Shrimp farms v. fishermen in Santa Rita, Brazil


The community of Forte Velho (Old Fort) has been struggling for years against the advance of shrimp farming on their traditional territory. It is one of the oldest fishing communities in the State of Paraiba. The beginning of Portuguese colonization in the region occurred at the river Paraíba delta, in the vicinity of Forte Velho community. Its name refers to an old fort on the site, an observation point built by the colonizers.

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Basic Data
NameShrimp farms v. fishermen in Santa Rita, Brazil
SiteSanta Rita
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific Commodities
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population1000
Start Date2002
Company Names or State EnterprisesPRJC from Brazil
Relevant government actorsInstituto Nacional de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renovaveis
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAssociacao de Moradores de Forte Velho
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
crab pickers
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Despite the company activities have been suspended by IBAMA, they are partially still operating as a result of a judicial decision.
Sources and Materials

MAPA DE CONFLITOS ENVOLVENDO INJUSTICA AMBIENTAL E SAUDE NO BRASIL. Projeto de Carcinicultura compromete meio ambiente e impede passagem de moradores por acesso tradicional. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 09 mai. 2013.
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MPF/PB quer desobstruir acesso impedido por viveiro de camarao. Procuradoria Geral da Republica. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 02 ago. 2009.
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ESGOTO e criacao de camarao destroem manguezais da Paraiba. Ecodebate, 22 abr. 2009. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 02 ago. 2009.
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SUSPENSA atividade em viveiros de camara. O Norte, 19 jan. 2008. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 07 abr. 2013.
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Media Links

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Fishermen getting ready to go to sea
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Community meeting

Meta Information
ContributorDiogo Rocha
Last update08/04/2014