“Ocean-grabbing” a danger to world’s fisheries: UN

As per a UN expert on right to food, ‘Ocean-grabbing’ is as serious a threat as ‘land-grabbing’. 

What is “Ocean-grabbing”?

  • An aggressive industrial fishing by foreign fleets.

How and to whom is it threatening?

  • imageOcean grabbing is mainly concerned with the interest of smaller fishermen, local communities and sustainable fishing.
  • It is a threat to food security in developing nations
  • Excessive and aggressive fishing threatens the fish ecosystem and makes this practice unsustainable.
  • It depletes the fishing zones at a faster rate.

What is “land-grabbing”?

  • Land grabbing is the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions: the buying or leasing of large pieces of land in developing countries, by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals.
  • Countries such as China and Saudi Arabia have bought up agricultural land in poorer countries such as Ethiopia and Ghana.

What is “water-grabbing”?

  • Water grabbing involves the diversion of water resources and watersheds by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals, which deprives local communities who depend on the water and ecosystems for their livelihoods.
  • The ability to take over water is usually associated with processes of commoditization and privatization of water that transform water from a public good to a private commodity, with access often controlled by ability to pay.

What are the suggestions made by UN to contain “Ocean grabbing”?

  • Create exclusive artisanal fishing zones for small-scale fishers and clamp down on incursions by industrial fleets
  • Support small-scale fishers’ cooperatives and help them rise up the value chain
  • Put co-management schemes in place to manage fishing resources locally
  • Refrain from undertaking large-scale development projects, e.g. sand extraction, that adversely affect the livelihoods of small-scale fishers
  • Make fisheries and small-scale fishers an integral part of national right to food strategies.



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