Chapter 5: Mangroves Versus Shrimps
As we have seen, the clash between economy and environment is studied by ecological economics. I have also explained the birth of political ecology as the study of ecological distribution conﬂicts. This chapter will now turn to empirical research on one current ecological distribution conﬂict. I shall describe instances of resistance to shrimp farming. First, some remarks on sources of information are in order. The bibliography to the present book lists publications mostly in English and of academic origin, but there is an explosion of research and communication by activists themselves which recalls the beginning of the international socialist movement, though this time with wider geographical reach, with many more women activists, and using not only printed journals and leaﬂets but also the Internet. I have doubts concerning the preservation of source materials in NGO archives, or brieﬂy posted on the Internet. The present chapter is based on information from around the world, some of it gathered through participant observation, most of it from the archives of the environmental organization Acción Ecológica from Ecuador. Shrimp are produced in two diﬀerent ways. As for other commodities in world trade, by studying such ﬁlières or ‘product-regimes’ (as Konrad von Moltke calls them), we can identify and follow the interventions of diﬀerent actors at diﬀerent points in the chain, motivated by diﬀerents interests and values. Shrimps are ﬁshed in the sea (sometimes at the cost of destroying turtles) or they are ‘farmed’...
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