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Aquaculture conflict in Golfo de Fonseca, Honduras, Nicaragua


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).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Aquaculture conflict in Golfo de Fonseca, Honduras, Nicaragua
State or province:Choluteca, El Valle, Chinandega
Location of conflict:Gulf of Fonseca
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Wetlands and coastal zone management
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Shrimps
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project details

40 000 tones/year of shrimps (2008).

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Project area:30 000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project4000000000
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Pescanova from Spain - 4776 ha in Nicaragua
Campa - 988 ha in Nicaragua
Farallon Acuaculture de Nicaragua from Nicaragua - 735 ha in Nicaragua
Sahlman Seafoods of Nicaragua from Nicaragua - 456 ha in Nicaragua
Acuaculture Torrencilla I from Nicaragua - 415 ha in Nicaragua
Relevant government actors:Instituto Nicaragüense, de la Pesca y Acuicultura
International and Finance InstitutionsInter-American Development Bank (IADB)
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Cooperativas de pescadores, Unión de Cooperativas Camaroneras de Puerto Morazán, CODDEFFAGOLF
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Participation in international networks in defense of mangroves

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.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: 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
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Other Environmental impactsMangrove destruction
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: 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
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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.
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Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, El Salvador, Honduras y Nicaragua, Gestión Integrada de los Ecosistemas del Golfo de Fonseca, Propuesta del proyecto FMAN.
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Maria Mestre Montserrat, Miquel Ortega Cerdà, 2012, Central America: Shrimp Aquaculture, Conflicts and Justice, Samudra, 61.
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El Nuevo Diario
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Blue Channel 24
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La Tribuna, Jorge Varela se despide del Coddeffagolf, 14 enero, 2013
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La Prensa
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Red Manglar
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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.
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Boletín Proyecto Eco-Pesca, 2013, Golfo de 1) Fonseca zona de paz y desarrollo, CODDEFFAGOLF, Amigos de la Tierra España.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Joan Martinez Alier & Talia Waldron
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:344
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