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Confronting the Blue Revolution

Confronting the Blue Revolution: Industrial Aquaculture and Sustainability in the Global South

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 248
  • Book Info
    Confronting the Blue Revolution
    Book Description:

    InConfronting the Blue Revolution, Md Saidul Islam uses the shrimp farming industry in Bangladesh and across the global South to show the social and environmental impact of industrialized aquaculture.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6555-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables, Figures, and Boxes
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. 1 Introduction: Globalizing Food and Industrial Aquaculture
    (pp. 3-20)

    Subsistence farmers in the global South have caught fish for centuries without causing any significant social or ecological destruction. Over recent decades, however, the massive growth of industrial aquaculture, or aquafarming – hailed as the “Blue Revolution,” the water equivalent of the Green Revolution – has integrated the region with the world’s food network, transforming the global South’s environmental and agrarian landscapes. Although the Blue Revolution initially referred to the management of water resources to steer humanity towards adequate drinking water and crop irrigation security, the term is now used for the exponential growth and productivity of industrial aquaculture – mainly commercial shrimp¹...

  7. 2 The Analytical Framework
    (pp. 21-47)

    Globalization of the agri-food system can be understood as “agriculture’s continued incorporation into the general dynamics of capitalist accumulation,” to quote Le Heron (1993, 17). Expanding on this view, and drawing on other writers (including Atkins and Bowler 2001; Bonnano et al. 1994; Clapp and Fuchs 2009; Goodman and Watts 1997b; and McMichael 1994), this trend has seen the fragmentation of agrifood production processes and the integration of producing countries into global commodity networks, the increasingly liberal international trading of food and agricultural products, dominance of that trade by corporately restructured agri-food capital (that is, food processing and retailing), the...

  8. 3 Neoliberalism and the Emergence of the Blue Revolution in the Global South
    (pp. 48-70)

    Green Revolution technologies deepened the integration of local or regional agriculture into global markets. In the 1960s these technologies were gradually extended from staples – basic grains such as wheat, maize, and rice – to luxury high-value foods such as animal protein products and fruits and vegetables, a process dubbed the Second Green Revolution (McMichael 2008). A decade later, echoing the Green Revolution (Khor 1994), aquaculture underwent a similar shift in the form of the neoliberalism-driven, so-called Blue Revolution. In particular, shrimp farms – which rely on intensive, monocultural stocking, mechanized water exchange, antibiotics, and processed feeds – were set up by many commercial...

  9. 4 The Blue Revolution and Environmental Dilemmas: Resistance and Response
    (pp. 71-94)

    What environmental and social damage has aquaculture – particularly commercial shrimp farming – caused, and what kinds of resistance has it provoked? How have governments, international buyers, and donor agencies responded to environmental movements aimed at resisting shrimp aquaculture? Is sustainable aquaculture possible? What are the current priorities at the local and international levels with regard to the troubled environmental legacy of shrimp farming? In this chapter, I discuss the environmental dilemma and politics surrounding the Blue Revolution across the global South, and then present a case study of Bangladesh.

    Since the early 1990s researchers and local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)...

  10. 5 International Environmental Regulation Regimes
    (pp. 95-108)

    The troubled social and environmental legacy of industrial aquaculture is partly responsible for generating a variety of environmental regulation and governance regimes. In response to growing public awareness of the negative effects of aquaculture development, increasing numbers of market-oriented certification schemes for aquaculture products are being developed and established. For example, the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regime, implemented by governments of the global South, is now more than a decade old, while the rise of private, third-party certifiers (TPCs) is a relatively new addition. Traditionally, government agencies have been responsible for monitoring food safety standards and other food...

  11. 6 Agrarian Transformation and Local Regulations
    (pp. 109-130)

    Since the era of colonization, a great deal of agrarian restructuring – along with a new agrarian division of labour – has taken place in the global South, albeit with substantial variances (see Friedmann 2005; Goodman and Redclift 1982; McMichael 1994; Singh 1998). After the end of the Second World War, local pre-capitalist estate agricultures began to converge slowly but surely towards very large-scale capitalist agriculture (Buttel 2001), which precipitated a shift from agri-colonialism to agri-industrialism (McMichael 1998, 2008).

    One general impact of this transition has been what Araghi (1995) calls “global depeasantization,” which is characterized by, among other factors, the dominance...

  12. 7 Gender and Employment Relations
    (pp. 131-156)

    In this chapter I explore how the twofold pressures transmitted from lead firms and environmental groups, as well as local social and ecological conditions, have created new forms of employment in the industrial aquaculture of the global South – particularly in the Bangladesh shrimp sector, which engenders both risks and opportunities for workers. Because of the high level of female participation in the workforce, a quite new phenomenon in the context of the global South, I highlight the gender issues that have arisen in the production and processing segments of the global commodity chain.

    The chapter is organized into four sections....

  13. 8 Conclusion: Industrial Aquaculture, Future Trends, and Sustainability
    (pp. 157-170)

    Since time immemorial, food has played a pivotal role not only in human health and well-being but also in economics, culture, and politics. Whereas early hunter-gatherer societies depended on food sources within their tribal territories, most contemporary peoples in relatively rich countries consume food from all over the globe. As Oosterveer (2006, 467) observes, “the physical distance between the places of production and places of consumption is growing fast while the time gap between producing and consuming a food is closing rapidly.” With the globalization of the agri-food system, developing nations are orienting their products to meet global market demands....

  14. Appendix: Certification Schemes
    (pp. 171-180)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 181-188)
  16. References
    (pp. 189-218)
  17. Index
    (pp. 219-232)