Items filtered by date: Thursday, 08 November 2018

One of the world’s fastest-growing food production industries, aquaculture, is harming the marine environment and people’s lives with intensive fish farms. Fish farming was promoted to contribute to meeting the rising demand for food. But it has brought its own problems.

It has increased the competition for marine space in some cases by displacing local fisher people, contributed to aquatic pollution, and added to the over-exploitation of wild fish stocks which are needed to make the feed used by fish farms. This in turn has worsened social and economic inequality and threatened the quality of and access to marine areas and resources through ongoing expansion in different regions.

The global demand for seafood has steadily risen in the last decades. In 1960s, annual seafood consumption per capita was about 9.9 kilograms per year. In 2016 this rose to 20.3 kg per year.

Industrial capture fisheries have expanded and fish are being caught further from shore, from deeper levels and earlier in the food chain. In addition, fish farming has taken on industrial proportions, with a range of negative knock-on consequences.

In our research, we explored how the growth of fish farming off Turkish waters transformed the way in which seafood production moved from capture to intensive farming. We also show how this led to intensive marine aquaculture becoming more dependent on capture fisheries because fish farms needed fish oil and meals. And lastly, the research highlighted the strategies companies used to further extend and intensify their dominance in marine areas.

Our data illustrated that instead of providing a solution to depleting fish stocks, the intensive marine aquaculture of carnivorous species creates another source of pressure for fisheries, where exploitation leads to further expansion and intensification.

We argue that this continuous expansion is leading to social and ecological crises related to declining stocks and capture fisheries.

We’re calling for a fundamental shift in how the aquaculture industry functions to mitigate its impact on the environment and on communities.

Fish farming expands

Farmed fish production has risen by 8.6% per year in the last three decades and now provides around half the amount of fish that people eat. The share of global aquaculture production in total seafood production, including capture fisheries, increased from 13.4% in 1990 to 46.8% in 2016.

Europe and the US are the largest importers of seafood products, consuming seafood worth billions. The main suppliers are countries in Africa and Asia.

Fish farms were once promoted as a solution for over-fishing. But shrimp and salmon farms in Asia and Latin America have already given rise to ecological, social and political problems.

In the eastern Mediterranean, in Turkey, farmed fish production volume quadrupled between 2000 and 2016. Three quarters of this is exported to the EU to meet urban, middle-class demand.

The farmed fish need to eat too – and what sea bass, sea bream and salmon eat mostly consists of smaller, wild fish.

For these supplies, fishing companies are moving to West African waters, especially Mauritania where they capture small fish to be turned into fish meal and fish oil and eventually fish feed in factories.

The social and ecological costs of this are massive.

Instead of providing a solution to the depletion of fish stocks, the intensive farming of carnivorous fish species thus creates more pressure. The main aim of seafood companies is usually not overcoming social or ecological crises, but protecting their profits. Fish farms are turning marine resources into commodities to be bought and sold.

Where to move from here

Under the current system the biggest seafood companies gain while marine species and small-scale fishers continue to be threatened. There is an urgent need to understand these dynamics and construct an alternative model that will protect the ocean, the rights of small-scale fisher people and ensure the survival of fish species.

The solution lies in the transition to a just and sustainable model of food production, distribution and consumption, which is not controlled by agrobusiness companies but by small-scale producers themselves.

This is also the goal of the social practitioners striving for food sovereignty. In contrast to food security, food sovereignty puts the emphasis on the rights of small-scale food producers and a healthy and ecologically sustainable production. It considers food as a human right rather than a tradable commodity and encourages localised food systems where food producers themselves have control on their production and consumers have the right to know by whom and how the food is produced.

Central to this is building alliances for environmental justice and fisheries justice as realised by the members of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples.The Conversation


Irmak Ertör, Postdoctoral researcher, Autonomous University of Barcelona

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Agriculture
The heavy raining season this year has caused devastating damages to the over $4.5 billion refinery of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
Dangote, who is the President, Dangote Industries Limited, made the revelation in an interview with Bloomberg TV, saying the rain this year caused devastating damage on his refinery project site.
According to him, the oil refinery, designed to process 650,000 barrels a day of crude, should start producing fuel in the first quarter of 2020 and be at full capacity within six months of that.
He said: “We will finish the mechanical [part] by the end of 2019 if hopefully, we don’t have the same rain because of the raining season this year… Climate change is real. We have had devastating damage to what we are doing at the site. But anyway, we have recovered a bit, and we are pushing.
“It is a huge refinery; it is the largest single line refinery in the world. We will start production by the end of the first quarter of 2020. We will ramp up very quickly; it is a high-tech refinery.”
It would be recalled that Dangote had said in August that he had arranged more than $4.5billion in debt financing for the refinery project.
According to him, lenders would commit about $3.15billion, with the World Bank’s private sector arm providing $150million.
He however said that he was investing more than 60 per cent from his own cash flow.
Source: The Ripples
Published in Business

The disputes between MTN Nigeria and Nigerian authorities over $10 billion in repatriated funds and back taxes could increase risk in South Africa’s financial system depending on the outcome, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has said.

MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of a South Africa-based telecommunication giant, MTN Group, is facing severe pressure from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to return $8.1 billion it repatriated from Nigeria through illegal means.

Also, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) also demanded a sum of $2 billion in tax arrears from the South African firm, bringing the total claim by the federal government to $10.1 billion.

“The immediate, or at least near-term, repatriation of the funds to the Nigerian authorities could affect MTN Group’s ability to continue meeting its debt obligations, including those in the South African banking sector, which, given the interconnected nature of the financial system, could increase systemic risk,” the South African apex bank said in its Financial Stability Review released Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria.

The claims amount to almost all of MTN’s market value of about $12 billion, SARB stated further.

A “potential worst-case scenario” would be for MTN to pull out of Nigeria, which would increase the company’s exposure level to reputational risk, the Reserve Bank said.

On August 29, the CBN directed MTN to refund $8.1 billion shareholders’ funds it allegedly repatriated from the country through illegal means, while it imposed a combined fine of N5.87 billion on four banks – Standard Chartered Plc, Citigroup Inc., Stanbic IBTC Plc and Diamond Bank Plc – that allegedly aided the process.

In early September, the teleco, which has Nigeria as its largest market, sought a court injunction restraining CBN from demanding that the amount should be refunded in order to buy itself time and fight the claim which wiped as much as 18 percent off its market value within two weeks.

”In order to protect MTN Nigeria’s assets and shareholder rights within the confines of the law, we have applied today in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for injunctive relief restraining the CBN and the AGF from taking further action in respect of their orders,” the telecom firm said in a statement.

In separate legal documents, the CBN asked the court to deny MTN’s request and said the telecommunication firm should pay 15 percent annualised interest on the sum until the court make a judgment and 10 percent from then until the whole amount is paid.

Last week Tuesday, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos adjourned hearing in the case between MTN and the AGF over the alleged $2 billion unpaid tax bill till today, Thursday, November 8, while the court adjourned till December 4 to hear the case between the telco and CBN.


Source: The Punch

Published in Business

Ghanaian entrepreneurs are making fortunes, selling sachet soup, known as “Shito’’ at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair.

A News correspondent at the fair reports that many women were seen on Wednesday besieging the Ghana stand at the fair, to buy Shito, packaged in 500 grammes and selling for N1, 000 per sachet.

Queuing to buy the soup, a banker, Mrs Tessy Imagoro, said the already made soup had saved her from having to be making soup after her daily office work on the Lagos Island.

“The soup in sachet saves time for me from going to the kitchen to make soup after my busy schedule daily. I like this innovation,’’ she said.

Her colleague, Mrs Taiye Odu, described the soup as creative, saying that she had never seen that kind of innovation before.

“I am buying the soup because I see others buying it. Since it can be kept in freezer and microwaved later, I think it can save a lot time.

A business woman, Mrs Nneka Williams, said she bought the soup out of curiosity and that she planned to start making a similar delicacy to deliver to Nigerians, who might be interested in such delicacies.

“The idea looks good. I want to look at the possibility of introducing it to a larger segment of the Nigerian consumer market,’’ she said.

The Ghanaian maker of the soup, Mr David Amoah, said that the soup was patronized mostly by corporate women, whom she said, hardly found time to go to the kitchen after their daily chores.

“The sachet soup is moving more than I anticipated. I never knew that Nigerian women would be so interested in Ghana soup.

“The soup is already cooked with ingredients and there is no need to cook it any longer. It can be eaten hot or cold,’’ Amoah said.

The soup is packaged in red sachets with description of its contents as pepper, tomato, onion, fish, crayfish and sauce.


Source: Premium Times

Published in Business
The Nigerians National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it transferred the sum of N128.40billion into the federation account in August.
The Corporation disclosed this in its monthly Financial and Operational report released in Abuja on Wednesday.
It said that between August 2017 and August 2018, the federation and joint ventures (JV) received the sum of N879.02billion and N651.4billion respectively.
The NNPC explained that the Federation Crude Oil and Gas Revenue, Federation Crude Oil and Gas lifting, were classified into Equity Export and Domestic crude.
It explained that this crude were lifted and marketed by corporation and the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.
It noted that Equity Export receipts, after adjusting for Joint Venture Cash Calls, were paid directly into the Federation Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The corporation explained that domestic crude oil of 445,000 bpd was allocated for refining to meet domestic products supply, and payments were effected to the Federation Account by NNPC.
This, it said was done after adjusting crude and product losses and pipeline repairs and management costs incurred during the period.
On the crude oil and gas export sales, the report noted that sales for the month of August stood at 470 million dollars.
According to the report, the sales indicate an upsurge of about 78million dollars in relation to July oil and gas export figures of 391.91million dollars.
It further indicated that crude oil export sales contributed 337.62million dollars which represented 71.83 per cent of the dollar transactions compared with 283.43million dollars contribution in the previous month.
“Export gas sales during the period amounted to 132.38million dollars.
“The August 2017 to August 2018 crude oil and gas transactions involved crude oil and gas export worth 5.26billion dollars,” it said.
The report explained that based on the above sales figures, a total export receipt of 450.24million dollars was recorded in August 2018 as receipt against 382.65million dollars in July 2018.
“Contribution from crude oil during the period, amounted to 336.43 million dollars, while gas and miscellaneous receipt stood at 101.33million dollars and 12.48million dollars respectively,” the report noted.
A further breakdown of the figures showed that out of the export receipts, 142.31million dollars was remitted to the Federation Account.
The sum of 307.93million dollars was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for the month of August, 2018 to guarantee current and future production.
“Total export crude oil and gas receipt for the period August 2017 to August 2018 stood at 5.23billion dollars out of which 3.74 billion dollars was transferred to JV Cash Call as first line charge and the balance of 1.49 billion dollars paid into the Federation Account,” it added.
Published in Bank & Finance
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