SEAFish for Justice

Founded in 2003, the Southeast Asia Fish for Justice Network (SEAFish) is a group of fisherfolk federations and non-government organizations bound together by its Pool of Consensus (PoC) that proffers its perspective and platform on fisheries and coastal concerns in the region along with its application to individual member countries and in the global arena. This PoC contained its analysis and standpoint on: fisheries; (shrimp) aquaculture; community-based coastal resources management (CBCRM); trade liberalization, subsidies, trade rules and technical barriers to trade in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO); access agreements; eco-labelling and certification; and multilateral financing institutions and multilateral development aid packages.

SEAFish works on four thematic areas: fisheries and trade; CBCRM and trade; shrimp and aquaculture; and women and fisheries. The first three were carried over from its work from 2003 to 2006 while women and fisheries was added as it was seen as an important and emergent area of concern for the network. In brief, outputs and outcomes were as follows: in fisheries and trade, a large part of the effort was directed at strengthening artisanal fisherfolk organizations at the national and regional levels; in CBCRM and trade, advocacy was directed mainly at the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) as this was considered a growing threat against small-scale fisher and coastal communities; in shrimp aquaculture, efforts were mainly directed at influencing the ADB, mainly through public actions and media work; and in women in fisheries, the case studies, exchange visits, women’s leadership training and regional conference resulted in the adoption of and advocacy for the Hanoi Declaration. Overall, the network was able to firmly link local campaigns in Indonesia and the Philippines with regional and global campaigns, particularly on climate change and engagement with ASEAN, ADB and the WTO on trade and development concerns.