implementation of welfare schemes for fishermen. To ensure a conducive environment for fisheries coordination and liaison with pollution control board is highlighted, but in practice such inter-governmental coordination are the major limitation. Just a mention in the fisheries policy is hardly going to help the situation. The policy recognises the importance of internal resource generation, maintenance and upkeep of new infrastructures by stakeholders. The review of the existing policies and bringing in new legal instruments are mentioned. But the involvement of stake holders or the mechanism to do so finds no mention at all. Though the coastal fisheries and Fisheries come under the purview of various policies of different ministries on different aspects there is no strategic coordination mechanisms with other ministries and departments worked out. India has international obligations in fisheries being a signatory to various international legal instruments. The major obligations are listed in Annexure-1.The concern raised by Swan (2007) as part of a World Bank study is “The Policy omitted specific reference to India‟s duty to implement its specific international and regional obligations. These include ratification of the 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention on 29 June 1995 and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement on 19 August 2003. At regional level, India has been a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) since March, 1995.” and “It is suggested that India‟s policies, plans and laws would benefit from substantial reform with a view to broader incorporation and implementation of international obligations, at the same time ensuring sustainability of the resource and economic benefits to Indian people. At the same time, institutional mechanisms for coordination in implementation and administration should be identified or strengthened” 16
Building Sustainable Governance Discussions from the ecosystem point One among the three objectives are to ensure sustainable development of marine fisheries with due concern for ecological integrity and bio–diversity. The policy envisages potential of augmenting production by 1.2 million tonnes by resource specific vessels especially from the oceanic waters. The plan of the small scale mechanised sector to be supported to acquire multi day fishing vessels, could have serious effect on fishing capacity and therefore the resource base unless fool proof mechanisms are in place to ensure that they fish only in deep sea. The concept of capacity assessment in different sectors finds a place in the policy, but fall short of any specifications or strategies to reduce the fleet strength or capacity. This is an area which needs series of stake holder interactions for practical decisions and there is no mention of need of such strategies. The compulsory registration of boat builders and construction of boat after getting licence is a welcome step. At the way the unrecorded boat buildings goes on now, it will be a long time before a check is really effective. As per a CMFRI estimate the existing fishing fleet in India is 2.5 times the optimum size for coastal waters. Other regulations are the ones already promulgated through MFRAs such as fishing zone regulations mesh regulations, closed seasons, ban on destructive gears and fishing methods, ban on non targeted species and by catches and proposal of quota systems. Again, the quota system in a tropical multi species fishery, like India, where there are a high number and multiplicity of fishing vessels needs to be debated from a practical view point. As discussed the major challenge is its poor implementation due to minimum participation of the actual stakeholders in decision making or implementation. The gap again is that the ecosystem based fisheries management does not find a place in the document
Coastal Management policy Coastal Regulation Zone notification (1991) and follow ups Though India had the Environment Protection Act since 1986, there was no specific legal instrument to address the coastal zone protection. It was the initiative of then Prime Minster Ms. Indira Gandhi to take steps to protect the coasts and the beaches since 1981 that finally resulted in the Coastal zone Regulation notification 1991. Hence a very significant step taken by the Government of India to protect the sensitive coastal ecosystems and the livelihoods dependent on them was the landmark notification S.O. No.114 (E) on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 19th February 1991. This notification is made under provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. As per the notification the Coastal regulation Zone is defined as “Coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters which are influenced by tidal action (in the landward side) up to 500 meters from the HTL and the land between the LTL and HTL”. The distance from the High Tide Line shall apply to both sides in the case of rivers, creeks and backwaters and may be modified on a case to case basis for reasons to be recorded while preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plans. However, this distance shall not be less than 100 metres or the width of tidal creek, river or backwater whichever is less. The CRZ regulations as mentioned apply to rivers creeks and backwaters to the extent to which tidal effect of the sea is felt. The distance mentioned above, may be reduced to 50 metres or the width of the rivers, creeks and backwaters, whichever is less, for specified stretches, for permitting construction of dwelling units for local inhabitants subject to conditions Further, activities such as industries, disposal of hazardous substances, fish processing, effluent discharge, land-filling, land reclamation, mining, harvesting ground water, 17
Building Sustainable Governance construction and landscape alteration are banned within CRZ with a few exclusive exceptions. Important national activities within CRZ requiring waterfront, such as ports and harbours, defence requirements and thermal plants are regulated and cleared after critically evaluating the proposal. For regulating coastal zone activities, coastal stretches within 500 meters of high tide line on the landward side are classified into four categories. CRZ-I covers areas that are ecologically sensitive and important as well as the zone between low and high tides. No new construction shall be permitted here except for extremely critical necessity. CRZ-II covers areas that have already been well developed with all infrastructure like roads, sewerage lines, water supply pipes etc. laid out, such as within urban and municipal limits. No new constructions on the seaward side of the road can come up here and reconstruction of existing structures will be restricted. CRZ-III covers areas that are relatively undisturbed and not falling under the above two zones. Here, up to 200 meters is no development zone, 200 to 500 meters can be used for hotels and beach resorts temporarily under permission while traditional rights of fisherman to build small structures are honoured. CRZ-IV covers areas in islands except those designated in CRZ I, II and III. Here, no buildings can come up within 200 meters and after that more than 2 floors are not allowed. Besides, use of corals and sands, dredging and underwater blasting are also banned. Comments on CRZ notification The CRZ notification 1991 had been appreciated as a proactive stand by the Government to ensure coastal resource protection and even the concerns of the coastal communities to a greater extent at least in CRZ III, wherein some dwellings and other essential facilities for local communities had many exemptions from 200-500 metre zone. The fishing community who are the main occupants all along the coast did not have a special mention. The regulations under the notification were to be implemented by the coastal zone management authorities constituted at each coastal state. Though district level committees were also formed in many states under the district collector, the mandate, priority or commitment on CRZ regulations were wanting in many cases. There are no institutions at the village level whether the panchayats or the local institutions who have any mandate in CRZ regulations. The implementation of the regulations was very weak. Hence violations went unchecked. The second limitation had been the number of amendments, 25 (MoEF 2009) to be exact, that have been made in the CRZ notification since 1991. Most of the amendments with some exceptions have helped dilute the strict provisions in the notifications in favour of developments. The amendments are all brought out separately referring to the particular clause in the original notification that is amended. As in any amendment of Indian policies, there has been no version of the original notification with the amendment incorporated available. The public as well as the grassroots level officers are quite often at a loss on confirming the final version of a particular regulation. It was some NGOs like ATREE who brought out an amendment incorporated versions. The coastal development plans in map forms prepared in many states, is not easily accessible even in the present era of RTI act (Vivekandan 2009). Post CRZ developments As there were strong objections to the amendments and violations on one side and the poor implementation on the other side, a Committee headed by well known agriculture
Building Sustainable Governance scientist Prof . M. S Swaminathan, was constituted to develop guidelines for an alternate policy in 2004. The report of the Swaminathan committee that came out in 2005 emphasised safe guarding the habitats and strengthening the livelihoods of fishermen families, conserve natural and cultural heritage sites along the coast, strengthen ecological security of coastal area, mitigation measures against sea water rise, prevention of sea water pollution, initiating preventive and precautionary steps to protect coastal communities including coastal megacities and an integrated attention of the much more land ward and seaward side. Taking the M. S Swaminathan report (2005) as the basis, the Ministry of environment and Forests issued a draft CMZ( Coastal Management Zone notification.) in May 2008. The general review (Vivekandan, 2008) is that the Swaminathan report with desirably all good intentions to broaden the scope of the policy left many gap areas that gave enough loop holes for developing a new policy which looked well intentional but left enough scope for development activities in the coast at the cost of local inhabitants and livelihoods. The shift had been from regulation to management with the concept that management and will cover regulation too. The regulated zone shifted from the 500 metre from HTL to a setback line to be developed based on elevation, geomorphology, sea level trends and horizontal shoreline displacement- to be decided in two years time. The seaward side had been extended to 12 nautical miles. In CMZ the four categories of CRZ are classified as CMZ I, CMZ II, CMZ III and CMZ IV. While minimal activities are permitted in ecologically sensitive CMZ I, the activities permitted is left open to be defined through an integrated Coastal Zone Management plan, CMZ zone II, denotes all urban and industrial areas and as well as „Areas of special concern‟. The seaward cut of line for no development happens to be structures as on 2008 and not the original 1991. This means the CMZ may validate all seaward developments up to 2008. All other coastal areas including coastal water bodies with tidal influence is covered under CMZ III. The whole of the islands of Andaman and Nicobar as well as Lakhshadweep are covered under CMZ IV. There was nationwide objection to the draft Coastal Management Zone notification from the fishermen, NGOs and activists. Though the provisions mentions that the fishing communities will not be disturbed, ambiguity, inconsistency of statements and non clarity in many cases were the major concerns. In the name of vulnerability, by pushing the fisher community beyond the set back line, other developments could easily occupy the area. The expansion of the scope of CMZ II to include industrial areas including the foreshore facilities for Special Economic Zones is found to be the most serious threat. The coastal state governments too objected to the CMZ. Government responds positively to objections to CMZ. The Ministry of Environment and Forests then (2008) commissioned the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad to conduct public consultations on the CMZ notification. Based on 35 consultations, CEE came up with almost the same objections as mentioned above (MoEF 2009). There was a strong push for the CRZ 1991 to be retained and made effective through essential amendments. The lack of clarity on ecologically sensitive areas, ICZM and methodologies open to subjective interpretation were other concerns. Opening up the coast to SEZs and other industries and developments were feared. The lack of importance to community level institutions in the CMZ planning or implementations were pointed out. There was a strong demand for involving local
Building Sustainable Governance communities in formulating and drafting the policy. A special legislation or an act to ensure coastal ecology and fisher rights were demanded. When the new UPA government took over and Mr. Jayaram Ramesh took over as the Minister of Environment, the series of objections to the CMZ was decided to be further reviewed. A fresh committee again under the leadership of Dr M.S. Swaminathan was set up to review the criticisms and come out with a report. The committee apart from reviewing the objections also had 5 sets of stake holder meeting before coming out with the recommendations. The fresh Swaminathan report titled “Final Frontier” turned out to be a very encouraging positive response to all the objections. As per the recommendation, the draft CMZ notifications were allowed to be lapsed and suggested amendments to the original CRZ notification 1991. The recommendations included
Checking of violations to CRZ through space technology.
Livelihood and habitat security of fisher community.
Resolving special issues of Mumbai based on local specific amendments.
Regulate proliferation of ports.
Tighter standards for disposal of effluents.
New management regimes for Andaman Nicobar and Lakshawdweep.
Any new protection regime to be introduced after studying actual impact on fishing community.
Protection of mangroves based on clear definitions.
Inclusion of seaward side without affecting the fishing activities of fishing community.
Strengthen research and regulatory capacity.
Policies to cope with impacts of sea level rise due to climate change.
The ministry under the proactive leadership of Mr. Jayaram Ramesh went ahead with planning series of public consultations at strategic points along the coast. The consultations are arranged by CEE. The Minister himself is participating in the initial few. When this paper is prepared one consultation each in Mumbai and Chennai are over and another is due in Kochi on 15th Oct 09.There was heavy turnout in both consultations from fishers including women. Though the Final frontier recommendations were presented and discussed the importance was to get free feed back of the fishers on the CRZ and its implementation. Though not in a very systematic manner, the various concerns were voiced and the Minister was all ears for the same. The original CRZ notification is to be amended according to the feedback. Another follow up would be a draft Fisher community rights bill possibly to be enacted by the Ministry of Agriculture. At the time this paper is prepared the draft bill has already been circulated for comments.
CRZ policy developments from an ESPA angle The various dimensions are discussed at the respective portions above. The CRZ regulation 1991 was as a result of a proactive stand of the earlier Prime Minister and Government. There were enough provisions to protect the sensitive coastal belt. The CRZ III had provisions to protect the habitats of the coastal fishers along the 200-500 m line. It had also provisions not to disturb developments already taken place till 1991 in urban areas. The amendments that took place later were more from the pressures from the other 20
Building Sustainable Governance stakeholders having interest in the coast other than fishers. This has and had serious effects on coastal fishers well being. The weakest part of the CRZ 1991 was its implementation. The state level coastal development authorities were weak and there was no suitable grass root level institution to check or regulate developments along CRZ. The integration between the different departments having a stake in the coast, like Environment and Forest, Fisheries, Pollution Control Board, Revenue, Ground water Department etc are poor. The information is not available to public in demystified simple form especially in the local language. The amendments were all separately made and not actually incorporated into the original notification in a comprehensive manner for a clearer understanding. The CRZ notification was put into best use when the unsystematic proliferation of shrimp farms along the coast disturbed the coastal environment and the socio economic set up in many ways and public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court came out with a historic judgement in 1996, banning any shrimp farming other than the improved extensive farming methods along the CRZ. An Aquaculture Authority Act was later enacted and an authority formed to regulate unscientific coastal shrimp farming. This is a good example of using policies in favour of sustaining the ecosystem services and addressing the well being of the coastal communities. The first M. S. Swaminathan Committee report and the draft CMZ notification made available to public for debate was welcome steps. Both had been discussed among fisher folk and NGO forums widely: Hence, the protests and detailed feedback, which could be considered a best example of interactive governance. The various public consultations especially the ones currently being held to discuss the second committee report and the feedback on CRZ is being conducted in full spirit. It is hoped the outcomes too are kept for debate before finalizing. This really opens way to more interactive governance. The Final Frontier also comes out with first priority to the protection of the livelihoods and habitats of fishers and their vulnerability reduction. The point that had found its place and importance in the whole documentation is the need of involving the grass root level institutions in planning and regulating the coastal activities within the ambit of the CRZ.
Fisher Welfare Schemes From the well being point of view the various fisher welfare schemes by the Central and State Government also important. The most important centrally sponsored schemes are the development of model fisher village, group accident insurance for fishermen and relief and savings scheme (http://dahd.nic.in/fish/wefarefman.htm). Under the model village scheme assistance for housing to the extent of Rs. 40,000/- per fisher is the main component. Community halls cum work shed and drinking water facility are other support schemes. Group accident insurance scheme have a nominal premium for each fisher being paid by the central and state governments equally. The compensation on deaths and permanent disability are Rs. 50,000/- and Rs 25,000/- per fisher respectively. The relief and saving scheme involves Rs 75/ per month saving for 8 months by the poorer fishers and the Government compensation equally and returning Rs. 300/- per month for 4 lean months. Apart from the centrally sponsored schemes each coastal state may have other state Government welfare schemes. Of this the maximum number of schemes is with states that have formed state level fisher welfare boards. There are various support schemes to support post harvest fisheries at individual fish worker (men or women) or fisher cooperatives. Kerala and West Bengal are examples for fisher pension schemes. Tamil Nadu
Building Sustainable Governance has relief and saving scheme for fisher women too. Certain states do have relief program during the fishing ban season. Tamil Nadu have promotional cash award scheme for high marks scored among fisher‟s children. Kerala has scholarship program for students including education assistance loan. Some schemes in Kerala such as support for marriage of daughters, family planning, and maternity assistance are unique from the gender point of view. Subsidies for the HSD fuel for mechanised and motorised boats as well as subsidy and loan for purchase of outboard motors and inboard engine exist in many states.
Comments on the fisher welfare schemes from an ESPA angle The fisher welfare schemes as mentioned above addresses the well being of fishers to quite some extent. It had helped improve the well being of fishers to great extent. Though the centrally sponsored schemes are made available to all states, the state sponsored schemes are not uniform across. There is scope for reviewing each scheme in isolation and in an integrated manner as to how much do these schemes address the holistic well being of fishers. Because of development programmes in mass scale, and hardly any contribution from the fishers themselves the quantum of support to individual fishers are limited. Maybe if the premiums to group insurance have an added component of fisher contribution the insurance amount could at least be doubled. Though happening informally, if only the fishers contribute enough does the support under housing scheme will end up in reasonable houses. The fuel subsidy on HSD though a major well being scheme for the fishers, the fuel subsidy especially to the mechanised boats gives a false economic viability to the excess capacity in the fishing sector, at the cost of the over exploited fishery resources. This is an area that needs serious stake holder deliberations and decisions that may restrict these subsidies and find viable livelihoods for those coming out of Fishing.
Indian fisheries and coastal policies from the angle of FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries The 170 member countries of Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) had adopted the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) in 1995. Representatives from members of FAO, inter-governmental organizations, the fishing industry and non-governmental organizations worked long and hard to reach agreement on the Code. It is therefore a result of effort by many different groups involved in fisheries and aquaculture. In this respect the Code represents a global consensus or agreement on a wide range of fisheries and aquaculture issues. This had set the best example of global interactive governance, The CCRF is set on the following premise. Fisheries (which includes the management, catching, processing, and marketing of fish stocks) and aquaculture (the farming of fish) provide an important source of food, employment, income and recreation for people throughout the world. Millions of people depend upon fish for their livelihoods. If there is to be enough fish for future generations, everyone involved in fishing must help conserve and manage the world‟s fisheries. The Code of Conduct consists of a collection of principles, goals and elements for action. The Code is voluntary rather than mandatory, and aimed at everyone working in, and involved with, fisheries and aquaculture. Primary responsibility for the Code‟s implementation rests with governments since implementation involves national policy decision-making and action. FAO‟s role would be to technically support the activities. Implementation of the Code will be most effectively achieved when governments are able to incorporate its principles and goals into national fishery policies and legislation. The code of
Building Sustainable Governance conduct for responsible Fisheries continues to be the best global set of guidelines for sustainable fisheries management. The number of technical guidelines in different areas brought out subsequently provides details for each area. The key messages of the FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries are given in annexure 2. The three Indian fisheries and coastal management policies discussed are to a great extent well in tune with CCRF though there are unattended areas. Most of the marine fishing regulation acts happened to be enacted before the CCRF. But the Comprehensive Marine Fisheries policy, India 2006 has made reference to the CCRF. Some of the CCRF guideline points that need serious attention by India could be the following. Some of the comments are added in italics.
Countries should have clear and well-organized fishing policies in order to manage their fisheries, developed with the cooperation of all groups that have an interest in fisheries. The best scientific information should be used also taking into account traditional fishing practices and knowledge where it is appropriate to do so. All people and organizations concerned with fishing especially the traditional fisher community should be encouraged to share their views and opinions on fishing issues. The stakeholder based policy development and co-opting traditional fishing practices and knowledge is a long way ahead in India. It has been attempted with FAO intervention in Pakistan. Sri Lanka has some mechanism to involve different stakeholders. The best example in India in this direction is the public hearing related to CRZ regulations.
Educate and train fishers and fish farmers, so that they can be involved in developing and implementing policies to ensure sustainable fisheries now and in the future. The information dissemination mechanism on existing policy details, resource status, scientific aspects of resource management etc. is a major area to be focussed by India. This will help fishers take up informed advocacy and decisions.
Where natural disasters harm fisheries resources, countries should be prepared to take emergency conservation and management measures when necessary. There is further need of further integrating disaster preparedness into development process though many efforts have been made after the 2004 tsunami.
Harbours and landing places should be safe havens for fishing vessels and managed well. In India many fishing harbours and landing centres are coming up under different funded schemes. But a self supportive management strategy is not in place. It’s the case in other south Asian countries as well.
When deciding how coastal resources (for example, water, land, etc) should be used or accessed, the people, including fishers, who live in the area, and their ways of living, should be considered, and their opinions taken into account in the planning process. The decision on public hearing on the CRZ regulations is a welcome step. But need of village level peoples consent in actual approvals and developments like costal Special Economic Zones etc become very crucial.
Fisheries development should be well integrated into coastal area management and should not conflict with interests of other resource users and other resource users affect fisheries of poor fisher‟s lives. The fisheries and coastal development agenda in India remains with the Agriculture Ministry and the Ministry of Environment respectively. The integrated approach and coordinated action among all departments having a stake in the coast is still very weak. Sri Lanka affords to give some example in this regard.
Building Sustainable Governance
Fishers, environmental organizations and consumer groups should be consulted as countries periodically formulate and review their trade laws and regulations.
The Code and its instruments, however, are the first consistent attempt to bring together all of the principles for responsible and sustainable exploitation of renewable aquatic resources, and to produce one universally applicable and coherent framework for guiding the development of fisheries and aquaculture sectors (Hosch 2009). In India efforts are made by BOBP to translate the Code of Conduct responsible Fisheries into many of the east coast languages including the technical guidelines, while CMFRI done the translation into Malayalam. But this need to be further de mystified and brought in with the most salient points in a much simplified form possibly with pictorial illustrations. These efforts take the guide lines to the users‟ level. FAO had done a worldwide review of the implementation and impact of CCRF since 1995 (Hosch 2009).It comes out with much satisfactory results in the sector of responsible aquaculture policies and practices as per the CCRF guidelines(Hosch, 2009 & RAP/FAO 2006). The study recognises the need of deepening efforts in communicating on the Code and the details to the stakeholders and this remains a major challenge. The economic and trade cost by adoption of responsible and sustainable measures in fisheries is another major challenge. The need of strengthening the governing process in fisheries management and financial and human resource cost of it especially in the developing countries are other recognised challenges.
World Bank recommendations on the Fisheries Policy reforms in India The World Bank along with FAO and DFID had done a scoping study of the marine fisheries sector in Tamil Nadu in 2006 after tsunami and later did base line studies in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Gujarat and presented a report (World Bank 2008) to the Government of India. According to the study, globally, marine fisheries are recognized as valuable capital assets capable of generating significant and sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits under appropriate policy, institutional and management regimes. While India‟s marine fishing sub-sector shares these potential values, they are not being realized. On the contrary, marine fisheries in India are reaching a crisis point; the ability of the sub-sector to generate greater wealth and become a stronger engine for rural economic growth and social development in coastal India is being compromised. A program of reforms, implemented over an extended period of time at both the national and state levels, needs to address core policy, legal, institutional and fisheries management issues. Fiscal processes that direct funds from the centre to coastal states tend to support subsidies and welfare schemes for fishers rather than reward good fisheries management performance. While improving the welfare of coastal fishers is an important social policy objective. In all states studied, policy and legal implementation is weak with no effective administrative systems in place to support improved fisheries management performance. The ineffective coordination between national laws and authority (outside the 22 km territorial boundary) and state laws and authority (within the 22 km boundary) is an issue that needs attention. The study recognizes that Small scale fishers are losing their livelihoods and opportunities for development, and there is little wealth being created to improve livelihoods. The World Bank study recommends that transitional change through reforms can best be achieved through consultative and analytical processes that will lead to improved knowledge and awareness, more effective legal and policy frameworks, stronger institutions and
Building Sustainable Governance stakeholder participation, and better fisheries management systems. The reform process must gradually shift the policy, institutional and management focus from a conventional approach (harvesting increasing volumes of fish through expanded capacity and changes in technology, and users lacking well-defined fishing rights), to one based more on building wealth, improving the productivity of fish stocks, and improving equity around inclusive, “wealth-based” growth. This new approach has a goal of achieving the Maximum Economic Yield (MEY) from sustainable fish production, supported by more effective management systems including well-defined resource access rights for stakeholders. The World Bank recommends a wealth based approach in Fisheries. The comparison between a conventional fisheries management approach and a wealth base approach is given below. Comparison of approaches to fisheries management Conventional approaches to fisheries Wealth-based fisheries management (WBFM) management Physical weight of fish caught (production Objective is to unlock the inherent wealth maximization and technology upgrades) is (resource rent) of fish stocks; emphasized; Macro-economic contribution of the sector Fisheries management systems have is main focus; countries re-invest rents biological targets (MSY), top-down approach domestically ensure pro-poor growth; with government fishery managers setting Many of existing fishery management catch limits and input controls (fishing effort); ingredients are used but in a different way; Fishers participation in exploitation of Relies on a fishery management planning resource, usually with weak „rights‟ (it can be approach, with a focus on generation and argued that certain co-management equitable distribution of resource rent within approaches can help in the development of a each fishery; rights-based framework, at least for in-shore As governance and stakeholder capacity fishing); increases, government plays the enabling Success indicators are defined with reference (oversight) role for private sector expansion; to increasing production levels (landings, The approach is about achieving goals, not employment, exports, GDP; fiscal receipts, setting new ones; it is consistent with value-added, food security); existing goals: resource sustainability, Key issue of resource rent is hardly ever economic growth and livelihoods addressed; enhancement; Access to benefits depend on being a fisher Not prescriptive; provides an approach that (or related trade); can be tailored to the specific conditions and Incentives exist to increase participation in objectives of different countries and fisheries; the sector (perverse incentives leading to Important to develop the right institutions overexploitation where access restrictions and incentives for successful fisheries; do not exist);
There is scope for reviewing the above approach and add value through an analysis through the well being and interactive Governance angle. The advocates of fishing and livelihoods rights of the small scale fishers are concerned about the terms resource rent and private sector expansion. But the World Bank reform advocates explains this only as different viable perspective of looking the resource economics and viable economic returns, one step ahead of just biological resources. The equity and livelihoods concerns are fully addressed, it‟s said. May be the pilot project in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry called Fisheries Management for Sustainable livelihoods(FIMSUL) project to be implemented by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) starting off immediately in developing a long term Fisheries policy framework will make the approach clear and the opportunities and risks could then be better analysed.
Building Sustainable Governance Concluding remarks India has a history of bringing in the required policy changes as per the developments and changing trends in its democratic system. This is true with the Fisheries sector also. The policies discussed in this paper are examples of the same. The areas that need to be addressed are listed below. There should be a clear and transparent mechanism to involve the stake holders especially those at the village level in the policy development, decision making and implementation in the fisheries sector. Co-management mechanisms need to be evolved and streamlined and to be given top importance in the Fisheries management policies. In this regard information dissemination in a demystified format is a weak area. Information regarding polices and scientific basis of various management measures are crucial. With the Central and state policies as well as polices under different ministries having direct influence on fisheries, a workable coordination mechanisms at different levels is to be evolved. The present system of compartmental approach leaves unknown gaps and unhealthy overlaps putting the actual resource users in trouble. The fisher welfare activities find a place both in the fisheries policies and other state and centrally sponsored schemes. In spite of the overcapacity in the fisheries sector and need of enhancing or diversification of fisher livelihoods viably, there is no clear mechanisms defined in any policy for the same. India has many international obligations under different international legal instruments and being members of the Regional Fisheries Management Bodies. These obligations should be appropriately incorporated in the national policies. The MFRAs have clear provisions to protect the fishing areas fishing terrains of traditional fishers thereby addressing their well being. But the MFRAs are hardly implemented due to the least participation of stakeholders. The need of Fisheries co management is the need of the day, one of the best way of interactive governance. The Comprehensive Fisheries policy emphasises on socio economic security of the artisanal sector and food security. Here again the strategies for stakeholder participation is the weak area. Measures to restrict the capacity in the fisheries sector through stakeholder participation are not defined. The CRZ notification though well intentional, the failures in proper implementation and the amendments diluted the potential of the policy in protecting the coastal resources and coastal spaces of the fishers. The new policy proposed to replace CRZ notification seemed to worsen the situations. But the positive development is that the fisher objections to the alternate policy and the dilution and violation of the original CRZ, has been taken seriously by the government. The government has now started serious stakeholder consultations which sets the best example of an interactive governance initiative. The FAO code of conduct for responsible fisheries does give many guidelines for addressing the well being of the fishers and systems of interactive governance. The proposed World Bank promoted fisheries reforms envisages ground for interactive governance based policy reforms aimed at viable fisheries economy and equity though there are some reservations among stakeholders. Acknowledgement The author would like to thank the ESPA project especially Dr. Sarah Coulthard, Prof Allister McGregor and Martin Le Tissier for giving the opportunity to present the paper and all the support. Special thanks to Dr. Maarten Bavinck, MARE, Netherlands for the detailed review of the paper which had helped the author add much value to the first draft. I am grateful to Mr. V. Vivekandan, 26
Building Sustainable Governance SIFFS and Mr. Venkatesh Salagrama, ICM for providing many of the reference material discussed in the paper. Special thanks to ICSF especially Mr. Venu and Mr Santosh for providing details of fisher welfare schemes
References Anon (2004) Comprehensive Marine Fisheries policy, Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying ,New Delhi Bavinck M. (2001) Marine Resource Management; Conflict and Resolution in the fisheries of the Coromandal Coast: Livelihood and Environment-5 : Sage Publishers, 394p Bavinck Maarten (2009), Interactive Governance and the Wellbeing of the Coastal Poor, ESPA workshop 1 4th April 2009 Institute for Ocean Management, Chennai, India, Building Capacity for Sustainable Governance in South Asian Fisheries: Poverty, Wellbeing and Deliberative Policy Networks, Institute of Development Studies. Coulthard Sarah, (2009) Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) and the Social Wellbeing of Fishers, ESPA workshop 1 4th April 2009 Institute for Ocean Management, Chennai, India, Building Capacity for Sustainable Governance in South Asian Fisheries: Poverty, Wellbeing and Deliberative Policy Networks, Institute of Development Studies. FAO (2006). State of World Aquaculture 2006. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 500. Rome, FAO. 134p. Government of India. (1991b) Coastal Zone notification. In Gazette, February 1991. New Delhi, Ministry of Environment and Forests. FAO (1995) – Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries – FAO Rome – 41P Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, The Andhra Pradesh Gazette (1995) The Andhra Pradesh Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1994. Act No.9 of 1995 Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, The Andhra Pradesh Gazette (1996) The Andhra Pradesh Marine Fishing (Regulation) Rules, 1995. G.O.Ms.No.26 Animal Husbandry and Fisheries 13, Mar.1996 Govt. of Karnataka (1986) The Karnataka Marine Fishing Regulation Act, Draft Rules and Regulations,1987. Govt. of Karnataka (1986) The Karnataka Marine Fishing Regulation Act,1986, Govt. of Kerala, Dept. of Fisheries (1983) The Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act and Rules 1980 .Act ,No. 10 of 1981 ,1980. Govt. of Orissa: (1981) The Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Act Govt. of Orissa: (1984) The Orissa Marine Fishing Regulation Rules Govt. of Tamil Nadu: (1983) The Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act Govt. of Tamil Nadu: (1985) The Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Rules & Regulation Hosch, G. (2009) Analysis of the implementation and impact of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries since1995.FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular. No. 1038. Rome, FAO. 2009. 99p. Kurien, J. and T.R.T Achari. (1988) 'Fisheries development policies and the fishermen's struggle in Kerala'. Social Action, January-March: 15-36.
Building Sustainable Governance Kurup Madhusudhanan,B (2008) Standards, regulations codes of practice and policies on environmental management, sustainability, and the environmental impact of aquaculture and fisheries in India”, Power point presentation Macgregor, Allister (2009)Human Well being in Fishing Communities, ESPA workshop 1 4th April 2009 Institute for Ocean Management, Chennai, India, Building Capacity for Sustainable Governance in South Asian Fisheries: Poverty, Wellbeing and Deliberative Policy Networks, Institute of Development Studies. MOEF, (2009) Final Frontier-Agenda to Protect the ecosystem and habitat of India‟s coast for Conservation and Livelihoods security, Report of the Expert Committee on the draft Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) Notification, constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, under the Chairmanship of Prof M S Swaminathan,16th July 2009 Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi Muralidharan C.M. (2005) Livelihoods Resource Management and Policy Complexities of Andhra Pradesh marine Fisheries (Boppendranath M.R, Mathew P.T. Gupta S.S, Pravin P and jeeva J.C.,Eds.)p 225-235, Society of Fisheries Technologists(India), Cochin RAP/FAO (2006) Fisheries Policy content and Direction in Asian APFIC members, FAO of United Nations, Regional Office for Asia and Pacific,Bangkok,2006 Swan, Judith (2007) Assessment of National Fisheries Policies and Law. World Bank India, Fisheries Sector study Salagrama, Venkatesh and Thaddeus Koriya (2008) Assessing Opportunities for Livelihood Enhancement and Diversification in Coastal Fishing Communities of Southern India. Chennai: United Nations Team for Tsunami Recovery Support, UN India. Sathyapalan Jyothis, Jeena T.Sreenivasan and Joeri Scholtens (2008) Fishing Fleet reduction and its livelihoods implications-A case study of Palk bay resource users in the east Coast of Tamil Nadu,,India ; United Nations Team for Tsunami Recovery Support, UN India. Vivekanadan V, C.M.Muralidharan and M. Subbarao (1997) A study on Andhra Pradesh Marine Fisheries, (AFPRO,SDC, BILANCE,CWS,OXFAM,IGSSS) Draft report. Vivekanadan V. (2009) Decoding the Final Frontier, A close look at the Recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee II,(Unpublished). Vivekanadan,V (2008) Comments on CMZ draft Notification of 1st November 2008,(Unpublished) World Bank (2008) India, Marine Fisheries: Issues, Opportunities and Transitions for Sustainable development, Draft, Agriculture and Rural Development Sector Unit South Asia Region, World Bank
Building Sustainable Governance Annexure1 INDIA‟S INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS RELATING TO FISHERIES INSTRUMENT Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (New York 1995) Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (1993) Global Plan of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (Declaration, Washington DC 1995) Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janiero 1982) Agreement for the Establishment of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok 1988) Agreement for the Establishment of the Intergovernmental Organization for Marketing Information and Technical Advisory Services for Fishery Products in the Asia and Pacific Region (INFOFISH) (Kuala Lumpur 1985) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Montego Bay 1982) Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Canberra 1980) The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn, 1979) Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran 1971) International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (Washington DC 1946) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Washington DC, 1963) Agreement for the Establishment of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (Baguio 1948) Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
ACCESSION, ACCEPTANCE RATIFICATION Accession 19 August 2003
ENTRY INTO FORCE 19 August 2003
Acceptance 13 March 1995 23 November 1995
27 March 1996
Ratification 18 February 1994 Accession 04 July 1992
18 February 1994
Accession 19 September 1986
03 March 1987
29 June 1995
29 July 1995
Acceptance 17 June 1985 1 November 1983
17 July 1985
01 February 1982 Adherence 09 March 1981 Ratified 20 July 1976 Acceptance 09 November 1948 11 March 1999
23 November 1995
04 July 1992
1 November 1983 01 February 1982 09 March 1981 18 October 1976 09 November 1948 11 March 1999
Building Sustainable Governance Annexure 2 What does the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible fisheries convey? The key messages in the CCRF are summarized as follows
Countries should have clear and well-organized fishing policies in order to manage their fisheries, developed with the cooperation of all groups that have an interest in fisheries. The best scientific information should be used also taking into account traditional fishing practices and knowledge where it is appropriate to do so. New regional fishery organizations to be established or for existing organizations to be strengthened. It is important that fishing industries at all levels operate within a clear fisheries management and legal framework Fishing and fish processing are conducted in ways that minimize negative impacts on the environment, reduce waste, and preserve the quality of fish caught All people and organizations concerned with fishing especially the traditional fisher community should be encouraged to share their views and opinions on fishing issues. Educate and train fishers and fish farmers, so that they can be involved in developing and implementing policies to ensure sustainable fisheries now and in the future. The size of the fishing fleet should not be too large for the natural supply of fish Gear should also minimize the catching non-target or by-catch fish or those that are endangered. Fishing gear and fishing methods that are not selective or which cause high levels of waste should be phased out. The crafts used or the fishing methods should not cause major pollution. Important fish habitats such as wetlands, mangroves, reefs and lagoons, should be protected from destruction and pollution. Where natural disasters harm fisheries resources, countries should be prepared to take emergency conservation and management measures when necessary. Harbours and landing places should be safe havens for fishing vessels and managed well The fishing vessels which fish beyond the countries boundaries should be doing so within a common frame work and principles Aquaculture development should conserve genetic diversity and minimize negative effects of farmed fish on wild fish populations, while increasing supplies of fish for human consumption. There should not be any negative effect on environment natural resources and the socio economic setup. When deciding how coastal resources (for example, water, land, etc) should be used or accessed, the people, including fishers, who live in the area, and their ways of living, should be considered, and their opinions taken into account in the planning process. Fisheries development should be well integrated into coastal area management and should not conflict with interests of other resource users and other resource users affect fisheries of poor fishers lives. Should ensure that fish and fishery products are safe and healthy, Methods of processing, transporting, and storing fish should be environmentally sound Fishers, environmental organizations and consumer groups should be consulted as countries periodically formulate and review their trade laws and regulations It is important that international trade does not involve fish taken from depleted stocks or that have other serious environmental impacts