The EU Underpays Madagascar for Fish

July 3, 2012 • Daily Email Recap

As you may know, Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organization dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. They are leaders in integrating community health initiatives into their conservation strategies, having recognized the link between human health, human populations and the environment.

The following Blue Ventures’ press release calls attention to what seems to be an unacceptable, but all too common, dynamic — wherein the citizens of a developing country (Madagascar) are being denied the value of their own resources, while the relatively well-off citizens of a developed country (in this case, the countries comprising the European Union) are benefiting. The release is based on a report published in the journal Marine Policy. You can access the abstract and read the full text of the study at this portal:

The EU Underpays Madagascar for Fish


July 1st 2012, London – Unfair and exploitative political agreements allow Europeans to eat fish from the plates of developing countries, according to a study led by University of British Columbia researchers.

In the case of Madagascar, the European Union pays less than it did two decades ago while catching more fish. Since 1986, the EU’s quotas for catching fish in Madagascar’s waters have increased by 30 per cent while its access fees have decreased by 20 per cent. As a result, the total annual income for Madagascar decreased by almost 90 per cent between 1986 and 2010.

An international team of researchers from Madagascar, the EU, Canada and the World Bank offers suggestions for fixing the problem in a new paper published online this week in the journal Marine Policy.

“Access fees should be based on the market value of what they fish, not on a fixed rate,” says Frédéric Le Manach, the study’s lead author from the Sea Around Us Project at UBC’s Fisheries Centre.

Currently, EU countries pay fees equivalent to less than three per cent of the landed value of the catch to access Madagascar’s resources with highly subsidised fishing fleets, creating high profit margins for privately held companies, despite the EU’s apparent commitment to channel such profits back to developing countries.

“The EU is unfairly profiting from the resources of one of the world’s poorest countries,” says co-author Rashid Sumaila, a fisheries economist and director of the UBC Fisheries Centre. “And they are breaking their own laws to do it.”

To read the full article, please click here:

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