Ecolabelling and Small-scale fisheries, will certification work? Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/conference_proceedings_or_journals/cr56n229w

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  • National and intergovernmental regulation of fisheries has not been sufficient to prevent many failures of fisheries management at the global scale. International trade in fisheries is of the order of USD 10 billion annually, mostly from “South” to “North”. Developing countries, particularly in Asia, benefit from this trade, and domestic fisheries generally, in terms of contributions to GDP but also to livelihoods and household security at the local level. All of these may be in jeopardy if fisheries management is not improved. However, small-scale fisheries in the tropics are characterized by open access and overlapping multi-species fisheries, fished with numerous gears and using a multitude of landing sites. This complexity in range of operation, the number of fishing groups and the subsistence orientation of some aspects of the production, differ markedly from industrial fisheries in developed countries. Developing country critiques of ecolabelling and the MSC initiative, as currently formulated, focus in five general areas: a) legitimacy and credibility, b) a mismatch between certification requirements and the reality of tropical small scale fisheries, c) potential distortions to existing practices and livelihoods, d) equity and feasibility, and, e) perceived barriers to trade. This paper reviews these developing country concerns on the basis of already certified fisheries, and experiences from forestry, aquaculture and the aquarium industry, as well examining precedents and trends in international environmental and trade issues. It is suggested that ecolabelling as currently presented is unlikely to be widely adopted in Asian countries. Certification may have sporadic success in some eco-conscious, or niche product, markets but will require greater participation of developing country fisheries to ensure a global improvement of fisheries management.
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  • Viswanathan, K. Kuperan, P. R. Gardiner. 2002. Ecolabelling and Small-scale fisheries, will certification work? Peer Review: No. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, August 19-22, 2002, Wellington, New Zealand: Fisheries in the Global Economy. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2002. CD ROM.
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