The ocean and our waterways are the bloodstream of our planet. Water systems support climate regulation, irrigation, fisheries, transportation, recreation,mineral extraction, energy production, sediment and nutrient flows and much more…
Being a common resource with so many, often conflicting, uses, makes it vulnerable to all sorts of abuse, especially since it’s still vastly unknown and was, until recently, thought of as an unlimited and untapped resource, which could be “rationalized”, commodified and ultimately privatized to “create more wealth”.
Industrial logic in an increasingly anonymous and rigged global market, together with powerful actors promoting a simplified catastrophist vision of fisheries, have led to a degradation of ecosystems and local cultures, as well as a gradual erosion of national sovereignty over the resources. This narrative ignores how communities are being systematically disenfranchised and marginalized while our common resources are geared towards private individual and corporate ownership and large scale exploitation.
Slow Fish believes there are many alternatives to privatization of the ocean and waterways, and that the human component is essential to any conservation effort if we are to find healthy and fair ways to use our resources in an increasingly complex world. These alternatives can only gain momentum if a new language comes into play, which defeats common behavioral assumptions, redefines value and prescribes adaptive, shared and fair forms of governance, embedded in strong and diverse cultures.
This session of Slow Fish at Terra Madre 2016 proposes to reach out to the movement of the Commons, which exists to protect what is common and collective, and to build the future beyond Market and State. Can the Commons help us see ourselves differently and think differently, to draw on our rich history to shape a promising future for fisheries?
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