#geopolitical fridays: Networks in economic warfare – privatising the sea under the cover of environmentalism

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Mathilde Jounot, “Océans – La voix des Invisibles” – Images from the making of

Let me introduce you to a striking example of the power of international networks in our hyper-competitive and interdependent world. The following film by Mathilde Jounot, “Océans – La voix des Invisibles” portrays how private sector actors are using international organisations’ norm-making activity and international environmental NGOs as shields to advance their
economic goal – control over fisheries and aquaculture, via
standardisation of fisheries and “labelisation” of products.

Who are these invisibles that Ms Jounot wanted to bring back into the frame? The
fishermen, which are strangely excluded from the picture of both
conserving the resources of the ocean, and living off it.

You can listen to them, but perhaps more interestingly, watch many of the high-profile actors involved in the gamble for billions of dollars of marine resources at stake. For example Brice Lalonde, former French Environment Minister, now at WWF or Maria Damanaki, formerly at the EU Commission responsible for Fisheries, now Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy. The revolving door from politics, to supra- or international
institutions, to think tanks or NGOs, and to the private sector is in
full swing. Thus, networks are created that transcend national borders and national interests.

It will require quite some effort to counter the powerful “environmental” narrative spun to set the fisheries agenda.

Click here for a streaming of the documentary (in French). An English version is currently in preparation.

Johanna M

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