1.10.1.Globalisation and fisheries
The term globalization is abundantly being used since 1990s. It refers broadly to the increasing integration of world economy and liberalization. It is characterized by the increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services of internation capital flows and also through the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technologies. Considering the characteristic features of globalization, we can understand that the same kind of development has been in vogue in Indian fisheries for past 50 years which is manifest in the increasing volume and value of fishery products exported, Import of technologies for mechanization of fishing craffs, and improvement of fishing gears and shrimp farming during this period.
Over the past decade, global markets for fish and fish products, have changed considerably and continue to do so: In this process, the operators along the fisheries value chain (fishers, fish farmers, traders, precessors and retailers) are looking for new opportunities, reduced production costs and profitable investments in increasingly internationalized business environment. These trends are associated with both positive and negative impacts on human well-being, the use and conservation of the environment, equity within countries and between developing and developed countries, participation and democratic decision making, food security, poverty alleviation and others.
Some of the developments in fisheries sector due to globalization are listed below:
- The expansion of long-range fishing fleets until the end of 1980s.
- The increased market flows of fish and fishery products from developing to developed countries.
- Transfer of technology from developed to developing countries for improving fish production.
- Modernization of capture fisheries, processing technologies and introduction of efficient means of production.
- Improved and expanded information flows on fisheries
- efforts to liberalise trade of fish and fishery product.
- Pressure to eliminate or reduce subsidies
- Increased awareness of environmental impact.
Globalization may have a number of impacts, both positive and negative, on the economic, social and nutritional roles and performance of fisheries sector. Some of the impacts are given as follows.
(i) Access to diversified overseas markets through exports which will provide increased income for fishers
(ii) Increase in intra-regional trade
(iii) Acces to improved technologies
(iv) Flow of foreign capital
(v) Increased production costs to meet qualify and sanitation standards applicable in exports.
(vi) Higher prices for tradable fish in local markets due to diversion of catches for export markets; potential reduction of fish supply from local fisheries to domestic markets.
(vii) Increased pressure on commercially important local fish resources.
(viii) Diversion of low-value fishes for aqua feed production which will deprive the local community of fish consumption
(ix) Increased thrust for exports to cause displacement of fisher folk especially fisherwomen involved in fish marketing.
(x) Thrust on capital intensive technologies in fishing, processing aquaculture and retail marketing which will create a situation in which locals and smaller player will be relegated to the position to wage labour.
Hence, globalization of fisheries will throw lots of challenges to policy makers especially in developing countries which are likely to reap the benefits as well as ill effects alike. The ill effects will totally eclipse the benefits if the polices pursued failed to provide for equitable distribution of benefits within the community.
In order to make globalization of fisheries, beneficial and sustainable the governments concerned are needed to introduce appropriate policy measures to:
(i) Properly manage, conserve and rehabilitate fisheries resources and coastal environment
(ii) Protect, specifically, the small-scale and traditional fishery sector through technical assistance, training, investment support and economic incentives for their sustenanee and alternative livelihood means
(iii) Ensure the fisheries sector meets the requirements of the global markets, particularly quality standards and sanitary aspects, through technology transfer and improved information flows to and from the communities and producers, investment and training.
(iv) Improve the conditions of the artisanal sector by creating improved conditions of work and infrastructure, roads and communication networks, processing and trading establishment and fish inspection services.