Information Bulletin from the Movement of Artisanal Fishermen and Fisherwomen (MPPA)

Special Edition – November 2011

Who we are…As working men and women, we produce healthy food and contribute to the food sovereignty of the country. We preserve the waters, forests, mangroves and culture of our ancestors. We measure time by the moon and the sun, and we are friends of the rain. We are fishermen and fisherwomen, and we are struggling to defend our territory! Join us in this struggle!

Who are our enemies…Big-scale capitalist enterprises which damage nature, and all those who ensure that capitalism has the conditions which make its own development possible at the cost of degrading the environment, making people ill, and threatening the way of life of fishermen and fisherwomen. This includes:

The Port of Aratu
Thermoelectric plants
The "cancer farms" which are destroying the mangroves
Mining companies
The hydro-power station of Votorantim, in Pedra do Cavalo
Large, exclusive resorts which are usurping territory (land and water)
Corruption in environmental agencies
Violation of human, economic and cultural rights
Aquaculture farms which try to privatize rivers and the sea
The Landulfo Aves refinery
Crooked politicians involved in corruption of entrepreneurs and industries.

What are we fighting for…To defend our territory, we are holding up our flag, and joining with like-minded people to carry out various activities which will make our dreams a reality. We carry out protest marches to denounce injustice; we occupy public buildings; we put pressure on authorities so that they fulfill their responsibilities. We struggle for the construction of decent housing in our communities; we foster courses and training activities to strengthen our struggle; we propose and execute productive projects which improve our people’s lives.
In the river and on the sea, Fishermen/women in the Struggle!
In the waterfalls and dams, Fishing for Freedom!
Resist turning waterways into a business!
Bring down those fences which close off the waters!

Our victories…For years, we have observed the Ministry of Fisheries’ indifference towards artisanal fishermen and fisherwomen, and how it has knuckled under to businessmen. Now they want to build marine estates to create fish in giant cages inside the territory used by artisan fishermen and fisherwomen. They are calling this perverse project "PLDM" and "aqua-culture parks". We artisanal fishermen and fisherwomen want to send a message to these criminals: Do not dare to rob the space of artisan fishers, because we are ready to defend our territory!

Contacts: Telephone + (71) 3321-4423