November 2017 marks the 20th year of the formation of WFFP, the fisher’s movement representing around 10 million fisher people worldwide. The symbolic importance of the 20th anniversary coupled with the strategic decision to take a leading role in advancing Food Sovereignty and the acknowledgment of the necessity of bringing in new and young leadership to take WFFP into the next decade, emphasizes that WFFP is at a turning point.
The WFFP GA-7 will be attended by delegates from around 50 member countries who will attend global workshops and detail the status of fisheries in their countries and strategize actions and a way forward for the fisher peoples’ movement globally.
The press conference shall declare the key concerns of WFFP GA-7 that is scheduled to happen in Delhi from November 15-21, 2017 which will focus on issues facing fisher people today such as Ocean, Land and Water Grabbing; Food Sovereignty and Agro Ecology; Inland Fisheries; and the FAO International small-scale fishery guidelines.
Leaders from fisher communities will detail the relevance of having the General Assembly in India where leaders of a number of environmental laws are being diluted to serve the interests of the big corporates, the biggest example being Sagarmala Project. The press conference will also detail the global workshops that would be attended by one woman and one man from each WFFP member organisation.
The Press Conference will also give a glimpse into the four studies by The Research Collective that will be released at the WFFP GA-7: Visible Tiger; Invisible People: Study and Report Based on the Public Hearing Held at Sundarban Islands, India; The Vizhinjam Port: Dream or Disaster: A Case Study of the Economic, Environment and Social Impacts; Where Have the Fish Gone?: The Impact of Industrial Development on Fishworkers in Gujarat and Occupation of the Coast: Blue Economy in India. The screening of the theme song of WFFP GA-7 will also be done at the Press Conference.
World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP)
The WFFP (www.worldfishers.org) was established in Delhi on World Fisheries Day, 21 November 1997. Around 50 WFFP members are from the Global South and many of them represent Indigenous communities, who are traditional, small-scale, artisanal fishers.
WFFP is also a member of the Planning Committee of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty, and the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) of the UN Committee on World Food Security.
National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF)
The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), registered as a trade union, is the only independent (non-party) national federation of state level small and traditional fish workers’ unions of India. NFF has affiliated organizations in all the coastal states and union territories of the Indian mainland. NFF commits to protect the life and livelihood of the fishing communities and its basic source – fisheries resources, biodiversity and natural environment.
India has a long coastline of 8,129 kms with 2.02 million sq. kms. of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Inland water bodies – rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands make up the vast expanse of inland water resources of the country of around 7 million hectares. Constituting about 4.4% of the global fish production, the fisheries sector in India contributes to about 1.5% of the GDP and 4.7% of the agricultural GDP amounting to more than INR Rs. 30,000 crores per annum. Fish and fish products have presently emerged as the largest group in agricultural exports of India. Annual export earnings from the sector are over Rs. 7,000 crores