12th Cry of Artisanal Fishing rings out with calls from fishermen and women for rights and justice

Photo: Joédson Alves/Agência Brasil

Between 20 and 25 November, hundreds of artisanal fishermen and women from 18 states came together in Brasilia (DF) for the 12th Cry of Artisanal Fishing.  The activity, organised by the Movement of Artisanal Fishermen and Women (Movimento dos Pescadores e Pescadoras Artesanais: MPP), received support from CESE through the funding stream “Between the countryside and the cities: Socio-environmental and Climate Justice as the defence of rights” in partnership with the Bread for the World/Brot für Die Welt agency.

The Cry of Artisanal Fishing is an annual MPP mobilization to denounce social rights violations and strengthen dialogue with society.  In 2023, the slogan of the 12th Cry was “For Socio-environmental Justice, Food Sovereignty and the Demarcation of Fishing Territories,” which, as Josana Pinto, member of the MPP’s National Coordination Team, explains, combines some of the movement’s main demands.

Demonstrators also marched along the Esplanada dos Ministérios to defend their banners of struggle. The issues denounced by the fishermen and women included difficulties accessing the General Register of Fishing Activities (Registro Geral da Atividade Pesqueira: RGP) and a call for the urgent processing of Draft Bill (Projeto de Lei: PL) 131/202, which deals with the recognition, protection and guarantee of the right to territory for traditional fishing communities, considered to constitute tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

In Josana’s opinion the 12th Cry of Artisanal Fishing was extremely positive and she noted the importance of CESE’s support to projects that defend fishermen and women. “CESE has always embraced our causes, it has been a tireless partner.  The word I have is gratitude, because the support CESE has given us has contributed so much to our struggle, has enabled us to mobilize, network and make our claims.”  And she emphasized the whole movement’s commitment: “We will continue to march, to fight for each and every citizen, for each and every artisanal fisherman and woman to have their rights guaranteed,” she concluded emphatically.