Aquaculture conflict in Golfo de Fonseca, Honduras, Nicaragua

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Gulf of Fonseca has 409 km of coastline and covers an extension of approximately 3,200 km2 of marine and brackish, it includes a protected area: Reserva Natural Protegida Delta del Estero Real, Ramsar site (2001). </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> The expansion of shrimp farming aquaculture since the 80s has produced well documented environmental impacts (mangrove deforestation, wetlands affectations, pollution, etc.) in some of the poorest areas of Honduras (Cholueca and El Valle) and Nicaragua (Chinandega). Less well known are the conflictive social implications/conflicts of aquaculture expansion: physical aggressions to small scale fishermen and coastal inhabitants, lost of access to the beaches, economic problems of the producers cooperatives, and small scale aquaculture producers, etc... <br/><br/> For instance, impressive changes in coastal uses with large ponds for producing shrimp: in Nicaragua, the surface area under production expanded from 771 ha in 1989 to 10,396 ha in 2009, and in Honduras from 750 ha in 1985 to 14,954 ha in 2000. <br/><br/> This is helped by different economic incentives, such as tax concessions, foreign-investment guarantees, and export incentives. For instance, the Spanish company Pescanova operated in tax-free zones in both Nicaragua and Honduras. <br/><br/> The need to fulfill market standards in the U.S. and Europe has resulted in the exclusion of the small community-based shrimp-farming organizations, who initiated the activity. <br/><br/> In reality, what was supposed to be a source of wealth for the regional economy has ended up disempowering local fishing communities vis-à-vis the use of natural resources, whilst generating serious social conflicts. And destroying mangroves on a large scale. <br/><br/> At least twelve persons have died in Honduras, and at least one in Nicaragua in aquaculture related conflicts, and many others have been injured. This conflict is still taking place. <br/><br/> In September 2013, local and government actors have proposed the Gulf of Fonseca as a trilateral Ramsar site. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Aquaculture conflict in Golfo de Fonseca, Honduras, Nicaragua</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/honduras">Honduras</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Choluteca, El Valle, Chinandega</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Gulf of Fonseca</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biodiversity conservation conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Aquaculture and fisheries<br /> Wetlands and coastal zone management<br /> Deforestation<br /> Establishment of reserves/national parks</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/shrimps'>Shrimps</a><br /><a href='/commodity/biological-resources'>Biological resources</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">40 000 tones/year of shrimps (2008).</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">15 000 tones/year in Honduras.<br/><br/>25 000 tones/year in Nicaragua.<br/><br/>Nicaragua (2010)<br/><br/>- Pescanova (Spain): 4776 ha <br/><br/>- Campa: 988 ha in Nicaragua<br/><br/>- Farallon Acuaculture de Nicaragua: 735 ha in Nicaragua<br/><br/>Honduras (2010)<br/><br/>- Sea Farms International (Granjas Marinas San Bernardo) 5700 ha<br/><br/>- Dagustín (El Faro) 2000 ha<br/><br/>- Seajoy (Acuacultura Fonseca y Biomar) 1878 ha<br/><br/>- Crimasa (Criadores Marinos, S.A.) 1800 ha<br/><br/>- Pescanova (Novahonduras Zona Libre) 1200 ha<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>30 000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>4000000000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/pescanova'>Pescanova</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/spain'><small>Spain</small></a> - <small> 4776 ha in Nicaragua</small><br /><a href='/company/campa'>Campa</a> - <small> 988 ha in Nicaragua</small><br /><a href='/company/farallon-acuaculture-de-nicaragua'>Farallon Acuaculture de Nicaragua</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/nicaragua'><small>Nicaragua</small></a> - <small> 735 ha in Nicaragua</small><br /><a href='/company/sahlman-seafoods-of-nicaragua'>Sahlman Seafoods of Nicaragua</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/nicaragua'><small>Nicaragua</small></a> - <small> 456 ha in Nicaragua</small><br /><a href='/company/acuaculture-torrencilla-i'>Acuaculture Torrencilla I</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/nicaragua'><small>Nicaragua</small></a> - <small> 415 ha in Nicaragua</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Instituto Nicaragüense, de la Pesca y Acuicultura </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/inter-american-development-bank'>Inter-American Development Bank <small>(IADB)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/world-bank'>The World Bank <small>(WB)</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Cooperativas de pescadores, Unión de Cooperativas Camaroneras de Puerto Morazán, CODDEFFAGOLF</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Fishermen<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Blockades<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Participation in international networks in defense of mangroves<br /> <br /> Movimiento Social Nicaragüense, Otro mundo es Posible (MSN) ha denunciado a Pescanova ante el Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos, acusando a la empresa de violaciones de los derechos humanos, laborales y daños al ambiente.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Mangrove destruction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Criminalization of activists<br /> Deaths<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> Under negotiation<br /> Violent targeting of activists</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Shrimp farming aquaculture was promoted through development agencies and international financial institutions, as a vehicle for developing impoverished regions. But, currently the small community-based shrimp-farming organizations are not the main beneficiaries of this activity. The community has lost their livelihood and their land and mangrove forests.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Maria Mestre Montserrat, Miquel Ortega Cerdà, 2012, Central America: Shrimp Aquaculture, Conflicts and Justice, Samudra, 61.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Mestre, M., Ortega, M., Musoles, L. y Ramos, J. 2011. Conflictos socio-ambientales de la acuicultura del camarón en Centroamérica.Un análisis desde la justicia ambiental. Colección DOCS Núm.1. Vilanova i la Geltrú: Fundació Ent.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, El Salvador, Honduras y Nicaragua, Gestión Integrada de los Ecosistemas del Golfo de Fonseca, Propuesta del proyecto FMAN.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Red Manglar<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> La Tribuna, Jorge Varela se despide del Coddeffagolf, 14 enero, 2013<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Blue Channel 24<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> El Nuevo Diario<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> La Prensa<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Boletín Proyecto Eco-Pesca, 2013, Golfo de 1) Fonseca zona de paz y desarrollo, CODDEFFAGOLF, Amigos de la Tierra España.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) is an international non-governmental organization that works towards the establishment of equitable, gender-just,self-reliant and sustainable fisheries, particularly in the small-scale, artisanal sector.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Joan Martinez Alier & Talia Waldron</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>03/05/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>