.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



New Japanese Fisheries ODA project in Suriname

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has news of a new Fisheries ODA project in Suriname.

Suriname was originally colonised by the Dutch, but gained independence in 1975. It appears that Netherlands still enjoys pulling strings there however:
The Dutch relationship continues to be an important factor in the economy, with the Dutch insisting that Suriname undertake economic reforms and produce specific plans acceptable to the Dutch for projects on which aid funds could be spent. In 2000, however, the Dutch revised the structure of their aid package and signaled to the Surinamese authorities their decision to disburse aid by sectoral priorities as opposed to individual projects. Although the present government is not in favor of this approach, it has identified sectors and is now working on sectoral analyses to present to the Dutch.
It is attempting to broaden its economic base, establish better contacts with other nations and international financial institutions, and reduce its dependence on Dutch assistance.
* * *

Japan's history of assistance to Suriname appears to go back quite some way, with Fisheries ODA activity alone having occurred in 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, and most recently 2004. The projects in 1994, 1998 and 2000 all involved improvement of facilities at the Paramaribo central market.

This new project for the "Construction of Small-Scale Fisheries Center in Paramaribo" will see the provision of up to 817 million yen (6.7 million USD) in Grant Aid.

According to the MOFA news release, the fisheries industry of Suriname contributes 5% to GDP, and with around 5000 workers accounts for 3.2% of the total working age population. Paramaribo, the capital city, is the nations largest fisheries base, with approximately 16,000 tonnes landed there according to 2004 statistics, and an annual landings of shrimp and sea bream amounting for 10,000 tonnes. On the other hand, while small scale fishing boats land around 6,000 tonnes of mainly catfish and small shrimps each year, there are apparently no public facilities for landings by these vessels. Switching into my best-effort translation mode (this also from the MOFA release):
It is with this background that Suriname applied to our country for Grant Aid in support of the "Construction of Small-Scale Fisheries Center in Paramaribo" project that, through the construction of a functional landing facility (landing wharf, ice making, ice storage, gear repairs, etc) at the west bank of Paramaribo's Suriname river, aims to improve operational efficiency, production volume, and quality assurance.

It is expected that the execution of this plan will contribute to a strengthened economic platform through the reduction in the amount of time required for small scale fishing boat preparations and landings, the achievement of increased trust in product quality for both domestic and export markets, market expansion, the promotion of small scale fisheries, and the acquisition of foreign exchange.
But, despite all of that apparently some reports wondered whether this is a "bribe" for a vote at the IWC. Suriname joined the IWC in July 2004, many years after it's first receipt of ODA from Japan, but nonetheless, the story has been reported in several western news outlets. Here's the Caribbean News Net's article:
PARAMARIBO, Suriname: Japan and Suriname on Wednesday have signed an Exchange of Notes to construct a small-scale fisheries centre in Paramaribo. Japan granted US$7 million for the construction.

Responding to questions from reporters, minister Lygia Kraag-Keteldijk denied that the donation was a favour from Japan in exchange for Suriname's vote to resume commercial whaling at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in May. Japan is pro-whaling, maintaining that whaling is a one of its national traditions.

Suriname and the other CARICOM nations have constantly sided with Japan and other pro-whaling nations and voted to end the moratorium on commercial whaling at last year's IWC meeting.

“This project fits within the framework of the cooperation between the two countries. It has nothing to do with the whaling issue,” argued minister Kraag-Keteldijk. Japan, along with a number of countries, including Norway, Nicaragua and Iceland, advocates the lift of a 20-year-old ban, while other nations, including Brazil, Spain, Chile and Peru are against.

Japan’s consul Kiyoshi Takeuchi stated that “the main objective of this project is to improve the working environment for artisanal fishermen and assure and upgrade the quality of their products while ultimately aiming at maintenance and encouragement of sustainable fisheries”. Takeuchi further noted that the fishing industry in Suriname “holds great export potential”.

Jagdies Bhansing, director of Suriname's ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, stated that in 1992 Japan had already financed a similar fishing centre in Suriname. According to director of Fisheries, Jaswant Sathoe, Suriname in 2006 exported US$ 40 million of seafood products to the United States, Europe and Japans. It is expected, he said, that with the new centre the fishery exports will increase.
Good luck to the fishermen of Suriname with this new project.

* * *

The Nichigo Press, based in Australia, has an opinion piece (in Japanese) from Nikkei's Sydney correspondent on the situation in the South Pacific, where tensions between "big bullies" Australia and New Zealand and their smaller island neighbours have recently been coming to the fore. A section of the article mentions Pacific Island nation support for whaling at the IWC. Again, with my best effort translation:
... The reason these small nations support Japan at the IWC, even though doing so makes them enemies of Australia and the European heavyweights, is not to receive Japan's aid. It's because they believe that superpower-led nature protectionism threatens the survival of their nations.

The movement behind the whaling ban will eventually spread to dolphins, turtles, and tuna. "Dolphins and tuna have traditionally been important sources of nutrition", points out a foreign diplomat of one island nation. This official says that the expansion of the whaling ban to other species will "lead to impediments to securing nutrition for our people". If the existence of the main industry of fishing is threatened, "our entire economy may no long be able to continue".

The anti-whalers of Australia say that instead of whales and dolphins, people simply need eat beef. Yet how can an island nation having had it's fishing industry, a source of foreign currency, stolen away from it expect to pay for beef? Saying that they will be provided with sufficient aid amounts to telling them that they are to become subordinate states. The posture of support for Japan at the IWC by such island nations is ladled with the bitter anguish of dignified independent states...
A lack of respect for the world's island and developing nations from the self-righteous anti-whaling NGOs of the western superpowers and their willingly gullible supporters is certain to keep them blind to the true reasons for the positions taken by those nations. To my mind, the offensive and disrespectful anti-whaling NGO "votes for sale" allegations, while successful in stirring up irrational emotions amongst western donors, are likely to continue to serve more benefit to the pro-sustainable use movement over the medium to long term, rather than their own.

Labels: , ,

This comment has been removed by the author.

If you are going to post comments here at all I suggest you might want to demand a higher standard from yourself in terms of content than you have with your first two efforts. I recall an opinion that I once received in a personal correspondence:

"they find the content of your blog threatening, hence the vitriol against it."

So by all means, do not feel that you are obliged to expose your "opinion complaining" to my readers if you "can't be arsed". I'm certainly not expecting to receive your comments, but if you insist, constructive ones are preferred, and also required from you if you wish to draw a response. Trifling comments have a high probability of simply being ignored.

Ironically, yours words "simply not knowing anything about the countries and their relationship", may just have crossed my mind when I observed you in the past personally slandering some tens of nations who dare to support the principle of sustainable use. When challenged to provide evidence in support of each of your allegations of IWC bribery, in the case of many nations you had nothing to say, and in the remaining cases only insubstantial innuendo. As I recall, this level of "evidence" was apparently enough for you, anyway. I have long focused on exposing this particular piece of anti-whaling NGO propaganda for what it is here on my blog in addition to the stockpile nonsense and other issues.

Your own reaction to the information from www.surinam.net regarding Dutch "aid funds" was telling. Evidently questions over use of aid doesn't sit so well with you when the name of your own country of residence appears in lights (even if it's just at my rarely frequented blog). If you have a problem with www.surinam.net's content, surely you ought to be whinging to them about it, rather than my handful of regular readers.

Perhaps the situation with the USA might provide you with another piece of much needed perspective.
Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   January 2010   February 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   February 2011   March 2011   May 2013   June 2013  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?