THIS IS THE CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA NEO-LIBERAL AND NEO-CONSERVATIVE TAG TEAM---SAME POLS WORKING FOR THE SAME PEOPLE.
All Maryland pols are these Wall Street global corporate pols---Erhlich and O'Malley were Reagan/Clinton neo-liberals and now Governor Larry Hogan is a Bush/Hopkins neo-conservative. All candidates for Congress in Maryland have Democratic challengers----Sarbanes, Cummings, and Mikulski's seat are in this election and all of these candidates voted to break Glass Steagall and with Clinton for all this global Wall Street and global corporate mess.
LOOK AT THESE CHALLENGERS---YOU DON'T HEAR OF THEM IN MEDIA OR MAJOR ELECTION VENUES BECAUSE THEY MAY BE THAT ENGAGED CITIZEN WANTING TO CHANGE DIRECTIONS!
'Control oil and you control a nation. Control food and you control the people'. Henry Kissinger.
I want to start with the Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal Joshua Harris and one of his talking points---LDCs.
Local distribution centers (LDCs).A distribution center for a set of products is a warehouse or other specialized building, often with refrigeration or air conditioning, which is stocked with products (goods) to be redistributed to retailers, to wholesalers, or directly to consumers. A distribution center is a principal part, the order processing element, of the entire order fulfillment process.
Below you see where the term LDCs originated------it is tied to Asian International Economic Zones and has become particularly discussed NOW because these Asian nations are being made FOOD EXPORTER NATIONS----MEATS AND SEAFOOD NEEDS REFRIGERATION. Technology and garment industries did not. With this comes the worst of slave labor---Thailand and Malaysian citizens and justice organizations have been shouting for a decade as people are enslaved in yet another industry. These Asian International Economic Zones are now the main FOOD IMPORT TO THE US----as Wall Street global pols send US food overseas to the rich of the world because they pay more----more profit.
Most people are seeing how all seafood as with our fruits and vegetables this past decades are coming from around the world----as with Whole Foods and not grown locally.
WHEN A LOCAL CANDIDATE USES THE SAME TERMS AS GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS----YOU KNOW THEY ARE FARM-TEAM WALL STREET GLOBAL CANDIDATES.
January 2013 | Feature Stories
Southeast Asia: Region on the Rise
182 By Justine Brown
Tags: Global Economy, Asia
With an average annual economic growth rate of more than five percent, the countries that comprise this dynamic region represent a thriving trade and economic hub, despite infrastructure and regulatory challenges.
Consisting of 11 countries reaching from eastern India to China, Southeast Asia is generally divided into "mainland" and "island" zones. The mainland—comprising Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam—is an extension of the Asian continent, while Island Southeast Asia includes Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, and the new nation of East Timor, formerly part of Indonesia. These countries' diversity lies at the heart of the region's rapid economic growth.
Southeast Asia's 11 countries have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.9 trillion; a population of almost 600 million people; and an average per-capita income nearly equal to China's, according to Southeast Asia: Crouching Tiger or Hidden Dragon?, an article published by the International Economic Bulletin.
Over the past decade, the countries have averaged a growth rate of more than five percent per year. If Southeast Asia were one country, it would be the world's ninth-largest economy. It would also be the most trade-dependent, with a trade-to-GDP ratio in excess of 150 percent.
U.S. imports from Southeast Asia have grown steadily over the past few years, reports global trade intelligence firm Zepol (see chart below). Much of this import traffic comes from Malaysia and Thailand, but Vietnam is quickly catching up. The region as a whole experienced significant U.S. import growth in the third quarter of 2012, rising 1.3 percent from the third quarter of 2011.
"Trade activity is increasing in Southeast Asia, particularly from Vietnam," says Paul Rasmussen, CEO, Zepol. "As labor costs rise in China, more companies are turning to nearby countries to fill their orders." Rising labor costs in China means no more $2 a day. China is now hitting $10 a day.
All 11 Southeast Asian countries belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a 45-year-old regional organization that promotes economic integration, and aims to create an Economic Community—a single market for goods, services, investments, and skilled labor—by 2015.
Infrastructure ChallengesFor much of the 1990s, Southeast Asia was the infrastructure finance capital of the world. But after the Asian financial crisis in 1998, the sector slowed dramatically. Today, despite economic growth, much of Asia continues to grapple with an infrastructure deficit.
"While GDP, industrial output, and consumption have soared across the region over the past decade, power, water, and transport systems have struggled to keep pace," writes Nicolas Lord in Changing Lanes, an article in Emerging Markets.
Since Asia's financial crisis, the region's infrastructure needs have almost exclusively been met by the state. "But the requirements are now so large, and the demand for quality so great, that the way Asian infrastructure is being financed is undergoing a profound change," continues Lord.
Many governments are now actively courting private involvement. Over the next 10 years, $1 trillion of the region's projected $8 trillion in infrastructure projects will be open to private investors under public-private partnerships, estimates a recent report by global consultancy McKinsey.
But regulatory risks—including excessively high transport costs, urban congestion, and inadequate air transport competition and efficiency—are likely to hold back private capital from reaching its full potential in the region.
While Southeast Asia has experienced significant economic growth over the past 10 years, it is a region at a crossroads. Its continued growth relies on deeper regional cooperation and integration from a policy perspective, and market-driven intervention by businesses that aspire to expand their footprint across the national borders, according to Destination Southeast Asia: A Joint Pathway to Future Growth?, a 2011 report from consulting firm Accenture.
"Early indicators are promising stable real GDP growth; substantial (and growing) consumer markets; strong labor forces; and steady economic and market transitions across its economies," notes the report. "By taking the right path now, the region will be well on its way to becoming a formidable economic powerhouse by 2020."
Here's a closer look at five of the Southeast Asian countries that will lead the way.
U.S. Imports from Southeast Asian CountriesU.S. imports from Southeast Asia have increased year-over-year since 2009, and 2012 was expected to continue this trend*. The top countries for U.S. imports from the Southeast Asian region include Malaysia and Thailand; however, Vietnam has seen the largest growth increase overall.
Singapore recently ranked as the number one logistics hub among 155 countries globally in the World Bank's 2012 Logistics Performance Index. "Singapore's strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia, and at the nexus of major shipping lanes, has made it an important logistics hub and conduit for world trade," says Paul Rasmussen of Zepol.
Singapore is a prime location for major logistics firms—20 of the top 25 global logistics service providers conduct operations there. Most of them—including DHL, Kuehne + Nagel, Sankyu, Schenker, Toll, UPS, and Yusen Logistics—have set up regional or global headquarters in Singapore.
With an expansive base of leading global logistics players, world-class infrastructure, and excellent global connectivity, Singapore is the preferred logistics and supply chain management hub for leading manufacturers, including Avaya, Diageo, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Infineon, LVMH, Novartis, ON Semiconductor, Panasonic, and Siemens Medical Instruments.
Singapore's Changi Airport is one of Asia's largest cargo airports, and is served by more than 6,100 weekly flights connecting to 210 cities in 60 countries, handling close to two million tons of cargo. The country also boasts the world's busiest seaport and is the world's top transshipment hub, handling close to 30 million TEUs in 2011. Ocean carrier APL transports the majority of goods from Singapore, followed by OOCL and NYK Line. Singapore is connected by 200 shipping lines to 600 ports in 123 countries, with daily sailings to every major port of call in the world. It is also proximate to the world's major markets, and a seven-hour flight from half of the world's population in Asia Pacific.
Pharmaceutical products from Singapore experienced an upward spike in the third quarter of 2012, similar to the trend seen in 2011. Computer accessories and semiconductors also top the U.S. import list from Singapore.
Indonesia was the 27th-largest exporting country in the world in 2010, moving up three spots from 2009, according to World Trade Organization data. Indonesia's main export markets are Japan (17.28 percent), Singapore (11.29 percent), the United States (10.81 percent), and China (7.62 percent).
The country's major export commodities include oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, rubber, and textiles. Indonesia's top export to the United States is apparel and household goods made from cotton, followed by rubber and non-wool or cotton apparel and textiles. The country's major imports include machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs. U.S. imports of crude oil from Indonesia have plummeted in recent quarters.
"The Port of Jakarta has seen a drop in TEUs, while the Ports of Semarang and Palembang are gaining market share," says Rasmussen. APL and Maersk Line are the top two ocean carriers for U.S. imports from Indonesia.
The country's economy, one of the largest in Southeast Asia, involves both the private sector and government playing significant roles. The industry sector is the economy's largest, and accounts for 46.4 percent of GDP. It is followed by services (37.1 percent) and agriculture (16.5 percent). The country has extensive natural resources, including crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper, and gold.
But weak transport infrastructure has hindered Indonesia's integration into regional production chains and its internal economic integration and development, according to Southeast Asian Economic Outlook 2010, a report from the Development Centre of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. "The problems in transport can be attributed to a combination of inadequate roads, ports, and other physical infrastructure, together with weak regulatory policies, customs procedures, and planning," says the report.
Indonesia's authorities have recently taken a number of steps to promote more effective infrastructure development, including measures to encourage private-sector investment, improve customs procedures, and combat corruption.
Malaysia, the leading Southeast Asian country for U.S. imports, experienced a massive increase in the number of exports of semiconductors and telecommunications equipment to the United States in recent years. Conversely, computer accessories and computers being imported from Malaysia have dropped significantly in 2012. Most of Malaysia's exports depart through the Port of Tanjung Pelepas; Maersk Line and CMA CGM are the top ocean carriers.
Continuing global economic uncertainties and lower commodity prices are expected to impact Malaysia's GDP growth in 2013, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. In 2011, the GDP was about $450 billion—the third-largest economy in ASEAN, and 29th-largest in the world.
Malaysia's infrastructure is one of the most developed in Asia. The country's longest highway, the North-South Expressway, extends 500 miles between the Thai border and Singapore. The road systems in East Malaysia are less developed and of lower quality in comparison to that of Peninsular Malaysia.
Malaysia operates 118 airports, of which 38 are paved. The country's official airline is Malaysia Airlines, providing international and domestic air service alongside two other carriers. The railway system is state-run, and covers a total of 1,149 miles. The Asean Rail Express is a railway service that connects Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, with plans to eventually stretch from Singapore to China.
Thailand's top export to the United States is computer accessories, followed by telecommunications equipment and fish. Nearly all exports from Thailand depart from the Port of Laem Chabang, and arrive at the Port of Los Angeles. U.S. imports from Thailand were up three percent year-to-date in 2012, compared to 2011.
Thailand has a GDP worth U.S. $602 billion, classifying the country as the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Despite this ranking, Thailand falls midway in the wealth spread in Southeast Asia, as it is the fourth-richest nation based on GDP per capita—after Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia.
Vietnam may be the fastest growing of Southeast Asia's emerging economies by 2025, with a potential annual growth rate of about 10 percent in real dollar terms, according to a forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers. That would increase the economy's size to 70 percent of the United Kingdom's by 2050.
Apparel, textiles, and furniture are the top products imported from Vietnam to the United States. "Year-to-date, U.S. imports from Vietnam are up 15 percent compared to 2011, making the country one of the fastest growing suppliers to the United States," notes Rasmussen.
The majority of goods depart from the Port of Vung Tau, and arrive at the Port of Los Angeles. Ocean carriers Maersk Line, Mitsui, and Hanjin have large market shares of import transportation.
As with all economics in the US under Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals it is all about exporting and markets overseas. This is to where all of US food products are going and it is why US food prices are rising and rising. This page has the topic of FOOD EXPORTING and indeed much of the growth in FOOD in Maryland is tied to the goal of EXPORTING IT TO MARKETS THAT PAY A HIGHER PRICE.
SEE WHERE THE GLOBAL TERM 'LDCs' Local Distribution Centers is tied to global market food and NOT local small fresh food economies! Local Distribution Centers LDC for food is tied to this International Economic Zone economy with the goal of creating global markets for fresh food grown in the US for export. Think US workers in US International Economic Zones tied to this global food exporting will be treated as the Thailand and Malaysian workers? YOU BETCHA.
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If you follow this development of Asian food production in International Economic Zones you know that much of the food produced in these global food factories is exported and not much makes it to the citizens in those Asian nations ----because they are poor and cannot create profit for these multi-national food corporations. So there is no FOOD SECURITY occurring in these Asian nations remember Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberalism enters a nation and right away KILLS ALL SMALL FARMS AND PUSHES SMALL FARMERS OFF THERE LAND as US BIG AG AND BIG MEAT has been and is fast-increasing here in the US. The objective is not FOOD SECURITY----it is as Kissinger said above----CONTROLLING PEOPLE WITH FOOD.
As Wall Street and global corporations and their pols continue this strangle-hold on the US economy and keep local economies stagnant and unemployment high----more and more US citizens are being made FOOD INSECURE. As a social Democrat Cindy Walsh is shouting to make rebuilding each community about building a REAL small business, local fresh food economy while in Baltimore Baltimore Development Corporation and Johns Hopkins throws a few million at food non-profits and fill communities with more and more national food chains. These several years in US cities like Baltimore there has been NO SERIOUS attempt at building a REAL fresh food economy in each community.
WALL STREET DOES NOT WANT A REAL LOCAL FRESH FOOD ECONOMY BECAUSE THE GOAL IS TO CONTROL PEOPLE WITH FOOD INSECURITY.
'The United States overproduces commodity crops (particularly corn, wheat, and soy) in part due to government subsidization; healthful food and sustainable agriculture has not been historically promoted in US food and farming policy'.
I am not a supporter of the Malthus political stance on the poor and reproductive control----he took a very eugenics stance on handling population and sustainability----the Chinese population control policy of ONE CHILD was an example. Social Democrats know that as citizens are moved to the working and middle-class families become smaller because they have ways of supporting themselves outside of children used as labor for the family.
Food Security & Food Access
Dollar Store by Zol87/Flickr
What does “food security” mean?
Although there are several different working definitions of food security, all of which have evolved over time, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations currently uses the following description: “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” FA similar definition has also been adopted by the US, though in a more limited form. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s definition of food security is, “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.” F Food security comprises several different components, including food access, distribution of food, the stability of the food supply, and the use of food. F The opposite of food security - food insecurity - is defined by the USDA as, “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” F
Food insecurity is part of a continuum that includes hunger (food deprivation), malnutrition (deficiencies, imbalances, or excesses of nutrients), and famine. Long-term lack of food security eventually becomes hunger, defined by the USDA as “an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity.” On a population level, extreme lack of food security becomes famine. The United Nations rarely declares famine status, even in cases of long-term food insecurity, since its definition of famine is quite specific – famine is declared only when “at least 20 percent of households in an area face extreme food shortages with a limited ability to cope; acute malnutrition rates exceed 30 percent; and the death rate exceeds two persons per day per 10,000 persons.” F Malnutrition can be caused by food insecurity, but can also be caused by poor health, poor care for children, or an unhealthy environment. F
In the US, the term “food desert” is often used to describe a location that has limited access to healthful, nutritious food, especially in low-income neighborhoods. FFor example, individuals in some neighborhoods may have easier access to fast food and junk food than to fruits and vegetables. FHowever, there is some disagreement on what constitutes a food desert (i.e., what is an acceptable distance from a source of healthful food, such as a supermarket), and it is unclear whether true food deserts are as common as postulated by policymakers. F F Others see the term as being not inclusive of other issues related to health and obesity, including: poverty and other socio-demographic factors; ease of access to healthful food, rather than lack of access; increased access to unhealthful food choices; exercise/physical activity; and unhealthful food choices related to cultural or economic factors. F F F
How many people are food-insecure? Who is food insecure?The USDA reported that 14.5 percent of American households were food insecure at least some time during 2010. FOf the 14.5 percent that were food insecure, 5.4 percent were classified as having very low food security (defined by the USDA as “reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake”). FHowever, in households with children, the USDA reports that over 20 percent were food insecure in 2010. FGlobally, food insecurity is more difficult to measure. In 1999, the FAO estimated that over 1.2 billion people were chronically food insecure (i.e., undernourished). FAsia, including the Indian sub-continent, was the most food insecure region, with 642 million undernourished people. Over 15 million of the undernourished were in developed countries. F
Certain groups are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, including women (especially low income pregnant and lactating women), victims of conflict, the ill, migrant workers, low-income urban dwellers, the elderly, and children under five. FAs we can see in the United States, having food security as a nation does not necessarily mean that all individuals living in that nation will be food secure. F
What are the reasons behind lack of food access & food insecurity?There are many complex reasons an individual becomes food insecure. Poverty is unmistakably the driving factor in the lack of resources to purchase or otherwise procure food, but the root causes of poverty are multifaceted. Poverty, combined with other socioeconomic and political problems, creates the bulk of food insecurity around the globe. F Some of the auxiliary causes of food insecurity are outlined below:
Although it is commonly thought that world population will outstrip food production capacity, current production of food exceeds global population requirements. Historically, famines and widespread hunger have been caused by problems of food distribution (political or logistical) rather than by insufficient food production. Although the global population is expected to rise in the next several decades, global hunger is predicted to decline. F
Reverend Thomas Malthus, writing in the late 18th Century, warned that global population would exceed the Earth’s capacity to grow food. Malthus suggested that population grows exponentially, while food production grows only arithmetically. F F Despite having been largely debunked, this theory has remained prominent in the discourse regarding hunger, the world’s population carrying capacity, and the need for increased agricultural technology (e.g., genetically modified organisms). It is also worth noting that in an historical context, Malthus’s argument was a warning about population increase amongst the poor. F F Malthus and his cohort described the poor as breeding too rapidly, thus depriving the rest of the population of food; famine was seen as a “natural” defense against overpopulation. FSeveral well-known famines in history, such as the Irish Potato Famine and several Indian famines in the late 19th century, were caused not by lack of food, but by lack of political will to distribute the food to the starving poor. During these famines, Ireland and parts of India were actually exporting food to various other English colonies. F FMalthusian theories were used to support political choices to avoid helping the starving. FFood distribution, rather than total food production, continues to be a global problem in solving food insecurity.
Various political-agricultural practices contribute to food insecurity worldwide. These include substituting commodity crops for food crops (e.g., growing corn instead of vegetables) and heavy exportation of food crops at the expense of food security of the exporting country. F F In addition, the recent demand for biofuels, currently produced primarily from corn and soy, has further decreased the amount of viable arable land being used for food production. F F
The United States overproduces commodity crops (particularly corn, wheat, and soy) in part due to government subsidization; healthful food and sustainable agriculture has not been historically promoted in US food and farming policy. F The FAO’s definition of food security includes a provision describing access to “nutritious” food; however, in many low-income areas, it is easier to access cheap, unhealthful food (such as fast food), often produced primarily from commodity crops. FIn addition, the US exports a high proportion of its commodity crops to the rest of the world. For example, in 2010, over 53 percent of all corn exports in the world were from the US. FThe exportation of these commodity crops affects farmers in the rest of the world – especially small farmers with limited resources. A large influx of commodity crops from the US can affect local food security, as small farmers cannot compete with less expensive (subsidized) US-produced agricultural products. F
Read more about industrial crop production
Globally, natural disasters, such as drought, have been frequently implicated in food insecurity; however, natural disaster-related food insecurity and famines are exacerbated by food distribution problems (see above) and lack of food surpluses due to exportation or other political factors. FIt is predicted that climate change may negatively affect food supply and food access due to loss of farmland, fluctuating food prices, increases in foodborne illnesses, and other food utilization issues. FOther environmental factors, such as soil degradation (including salinization due to heavy irrigation, desertification, erosion, and soil pollution related to industrial agricultural practices) may negatively affect global food security as well. F F
Other Economic and Political Reasons
The global rise in food prices in the last several years has been precipitated by a number of factors, including natural disasters such as drought; increased demand for biofuels; the US dollar’s decline; and an increase in the middle and upper class in countries like China (this has created increased demand for meat and dairy, and thus increased demand for grain). FIncreases in food costs generally mean increases in the food insecure. Other factors contributing to food insecurity include loss of farmland or pastureland due to development; conflict and war; water access issues; and disease. F F
What are the results of food insecurity?On an individual level, food insecurity, especially over time, causes physical, social, and psychological problems in both children and adults. F F In the US, chronic food insecurity has been documented to lead to, paradoxically, obesity, especially in women and girls. FOne theory as to why food insecurity leads to obesity is that episodic periods of food insecurity cause the sufferer to overeat in an attempt by the body to recoup missing calories. F FThe type of food consumed in food insecure households may be another factor: high calorie food made from commodity crops (e.g., fast food and “junk” food) is often cheaper and easier to access than healthful food with high nutritional value. F
In infants and toddlers in the US, food insecurity is correlated with higher hospitalization rates and generally poor health. FIn older US children, food insecurity negatively affects academic performance and social skills, and causes increases in Body Mass Index (BMI), an indicator of overweight and obesity. FGlobally, chronic food insecurity (undernourishment and malnutrition) causes underweight, wasting, and stunted growth in children. F
Food insecurity can also lead to political instability and conflict. In recent years, there has been a number of “food riots” in which the population of a country (sometimes violently) protests its lack of food or, as was the case with the Mexican “tortilla riots” in 2007, rising food costs. F
Are there solutions to food insecurity?Solutions to food insecurity must include elimination of poverty; however, other aspects of food insecurity may be more immediately solvable. Some solutions proposed to end food insecurity include the following:
Although the first Green Revolution (GR) (in the 1960s and 70s) increased global yields, the Revolution came at a price: per capita hunger also increased, as small farmers were forced out of subsistence agriculture and into urban slums, often due to the high cost of GR seeds and the inputs required to grow them (fertilizers, pesticides, and machinery). F The second wave of the Green Revolution focuses on genetically modified organisms (GMOs G) as the central way in to feed the world’s growing population; however, this second wave of the GR may be worse for small farmers, as large corporations own the patents to seed. FIn addition, in this second wave of the Green Revolution, the focus is not on sustainable agriculture, as high amounts of inputs (i.e., fertilizers, pesticides, intensive irrigation) are required. Because industrial agricultural inputs and infrastructure are expensive, rely on fossil fuels, and degrade the environment in numerous ways, many experts agree that relying upon unsustainable agriculture will, in the long term, increase global food insecurity. FStudies involving small farms have indicated that sustainable agricultural practices can actually increase yield. F
Improving agricultural biodiversity
Improving agricultural biodiversity
G through sustainable agricultural practices may also alleviate food insecurity. FIndustrial agriculture relies upon monocropping, in which one genetic type of crop is planted on large tracts of land, while sustainable farms frequently plant a genetically diverse array of both crop type and species. Monocropping increases crop susceptibility to both pests and diseases; several historical famines and crop decimations were due to a pest or disease devastating monocropped agricultural plantings. FWith monocropping also comes an increased need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which can erode soil biodiversity and in turn negatively affect yields over time. F F Enhancing biodiversity through the use of sustainable agricultural practices can protect communities from food insecurity associated with both crop loss and decreased yield.
Policy ChangesIn the US, policy change that champions sustainable, locally produced food, including increased incentives for local farmers and for markets where fresh, healthful food is available, can increase community food security. FThis, along with the increasing acceptance of food stamp (SNAP) benefits at local food outlets such as farmers' markets, may improve access to healthful food and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. F Community gardening, home gardening, and urban farming are other ways in which sustainably grown, local food can be used to improve community food security and to increase participant intake of fruits and vegetables. FSNAP benefits have expanded to allow participants to buy seeds and edible plants, further increasing the potential for urban agriculture and home gardening to help alleviate food insecurity. F
Read more about sustainable agriculture and local food systems
Food Justice & Food Sovereignty
Food justice, broadly defined, is the idea that food is a basic human right; food, and the risks and benefits of the way it is grown and produced, should be distributed fairly. FFood sovereignty, defined by the agricultural activist group Via Campesina, is:
The right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture; to protect and regulate domestic agricultural production and trade in order to achieve sustainable development objectives; to determine the extent to which they want to be self-reliant; [and] to restrict the dumping of products in their markets. F
Both the food justice and food sovereignty movements are concerned with the ways in which food is produced (i.e., sustainably) and distributed. FThe food sovereignty movement argues that the focus solely on food security, without addressing the production of food, has caused poor, food-insecure countries to import cheap, subsidized food to the detriment of their local farmers, economies, and cultures, thus adversely affecting longer-term and sustainable food security. FThey advocate local production andconsumption of food whenever possible as a means to avoid the cycle of poverty, reliance upon foreign imports, and long-term food security problems. F
This is not only Thailand---this is all International Economic Zone global industrial seafood farms-----and know what? THAT IS WHAT THE 'GREEN/LOCAL FOOD FUNDING WAS ALL ABOUT----CREATING THESE GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL FISH/SEAFOOD FARMS OFF OF US COASTLINE TIED TO INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE. So, Baltimore never saw much movement on fish farming----they talked about it and threw some funds the same way Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and neo-cons do while posing progressive----the billions of dollars sent by Obama and Congressional Clinton/Obama neo-liberals went to BUILDING THESE GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL FISH/SEAFOOD FARMS OFF US COAST.
Guess who will be working these US International fish/seafood farms looking just like those in Asia? Lots of immigrant labor brought from overseas----AND our US workers and Latino immigrants already in the US.
All of these overseas industrial seafood industries have spent this decade building what they call-----LDCs-----local distribution centers from these very rural and remote locations to International Economic Zone ports----LIKE THE PORT OF BALTIMORE.
Did Slave Labor Produce Your Seafood?
Without serious reform, migrant fishers in Thailand will remain as disposable as fish bait.
By Michelle ChenTwitterMarch 2, 2015
Migrant workers from Myanmar sail out of a Thailand port on February 23, 2010. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj)
The glistening prawns at the supermarket might cost a quite a bit per pound, but off the shore of Thailand, the price of the catch is measured in the bodies of both fish and people. Life is cheap in the labor market that churns out our seafood.
Last year reports emerged about forced labor in the multibillion-dollar Thai fishing industry; image-conscious Western retailers, multinationals and officials promised reform. But while media attention has evaporated, food retailers have returned to their normal routine of scarfing up cheap, seemingly abundant seafood from a murky supply chain.
According to an investigation by the London-based Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), the system is rigged so that the market depends on imported ultra-exploited labor, along with unbridled exploitation of Southeast Asia’s fragile marine ecosystem.
Pirates and Slaves from Environmental Justice Foundation on Vimeo.
The seeds of the crisis were planted back in the 1960s, when Thailand’s fishing industry exploded with the introduction of Western fishery technology. Over-intensification of industrial fishing eventually led to overexploitation, sparking a vicious cycle of Thai trawlers chasing dwindling fish supplies by foraying into neighboring countries’ waters. Amid lax regulation and endemic corruption, underground and pirate fishing operations metastasized, spawning a massive, violent maritime gangland. Today, while native Thai workers move away from the grueling low-wage labor of industrial fishing, migrants from poorer countries are drawn onto minimally regulated vessels and now make up roughly 80 percent of the industry’s estimated 145,000 workers.
Though Asian countries have instituted labor regulations for migrant workers, such as wage and hours protections and oversight of labor recruitment, as well as regional labor accords governing migrants’ legal rights, both state regulators and organized labor have only limited reach among the poorest workers, and victims often lack legal recourse.
According to International Labour Organization research:
average migrant workers aboard Thai fishing vessels get paid less than half the monthly wage received by Thai fishers and around 25 per cent less than Thailand’s national minimum wage of 300 baht or $9.20 per day…. Due to the shortage of labour and the lack of legal limits to the amount of hours someone can work aboard a Thai fishing vessel, a quarter of respondents reported working 17 to 24 hours per day (including time ‘on-call’) and a further 40 per cent reported ‘indefinite’ working hours.
Amidst endemic corruption, EJF reports, “vessel operators are also able to retain profit margins by resorting to deception, coercion and violence to source workers.” Much of this trafficking is barely regulated because the vessels aren’t catching top-dollar fish, but rather, hauling in boatloads of so-called “trash fish,” the offal of the maritime industry, used as a cheap protein source to feed other fish stocks for global markets.
The catchers of trash fish are treated as disposable goods themselves. EJF describes Maung Toe’s experience being violently pressed to work on an illegal vessel:
For the next five months and 24 days, Maung Toe would work without pay aboard a vessel fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.… The vessel’s captain kept constant watch for Indonesian enforcement agencies and whenever a suspected Navy vessel showed up on the radar, he would order the nets to be immediately pulled and they would flee.
“If we had been caught by the Indonesian authorities,” [he said], “we would have been sent to prison.”
Migrants have reported receiving threats such as: “I killed the guy that you are replacing, if you try to flee I will take care of you too.” Some trafficking operations target the minority Rohingya population, “who are reportedly sold to Thai and Malaysian fishing boats when their families fail to pay ransoms.”
This system has devastating environmental consequences, as well, EJF warns, including damage to fish nursery grounds, “destruction of fragile marine ecologies such as coral reefs,” and “unending, and sometimes violent, conflicts with local fishing communities.”
Though Thailand is one of several countries driving the patterns of exploitation, Alexandra Sedgwick, communications coordinator for EJF, says via e-mail, “The severity and extent of the abuse and exploitation in Thailand’s seafood industry are unique and directly related to the country’s prosperity via its focus on the production of high-value seafood products for export in the context of an impoverished fishery.”
Last year, a Guardian exposé on “slave labor” in Thai fisheries prompted vows for reform from the Thai seafood conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods and chain stores like Walmart and Tesco.
But beyond industry-led initiatives to curb the ugliest labor practices, EJF wants the Thai government to tackle both environmental destruction and labor exploitation.
To safeguard the ecology, EJF calls on the government to enforce and expand Marine Protected Areas, along with “additional rights-based management measures such as catch quotas, closed seasons and no-take zones” to limit exploitation to sustainable levels.
To guard against labor abuses, EJF also urges Thai labor authorities to expand inspections of vessels and extend authority to monitor fishing vessels outside territorial waters.
And while corporations can’t substitute for regulators, EJF says, retailers, buyers and producers of Thai seafood should “demand full traceability in the seafood supply chain down to fishing vessels supplying raw materials to fishmeal producers.” Consumers would also benefit from comprehensive, transparent labeling systems, which are sorely lacking in the United States.
(Sadly, while the unregulated seafood trade from Asia flourishes in Western markets, US fisheries have been devastated by global competition, though local sourcing might be safer and more ethical.)
In addition, a “multi-track approach” to environmental and social justice requires long-term empowerment of consumers, workers and maritime communities.
Along with the need for tighter protections for migrants, EJF points out that among local populations, indigenous fishing communities are extremely vulnerable as well. But cooperative management systems that engage traditional fishing communities in “the planning and management of coastal and marine resources can lead to more healthy and productive fisheries,” Sedgwick says, although Thailand has only begun to pilot programs for community-based co-management.
While labor and environmental regulations typically focus on land-based ecosystems and workplaces within national borders, the seas remain a lawless frontier. Transparency in the supply chain won’t fix systemic regulatory gaps, but raising consciousness of the brutal impact of industrial fishing and the market’s appetites—for cheap seafood, for commercial convenience, and for unprotected labor—is a start, and our last hope for protecting what’s left of our ravaged oceans.
Here you see what Obama and yourClinton/Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal along with Bush/Hopkins neo-conservatives did with all those billions in GREEN/FRESH FOOD funding that was yet again supposed to be aimed at underserved communities in US cities..........and these same massive aquaculture farms are being built off our East Coast from Florida to Maine and yes----off Maryland and Virginia Eastern Shore.
This is what social Democrats mean when we say the GREEN PARTY today is NOT GREEN ---it is global corporate green business in promoting all these progressive posing policies having only a goal of building global corporate food infrastructure for International Economic Zone and global food market.
So the same Clinton Wall Street pushers of progressive posing policy have a few people building fish farms in Baltimore with absolutely no organized network for doing so coming from Baltimore City Hall. This is where a few million acts as if these policies are progressive while all the rest of the billions are being moved to build global seafood farms.
These are already known to produce the worst of environmental damage to our water and coastline----THEY ALREADY KNOW THIS WILL DEVASTATE OUR BEACHES AND COASTLINE as it has overseas---but that does not matter----this is the NEW WORLD ORDER---ONE WORLD WITH US CITIES OPERATING AS INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONES OVERSEAS!
Wall Street is of course using genetics to distort our natural fish population as they do chicken and beef with all that hormone, anti-biotics, and genetic engineering ---I am a scientist who knows genetic engineering can be used for great good----but we know the damage done when all this is used for profit.
- State Probing Experimental Fish Farming Programhttp://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/science-environment/state-probing-experimental-hubbs-fish-breeding-program-thats-spawned-deformities-mixed-results/ Jan 19, 2016 ... State Probing Experimental Hubbs Fish Breeding Program That's ... The Hubbs- SeaWorld Research Institute is trying to build a massive fish farm off the San Diego coast. ... most ambitious aquaculture project of its kind in the United States. ... Hubbs' hatchery is a low-slung industrial building along the Agua ...
Massive Fish Farm Proposed Off San Diego’s Coast
Aquaculture backers say it’ll produce needed fish, but environmentalists have concerns
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
By Claire Trageser
Your browser does not support inline frames or is currently configured not to display inline frames. Content can be viewed at actual source page: https://youtu.be/FQmJJZyJ6W4By Nicholas Mcvicker
Aired 9/2/15 on KPBS News.
The largest fish farm in America will be built 4 miles off San Diego's coast. The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute is planning the project to correct what it calls this country’s seafood imbalance, but environmentalists equate it to an industrial farm.
Aired 9/3/15 on KPBS News.
Part Two. The largest fish farm in America will be built 4 miles off San Diego's coast. The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute is planning the project to correct what it calls this country’s seafood imbalance, but environmentalists equate it to an industrial farm.
Don Kent peers into a water tank about the size of a backyard swimming pool and watches as a school of 10 yellowtails swim by, each about 4 feet long.
“There are some big guys in there. There they come,” he said. “That’s a big fish right there.”
I ask if he has names for them.
“I try not to have names for things I eat,” he said.
Kent won’t be eating these fish, but he hopes we’ll all be chowing down on their offspring in a few years.
Kent is president and CEO of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, a research nonprofit partially funded by SeaWorld. Hubbs-SeaWorld is partnering with a private investment firm to create the largest fish farm in America.
The proposed Rose Canyon Fisheries aquaculture project would be built 4 miles off San Diego's coast. It could have a footprint on the ocean floor that’s slightly smaller than Balboa Park, and could produce 11 million pounds of yellowtail and sea bass each year.
Kent said this country needs the project because 91 percent of its seafood is imported, and countries like China that produce a lot of fish are now keeping more for themselves.
“The price of seafood is going up higher and higher for people like us who have to import it,” he said. “So the big advantage we have over those other supplies is from the fact that we can grow it locally.”
But some environmentalists equate it to a large industrial farm.
The proposed location of the Rose Canyon Fisheries aquaculture project off San Diego's coast.
How big is it?Rose Canyon Fisheries would consist of 48 cages, each about 11,000 cubic meters, or 4.4 olympic swimming pools.
Potential designs of the fish cages in the proposed Rose Canyon Fisheries aquaculture project.
The cages would be divided into two grids that together cover an area about the same size as the parking lot around Qualcomm stadium.
Anchor lines would run from the cages to the bottom of the ocean. Those lines extend out, so the project’s footprint on the ocean floor would cover about 1.3 square miles.
The project would span the waters from Sunset Cliffs to Pacific Beach. Its cages could have poles that extend 16 feet above the water, but Kent said we won’t see them from shore. He has computer modeling that shows the cages will be below the horizon.
To test that out, I did some trigonometry. My calculations showed if you’re lying on the ground at the ocean’s edge, you’d see the top third of a 16-foot pole. If you’re standing up, you could see more.
Environmental group San Diego Coastkeeper is concerned about the scale of the project. They took out their boat 4 miles off of Ocean Beach and held up a pole. I went to Sunset Cliffs and looked for it.
The boat was visible, but looked like a small dot on the horizon. So passersby could maybe see a grid of 42 poles, but they also might not notice them.
Environmental concernsMatt O’Malley, a lawyer with San Diego Coastkeeper, also took me out on the boat to the spot where Rose Canyon Fisheries would go. After 45 minutes of riding through very choppy waters, he cut the engine.
“You come out to a place like this, you can see how quiet, how pristine, how beautiful it is,” he said. Then he looked at the houses on shore.
“You just know that some of these people are going to be out here looking at this,” he said.
But O’Malley’s problems don’t end with beach homes’ views.
“We're talking about putting a floating factory farm right off the coast of San Diego,” he said.
Photo by Katie Schoolov
Matt O'Malley, a lawyer with San Diego Coastkeeper, takes a boat with Chris Gunst to the proposed location of Rose Canyon Fisheries, July 27, 2015.
O’Malley points out 11 million pounds of fish would create a lot of, well, fish poop, and said that waste could change the chemistry in the water below the farm and on the ocean floor, and could lead to algae blooms.
He also worries fish could escape the cages and spread diseases or breed with wild populations, hurting genetic diversity. Plus, he worries seals and sea lions would be attracted to all of those caged fish and get entangled in nets and ropes, and that the farm could change whale migrations and wild fish behavior.
Kent with the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute doesn’t dispute calling the project an industrial farm, but doesn’t see that as a negative.
“If people were to sit down to their breakfast and say, I'm not going to eat anything farmed, then it's going to be a pretty light breakfast,” he said.
He said Rose Canyon Fisheries won’t hurt the environment. The project would use thick rope lines and plastic nets that won’t entangle marine mammals, he said. He also described computer modeling that shows the farm is in deep enough water to dilute the fish poop. The cages are designed so the fish won’t escape, he said, and even if they did they won’t have diseases to spread.
As for the inbreeding concern, he said the farm’s fish would be offspring of wild fish and that the farmed fish would be harvested before they breed with each other.
“You can create a brood stock bred for faster growth, but before we go down that road, we want to make sure escapement isn’t a problem,” he said. “We want to be sure inbred fish isn’t a threat to wild population.”
New ground for federal agenciesKent said he’d scale up Rose Canyon Fisheries slowly over eight years and monitor its environmental impacts along the way.
But the project’s permits are for its full size. So if it’s approved, it could begin churning out more fish before the impacts are fully known.
While there are other fish farms in the United States, this is the first on this scale that will be built in federal waters, said Diane Windham, the 3rd Regional Aquaculture Coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That means federal agencies, not California, will have ultimate authority over it.
Rose Canyon EPA Permit
The application for an EPA permit from Rose Canyon Fisheries.
But because Rose Canyon Fisheries is the first of its kind, there is not an established system for which agency will review its permits.
“There was a fairly lengthy, I don’t want to say debate, but thoughtful discussion about who should lead this,” Windham said.
It was recently decided that the Environmental Protection Agency will review whether the project follows the National Environmental Policy Act, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) adding input. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Coastal Commission will also likely review portions of the project.
“A lot of people would assume NOAA has permitting authority because aquaculture is one of our national priorities and have a lot of expertise,” Windham said. “Everyone is learning as they go. This project definitely brought the issue to light as to why doesn’t NOAA have permitting authority and how could that be achieved.”
She said federal legislation could give her agency control over aquaculture projects. Right now the only proposed legislation regarding aquaculture is a bill from an Alaska congressman to ban fish farming entirely from federal waters.
NOAA has long been pushing for aquaculture projects in federal waters because state regulations are generally stricter, said food journalist Paul Greenberg.
The idea is to “go around state regulatory processes and speed up the process,” he said.
O’Malley with Coastkeeper called the permitting system a “regulatory black hole” and said Coastkeeper will do whatever it can to ensure the project is vetted, including suing if necessary.
“This is our backyard and this is a project that's massive, and has a lot of potential impact,” he said. “We think as a community, if we're going to be embarking on a project like this, we want to make damn sure the environment is protected in the process.”
Kent hopes the project is approved soon to correct what he calls America’s seafood imbalance: exports to the U.S. are dwindling as the global population grows and more people eat fish.
But the United States does produce some fish. It’s just that Americans don’t always want to eat it. While 91 percent of this country’s seafood is imported, about one-third of the seafood Americans catch is sold to other countries.
A school of yellowtail swim in this undated photo.
That’s because imported seafood is often cheaper, and Americans tend to prefer the taste of foreign fish to the fish native to our coasts, journalist Greenberg said. His book American Catch describes a seafood swap.
“We tend to export stronger tasting things like mackerel, black cod, a lot of squid, and then we import shrimp, tilapia, neutral tasting things we can kind of deep fry and use in the American-palate-friendly sandwich,” he said.
Aquaculture can help correct this imbalance, but “rather than trying to start up new and complicated ventures, first off let’s try to eat the fish we’ve already got,” Greenberg said.
But aquaculture solves more global problems than Americans not liking fishy fish, Kent said.
“There's 7 billion people on earth now and there's going to be 9 billion people in your lifetime, very soon,” he said. “How are we going to feed those extra 2 billion people?”
One way to do that is through aquaculture, he said.
This will be the US coastline if we allow these Wall Street global corporate pols stay in office----GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS---the right wing economics thinks nothing but global corporate power and profit.
This is the fish and seafood entering the US from overseas-----don't worry say Wall Street global corporate pols ---we are inspecting all this overseas. OH REALLY?????????? Is that why Republicans and Clinton neo-liberals are dismantling our Department of AG and FDA defunding the oversight and accountability and have these Federal agencies overseas working to promote US BIG AG AND MEAT? We know they are not inspecting this and these International Economic Zone seafood corporations are killing now the water around these nations after killing the land and fresh water these few decades.
This will be what the US coastline will look like as International Economic Zone and Trans Pacific Trade Pact policies seek to allow global corporations to operate in the US as they do overseas.
THIS IS WHAT ALL OF MARYLAND POLS HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO DO OVER THESE FEW DECADES OF BEING TIED TO CLINTON/OBAMA WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS AND BUSH/HOPKINS NEO-CONSERVATIVES. How proud these Wall Street players must be!
Baltimore City pols led in pushing all these global market policies surrounding making our US food about global marketing and Maryland Assembly passed all these laws sent down from Obama and Clinton neo-liberals in Congress. Then, they have the nerve to come back and PRETEND THEY ARE WANTING TO CREATE POLICY TO FIGHT FOOD DESERTS.
In China, Farming Fish in Toxic Waters
By DAVID BARBOZADEC. 15, 2007
A fish farmer brought oysters to buyers in Yuxi, a town in Fuqing County, Fujian. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
FUQING, China — Here in southern China, beneath the looming mountains of Fujian Province, lie dozens of enormous ponds filled with murky brown water and teeming with eels, shrimp and tilapia, much of it destined for markets in Japan and the West.
Fuqing is one of the centers of a booming industry that over two decades has transformed this country into the biggest producer and exporter of seafood in the world, and the fastest-growing supplier to the United States.
But that growth is threatened by the two most glaring environmental weaknesses in China: acute water shortages and water supplies contaminated by sewage, industrial waste and agricultural runoff that includes pesticides. The fish farms, in turn, are discharging wastewater that further pollutes the water supply.
“Our waters here are filthy,” said Ye Chao, an eel and shrimp farmer who has 20 giant ponds in western Fuqing. “There are simply too many aquaculture farms in this area. They’re all discharging water here, fouling up other farms.”
Farmers have coped with the toxic waters by mixing illegal veterinary drugs and pesticides into fish feed, which helps keep their stocks alive yet leaves poisonous and carcinogenic residues in seafood, posing health threats to consumers.
Environmental degradation, in other words, has become a food safety problem, and scientists say the long-term risks of consuming contaminated seafood could lead to higher rates of cancer and liver disease and other afflictions.
No one is more vulnerable to these health risks than the Chinese, because most of the seafood in China stays at home. But foreign importers are also worried. In recent years, the European Union and Japan have imposed temporary bans on Chinese seafood because of illegal drug residues. The United States blocked imports of several types of fish this year after inspectors detected traces of illegal drugs linked to cancer.
This week, officials from the United States and China signed an agreement in Beijing to improve oversight of Chinese fish farms as part of a larger deal on food and drug safety.
Yet regulators in both countries are struggling to keep contaminated seafood out of the market. China has shut down seafood companies accused of violating the law and blacklisted others, while United States regulators are concentrating on Chinese seafood for special inspections.
Fuqing (pronounced foo-CHING) is at the top of the list this year for refused shipments of seafood from China, with 43 rejections through November, according to records kept by the United States Food and Drug Administration. All of those rejections involved the use of illegal veterinary drugs.
By comparison, Thailand, also a major exporter of seafood to the United States, had only two refusals related to illegal veterinary drugs. China as a whole had 210 refusals for illegal drugs. No one believes these inspections are anything other than small sampling of a giant food industry.
“For 50 years,” said Wang Wu, a professor at Shanghai Fisheries University, “we’ve blindly emphasized economic growth. The only pursuit has been G.D.P., and now we can see that the water turns dirty and the seafood gets dangerous. Every year, there are food safety and environmental pollution accidents.”
Environmental problems plaguing seafood would appear to be a bad omen for the industry. But with fish stocks in the oceans steadily declining and global demand for seafood soaring, farmed seafood, or aquaculture, is the future. And no country does more of it than China, which produced about 115 billion pounds of seafood last year.
China produces about 70 percent of the farmed fish in the world, harvested at thousands of giant factory-style farms that extend along the entire eastern seaboard of the country. Farmers mass-produce seafood just offshore, but mostly on land, and in lakes, ponds, rivers and reservoirs, or in huge rectangular fish ponds dug into the earth.
“They’ll be a major supplier not just to the U.S., but to the world,” said Richard Stavis, the chairman of Stavis Seafoods, an American company that imports Chinese catfish, tilapia and frog legs.
China began emerging as a seafood power in the 1990s as rapid economic growth became the top priority in the country. But environmental experts say that headlong pursuit of higher gross domestic product has devastated Chinese water quality and endangered the country’s food supply. In Guangdong Province in southern China, fish contaminated with toxic chemicals like DDT are already creating health problems.
“There are heavy metals, mercury and flame retardants in fish samples we’ve tested,” said Ming Hung Wong, a professor of biology at Hong Kong Baptist University. “We’ve got to stop the pollutants entering the food system.”
More than half of the rivers in China are too polluted to serve as a source of drinking water. The biggest lakes in the country regularly succumb to harmful algal blooms. Seafood producers are part of the problem, environmental experts say. Enormous aquaculture farms concentrate fish waste, pesticides and veterinary drugs in their ponds and discharge the contaminated water into rivers, streams and coastal areas, often with no treatment.
“Water is the biggest problem in China,” said Peter Leedham, the business manager at Sino Analytica, an independent food safety testing firm that works with companies that buy from China. “But my feeling is China will deal with it, because it has to. It just won’t be a quick process.”
Fishing for Prosperity
Fuqing is called qiaoxiang, or home, for those who go overseas, because for decades this port city on the East China Sea is where thousands of people fled as stowaways.
In the 1980s, some emigrants began sending home money and ideas at just about the time that investors were arriving from Japan and Taiwan, promising to help the country build fish farms.
“Aquaculture was popular in Japan, so I saw the future,” said Wang Weifu, a longtime eel producer.
Thousands of peasants who had struggled to earn a living harvesting rice and potatoes began carving up huge plots, digging rectangular pits and filling them with water to create fish ponds. Other parts of the country followed, creating fish farms alongside roads, near rivers and streams and in big lakes, ponds and reservoirs.
Today, the mighty Yangtze River is lined with fish farms. Historic Lake Tai is stocked with crab pens. Near Ningde, 90 miles north of here, thousands of people live in a huge bay area, where they float on large wooden rafts, feeding and harvesting caged fish, like the yellow croaker.
The government hoped the building boom would lift millions out of poverty. And it did. There are now more than 4.5 million fish farmers in China, according to the Fishery Bureau.
Lin Bingui, 50, is one of them, a former bricklayer with an easy smile who now manages 20 enormous shrimp and eel ponds in western Fuqing, on reclaimed land with access to a narrow strait of seawater.
Fuqing is No. 1 on a list for refused seafood shipments from China. Credit The New York Times
“This doesn’t take a lot of technology,” he said while walking into an indoor pond, where he raises baby eels. “You just learn it as you go along.”
The boom did more than create jobs. It made China the only country that produced more seafood from fish farms than from the sea. It also helped feed an increasingly prosperous population, a longstanding challenge in China.
Many growers here struck it rich as well, people like Lin Sunbao, whose 25-year-old son is now studying at Cambridge University in England. “My best years were 1992, ’93, ’94,” he said. “I only had one aqua farm, and I earned over $500,000 a year.”
As early as the mid-1990s, though, serious environmental problems began to emerge after electronics and textile manufacturing plants moved into central Fuqing. Water shortages appeared in the southeastern part of the city, and some fish farmers say their water turned black.
Government records document the environmental ills in the region. The nearby Dongzhang Reservoir, a water source for agriculture and more than 700,000 people, was recently rated level 5, near the bottom of the government scale, unfit for fish farming, swimming or even contact with the human body.
The Long River, the major waterway in Fuqing, has been degraded by waste dumped by paper factories and slaughterhouses. The government this year rated large sections of the river below level 5, or so highly polluted that it is unfit for any use. And nearby coastal waters which are also heavily fish farmed are polluted with oil, lead, mercury and copper, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration in China.
As water quality in Fuqing declined, farmers who often filled their ponds with too much seafood tried to fight off disease and calm stressed fish with an array of powerful, and often illegal, antibiotics and pesticides.
Eel producers, for example, often used nitrofuran to kill bacteria. But that antibiotic has been banned for use in animal husbandry in the United States, Europe, Japan, and even China, because it has caused cancer in laboratory rats.
Importers of Chinese seafood quickly caught on. In recent years, eel shipments to Europe, Japan and the United States have been turned back or destroyed because of residues of banned veterinary drugs. Eel shipments to Japan have dropped 50 percent through August of this year, dealing a heavy blow in Fuqing.
Chinese farmers say they have stopped using the banned medicines, and have suffered a 30 percent decline in survival rates of their fish and other seafood.
“Before 2005, we did use drugs blindly. They were very effective in fighting disease,” said Wang Weifu, chairman of a local eel association, noting that drug residues might still be in the water. “But now we don’t dare because of the regulations.”
Some growers have lashed out at Japan, arguing that it keeps raising the drug residue standard simply to protect its own eel farms against competition. But growers here say buyers from Japan will eventually be forced to purchase eels from China.
“Our market will expand in Russia and Southeast Asia, and the E.U.,” Mr. Wang said. “Also, we see big prospects in the Chinese market. In five or six years, as we transfer our export destinations, Japan will be begging us.”
Retreating From the Coast
The drive about 175 miles west of Fuqing leads into the lush subtropical mountains of Fujian Province, where some of China’s richest bamboo and timber reserves can be found. There, near the city of Sanming, Fuqing eel producers have built a collection of aquaculture farms, huge cement tubs wedged into the mountainside, covered by black tarps and stocked with millions of eels.
“This costs a lot more up here, but we had to do it,” said Zheng Qiuzhen, a longtime Fuqing eel producer who now operates near Sanming. “We had to do something about the water problems.”
In much of the country, seafood growers are leaving crowded coastal areas for less developed regions, where the land is cheaper and there is cleaner water. But they say the overall cost of doing business so far from the coast is higher, given the expense of shipping the fish in oxygenated trucks to the processing plant in Fuqing and their forswearing illegal drugs, which lowers survival rates and increases the growth period of most fish to five years from three years.
“You can’t find many places as beautiful as this, covered by trees and bamboo,” said Lin Sunbao, who moved from Fuqing to Sanming. “We use water from mountain streams. And because our water is better, it’s harder to get disease.”
This is one of the solutions to the water crisis in China: to seek out virgin territory and essentially start the cycle all over again. And that worries scientists, who say aquaculture in China is not just a victim of water pollution but a culprit with a severe environmental legacy.
Industrial fish farming has destroyed mangrove forests in Thailand, Vietnam and China, heavily polluted waterways and radically altered the ecological balance of coastal areas, mostly through the discharge of wastewater. Aquaculture waste contains fish feces, rotting fish feed and residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs as well as other pollutants that were already mixed into the poor quality water supplied to farmers.
Besides algal blooms, some of the biggest lakes in China, like Lake Tai, are suffering from eutrophication nutrient bombs, brought on partly by aquaculture, that can kill fish by depleting the water’s oxygen. The government is forcing aquaculture out of these lakes, and also away from the Long River in Fuqing.
Places like Sanming may not be pristine for long. Heavy industry is moving in, lured by mineral riches and incentives from local governments, which are pushing for development.
And Sanming already has 72 giant eel farms, producing 5,000 tons of seafood a year. Those farms together use about 280 million gallons of water a day and then discharge the wastewater the following day, back into the Sanming environs.
There are efforts to operate aquaculture in a sustainable way. In Norway, for instance, salmon producers use sophisticated technology, including underwater cameras, to monitor water quality and how much fish feed is actually consumed. But nothing like this is being done in China, and specialists like Li Sifa of Shanghai Fisheries University insist that Chinese regulations are too lax and that enforcement efforts are often feeble or nonexistent.
The government has stepped up its inspections of fish farms and seafood processing plants here, alerting workers of the dangers and consequences of using illegal drugs. But the drugs have remained a problem, partly because of poor water quality.
A possible solution to the water woes is to move aquaculture well out to sea, specialists say, with new technology that allows for deepwater fish cages served by automatic feeding machines.
The United States is already considering such a plan, partly as a way to make it less dependent on imports, which now fill 80 percent of its seafood needs. China is also considering adopting what is now being called “open ocean” aquaculture.
Currently, China’s coastal fish farms face many of the same challenges as those on land. Waters there are heavily polluted by oil, lead, mercury, copper and other harsh substances. Veterinary drugs dropped in shoreline waters may easily spread to neighboring aquaculture farms and affect species outside the cages, and while coastal waters are less polluted than those on land, aquaculture farms, with their intensive production cycles, are prone to be polluters.
Still, said An Taicheng of the Chinese Academy of Sciences: “China has to go to the sea because it’s getting harder and harder to find clean water. Every year there are seafood safety problems. One day, no one will dare to eat fish from dirty water, and what will farmers do?”
THEY COME TO THE US AND KILL THEIR FRESH AND COASTAL WATERS SAY GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS!
No one loves Cylburn Park more than Cindy Walsh for Mayor of Baltimore. This is why I educate that Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced a few years ago Baltimore Development Corporation's plan to sell Cylburn Mansion because of course all this public green park was too costly for Baltimore City Hall to support. I can bet you these Wall Street pols are well on their way to finding that mega-mansion buyer for our wonderful public park. So, we do not want our local fresh food economy to be centralized in areas like these non-profit or slated to be privatized areas and then sent to each community----we want each community to have a grand public greenhouse/barn/and yes, fish farming in a GREAT PUBLIC GREEN SPACE CENTRAL TO EVERY COMMUNITY.
See the difference? Note that it is Johns Hopkins partnered with this Cylburn Park project and you will not see any move to rebuild surrounding communities slated to become global corporate campuses and global factories that will kill Baltimore's environment and threaten our fresh water and food.
The amount of funding for this critical project is limited in Baltimore and yes, some people are receiving this funding. As with all progressive policy funds go out----people lose interest and find this is very expensive to support at home----and no GRAND PUBLIC GREEN SPACE WITH PUBLIC GREENHOUSE, BARN FOR SMALL ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, AND FISH FARMING is built----this is what keeps this food policy growing, staying in each community, and promoting small businesses around it.
HOMETOWN U.S.A.: BaltimoreSomething's fishy in urban backyardsBaltimore-area aquaponic farmers raise seafood and vegetables in a quest for self-sustainability and better health.
January 28, 2012|By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun
The aquarium in the living room of Meir and Leah Lazar's home isn't just for decoration. The tilapia and bluegills packed into the 50-gallon glass tank are waiting their turn to wind up on dinner plates.
Out back, Meir Lazar is putting the finishing touches on a bigger new home for the fish inside a plastic-covered greenhouse. There, he hopes, the waste from the fish he's tending will help him raise enough lettuce, tomatoes and other produce to feed his family of five year-round.
Sustainability is more than a buzzword for Lazar, 32, a computer systems administrator and teacher who's pursuing aquaponics in his small suburban backyard off Greenspring Avenue. He said he's inspired in part by news reports about food tainted by pesticides, bacteria and even radiation from the Japanese nuclear disaster last year.
"I think it's incumbent on every person to start growing their own food so they can take back some of the control over their health, over what's in their food," he said. "Plus, you have a deeper appreciation of what you've grown and what you're about to eat."
Aquaponics has been around at least since the early 1970s, when the New Alchemy Institute in Massachusetts started promoting backyard fish farming and organic gardening inside greenhouses it dubbed "bioshelters."
It has gained new attention in recent years, not just from advocates of sustainable agriculture but from those who believe aquaponics can help fill needs in poor urban communities for healthier food and jobs.
One of the aquaponics ventures taking shape in Baltimore is at the Cylburn Aboretum. Sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, it would raise tilapia and produce for sale in the city's "food deserts," where fresh locally grown produce isn't readily available at corner markets and convenience stores.
With a budget of about $10,000 and the help of interns, friends and volunteers, microbiologist Dave Love has assembled his fish and produce farm. Four blue 250-gallon plastic tanks will be used to raise tilapia, which are hardy and fast-growing. The fish excrement and nutrient-fouled water are to be piped from the bottom of the tanks into a couple of other tanks where the ammonia in the wastewater is converted by bacterial action into a form of nitrogen that can feed plants.
The enriched water is then to be piped through two large shallow troughs in which Love plans to raise leafy greens and other vegetables. Thus cleaned up, the water is then pumped back to the fish tanks.
"It's sort of like the next step into urban agriculture," Love said.
Love said he hoped to put fish in the tanks by spring and to open the operation to researchers, visiting school groups and others. Before the year is out, if all goes well, the operation will be producing 120 pounds of tilapia for consumption every six weeks.
Lazar said if he can feed his family this way, anyone can. He started out with a hydroponics garden a few years back, he recalled, then tried his hand a couple of years ago with an indoor aquaponics operation — in their basement bedroom — after a friend turned him on to it.
Lazar decided last year to scale up, and he moved his aquaponics operation to the backyard in the spring, raising his fish at first in an in-ground pond. He said his neighbors weren't wild at first about how he was transforming his backyard, so he has worked to win them over with homemade jam.
Once cold weather hit, Lazar said, he realized he needed to enclose his entire operation. Tilapia are tropical fish and will start dying if water temperatures dip to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. His turned belly-up one frigid day, though many revived once rescued and moved indoors.
Before he can put the tilapia back, though, Lazar has to complete construction of a "rocket mass heater," a special type of wood-burning brick fireplace, to warm the water. Once everything's finished and fine-tuned, Lazar said, he hopes to harvest 100 full-size tilapia a year from his operation, and plenty of greens.
"It doesn't look like much, but it works," he said. "I want to show that anybody can do it."