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Brazilian Big12 series, Episode 3/12: Fluminense

2020.07.23 10:22 majinmattossj2 Brazilian Big12 series, Episode 3/12: Fluminense

Previous episodes: Flamengo, Vasco
In this series I will present each of the 12 Brazilian teams that together compose the "Big 12". My point is to make them more knowledgeable to you, since each one of these teams have their share of the Brazil national team success and of Brazilian club football accomplishments as a whole. I'll try to be as smooth, efficient and non-boring as I can. If the feedback is positive, I'll keep bringing more to this series. So ok, let's do this!
Method: I'll present the teams in a chronological order, from the oldest foundation (Flamengo-1895) to the latest one (São Paulo-1930). The order will be: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Gremio, Botafogo, Atletico Mineiro, Internacional, Corinthians, Santos, Palmeiras, Cruzeiro, Sao Paulo. How many of these have you heard of?
Extra clubs: Due to a high number of requests, I'll also present 3 teams who don't belong to the Big12, but are also considered big clubs in Brazil: Bahia, Athletico Paranaense and Coritiba. Welcome to the club!
Geographical reference: Before we start, I'd like to ask something very simple from you. I want you to keep in mind that these 12 teams are spread in 4 different States in Brazil. The club's State name is written below, next to the club's name. It has a direct link to Google Maps, so that you can check it out to make this experience more accurate.

Episode 3/12: Fluminense (State: Rio de Janeiro), founded in 1902

State rivals: Flamengo, Vasco and Botafogo

Stadium: Laranjeiras (old) / Maracanã

Mascot: The Little Warrior

Major achievements: 4 Brazilian Leagues (1970, 1984, 2010, 2012), 1 Copa do Brasil (2007), 2 Rio-São Paulo Tournament (1957, 1960)

State League titles: 31 (Against Flamengo's 36, Vasco's 24, Botafogo's 21)

The beginnings
Fluminense was founded in 1902, with its name being the denomination of the native people of the state of Rio de Janeiro. In 1906 they played the first Brazilian football derby, the so-called "Grand-father's Derby", against Botafogo, and won 6-0. In 1911, after an intern cission, 9 of their starters left Fluminense to found the Flamengo Football Department - the Fluminense reserves would take their place, and beat the new Flamengo 3-2 in 1912, in what was the first Fla-Flu.
Until the late 1940s, Fluminense dominated the Rio de Janeiro State League, with 15 titles, notably a four-consecutive streak (1906-09). In the 1950s, they notably won the intercontinental 1952 Copa Rio, with highlights to a 3-0 thrashing against Uruguayan 1950 World Cup-winner base team Peñarol, to their wins (1-0 and 5-2) against Austria Wien and a very good Corinthians side (2-0 and 2-2), as well as winning the prestigious interstate Rio-Sao Paulo tournament twice, in 1957 and 1960. In this interstate tournament, only the big teams from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo were allowed, being the most important title in Brazil at that time.
In 1963, the Fla-Flu of the State League final had the public attendance world record in club football, with 194.603 spectators.
Heating the engines: 1969-1971
Led by coaches Tele Santana, Paulo Amaral and Zagallo, Fluminense won 2 State League titles in 1969 and 1971, and their 1st Brazilian League in 1970. What's interesting is that Brazil won the World Cup in that same year, and only 2 players were from Fluminense (Félix-GK and a young Marco Antonio-LB) - Santos had 5 players (3 starters), Cruzeiro 4 (3 starters) and Botafogo 4 (1 starter + coach), but only Cruzeiro reached the Brazilian League final stage, finisihing 4th. Botafogo finished 7h and Santos 10th, all of them being defeated on the way by Fluminense, in what was the finest league with the finest teams in the history of Brazilian football.
The Machine: 1975-1976
Led by Rivellino, Fluminense won back-to-back State League titles in 1975 and 1976 and the 1976 Tournoi de Paris. They also reached both 1975 and 1976 Serie A semi-finals. Actually, in their 1976 roster, only one of the starters had never been capped to the Brazil NT: they had at their disposal, besides Rivellino, names like Carlos Alberto Torres, PC Caju, Dirceu and the Argentine Doval.
PC Caju, enjoying his status of world legend, made contact with the back-to-back European Cup champions Bayern München of Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier, Gerd Müller, Scharwzenbeck, Kapellmann and Rummenigge to set a friendly match. In a full Maracanã, Fluminense pressed their adversaries, but it would be Gerd Müller who would score the only goal of the match (2mn54s video) - against his own side. Led by Rivellino, who abused of his trademark move against the Germans - The Elastico, which would have been a great assist move, if it wasn't for Gerd Müller desperate attempt to avoid the goal, resulting in him scoring against his own team. The match result (1-0) didn't reflect Fluminense dominance over the European champions, in a match that could have been 3 or 4-0. This friendly was a big deal to Bayern, that would very rarely leave the continent to play - they refused to play the Intercontinental Cup twice in 1974/1975 for example, which only strenghten Fluminense's morale at the time.
Fluminense 1-0 Bayern München
Félix Sepp Maier
Toninho Durnberger
Silveira Schwarzenbeck
Assis Beckenbauer
Marco Antônio Weiss
Zé Mário Roth
Kléber Tortensson
Cafuringa Rummenigge
Paulo Cézar Caju Zobel
Rivellino Müller
Mário Sérgio Kapellmann
Goal: Gerd Müller (own goal), Venue/Year: Maracanã (Brazil)
The 1983-1985 generation
Led by coach Parreira and the Washington-Assis duo, Fluminense won three-consecutive State League titles (1983-85) and one Brazilian League title (1984), ending in both cases Flamengo's dominance. However, curiously enough, this Fluminense generation won at the exact point when Zico had left Brazil for a short spell in Italy (1983-85).
Highlights to their notorious matches against Socrates' Corinthians in the semi-finals (2-0 and 0-0), specially in the 1st leg (5mn18s video), and with an incredible miss by Corinthians' Casagrande in the first half of the 2nd leg. In the big final, they would meet their rival Vasco, of Roberto Dinamite. They beat them 1-0 in the 1st leg with this goal from Romerito, and after a 0-0 tie in the 2nd leg -when Vasco incredibly saved a Fluminense's goal on the line-, they were crowned Brazilian champions for the 2nd time.
1995: the "belly-goal" and the State League title
In the final of the 1995 Rio de Janeiro State League, Fluminense faced Flamengo, that were celebrating their centenary and had bought 1994 Ballon d'Or winner Romario from Barcelona, who would make the duo with Savio. However, in the big final at the Maracanã with 120.418 supporters, Renato Gaucho (former Flamengo idol) opened the score for Fluminense with an iconic and eternal goal with his belly (1mn05s video). The match would end 3-2 to Fluminense, now State League champions for the first time since 1985.
Golden Years: 2007-2012
In this period, Fluminense won 2 Brazilian Leagues, 1 Brazilian Cup, 1 State League and reached 2 continental finals.
They first won the Copa do Brasil in 2007 (with this goal from Roger in the big final against Figueirense (1-1 and 1-0), which qualified them to the 2008 Copa Libertadores. In the 2007 Brasileirão they finished 4th, with Thiago Silva and Thiago Neves being elected to the league's Best XI, and Thiago Neves also winning the Golden Ball.
In the 2008 Copa Libertadores, Fluminense had the best groupe stage campaign, with 5W-1D. In the ro16 they knocked off the Colombians of Atlético Nacional (2-1 and 1-0), and in the quarter-finals the back-to-back Brazilian League champions Sao Paulo FC (0-1 and 3-1), with Washington scoring this amazing qualifying goal at the last minute from a header, at the Maracanã. Then, in the semi-finals, they tied with Boca Juniors 2-2 in La Bombonera, after being behind the score twice and with Thiago Neves saving the day with this equalizing goal at minute 76, so they could then beat them 3-1 in Rio de Janeiro, with Washington scoring this beautiful equalizer and therefore qualifying Fluminense to the 2008 Copa Libertadores final.
In the final they would meet the very competitive LDU, from Ecuador. The 1st leg, in Ecuador, ended 4-2 in LDU's favor, with - him again - Thiago Neves scoring a very important goal at '52. The 2nd leg started with LDU opening the score 1-0 at minute 6, but then Thiago Neves would score this amazing and first hat-trick ever in a Copa Libertadores final (1mn02s video) ('12, '28, '58) and take the match to extra time, and then to the penalties - where LDU beat Fluminense 3-1, after the Brazilians missed 3 penalties. This was the Libertadores final with most goals in the history of the tournament (10).
For focusing too much on the Copa Libertadores, Fluminense wasn't caring much about the national league and ended 14th, qualifying to the 2009 Copa Sudamericana (the South American Europa League counterpart).
At the 2009 Brazilian League, however, Fluminense were presenting an awful football display, being at the bottom of the league in the 27th round with a 99% probability of being relegated to serie B. In the most incredible league comeback of Brazilian football history, Fluminense didn't lose any of its following 10 matches (7W-3D), needing only a tie to escape relegation in the last round - which happened in a 1-1 against Coritiba, away from home, and this Team of Warriors would forever be remembered. Marquinho opened the score with this beautiful goal (1mn08s video) in this decisive league match, against Coritiba.
In the 2009 Copa Sudamericana final, they once again met the Ecuadorians from LDU. They lost the 1st leg 1-5 in Ecuador, needing a 4-goal difference win at home to make it to extra time. Fluminense beat LDU's 3-0. The Team of Warriors was applauded by a full Maracanã, and once again these 2 teams broke a continental final goal-record, now with 9 goals scored.
Fluminense would go on to win the 2010 Brazilian National League, led by multichampion coach Muricy Ramalho and the Argentine midfielder and league Golden Ball-winner, Conca. In 2012, they would once again be crowned Brazilian Champions, with 3 rounds in advance, and with 3 players being elected to the League's Best XI: Diego Cavalieri, Carlinhos and Fred. In 2012, they also had the topscorer of the league with 20 goals (Fred), also leaving great teams behind them in the table, notably Ronaldinho's Atletico Mineiro, that finished 2nd.
Some of the notable players from this Golden Era period were Conca, Thiago Neves, Washington, Thiago Silva, Fred, Deco, Diego Cavalieri, Dodô and coaches Renato Gaucho, Cuca, Rene Simoes, Muricy Ramalho and Abel Braga.
Fluminense have been trophyless since 2012, becoming more of a mid table team. They reached, however, one Copa do Brasil semi-final in 2015, one Copa Libertadores quarter-final in 2013 and one Copa Sudamericana semi-final in 2018.
Fluminense also ended 2nd in two State Leagues since then, in 2017 and 2020.
Their youth system is nevertheless still one of Brazil's finest, having formed and sold solid talents and great upcoming players, notably: Marcelo (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG), Fabinho (Liverpool), Gerson (Flamengo) and Pedro (Fiorentina/Flamengo).
Fluminense historic idols list is also extensive, as you can see in the table below:
Player Period Apps Goals WC participations
Castilho 1947-65 697 0 4 (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962)
Didi 1949-56 297 95 3 (1954, 1958, 1962)
Assis 1983-87 179 55 -
Washington 1983-89 305 124 -
Branco 1983-86, 1994, 1998 157 12 3 (1986, 1990, 1994)
Carlos Alberto Torres 1962-65, 1976 169 19 1 (1970)
Félix 1968-78 319 0 1 (1970)
Gérson 1972-74 57 4 2 (1966, 1970)
PC Caju 1975-76 85 16 2 (1970, 1974)
Rivellino 1975-78 159 57 3 (1970, 1974, 1978)
Renato Gaucho 1995-97 72 27 1 (1990)
Romario 2002-04 77 48 2 (1990, 1994)
Thiago Silva 2006-08 146 14 3 (2010, 2014, 2018)
Thiago Neves 2007-13 174 50 -
Washington 2008 51 33 -
Conca 2008-11, 2014 272 56 -
Deco 2010-13 92 7 2 (2006, 2010)
Fred 2009-16, 2020 288 172 2 (2006, 2014)
Diego Cavalieri 2011-17 317 0 -
To this day, Fluminense has a fanbase of 3 million supporters, and a stadium attendance average of 18.000, as of 2019.
If you have any questions about Brazilian football, feel free to join us at futebol, where you'll be very welcomed!
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2020.05.23 07:10 DabsByMike [EVENT] Project Sovereign Amazonia: Brazilian Armed Forces Builds Infrastructure to Operate Beyond the Rainforest

Federative Republic of Brazil

Ministry of Defense

[Sep/Oct 2024]
While Brazil de jure borders Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela, in practice the thick Amazon rainforest is largely impassable save for specific transit corridors on the Brazilian side.
An ambitious program of upgrades to federal highways, forward air bases used for air transit, and fully-fledged rear Brazilian Air Force bases will be started to allow Brazil to participate geopolitically on the other side of the Amazon.


BR-364 (MAP)
The portion of BR-364 west of Rio Branco will be paved and expanded, all the way to the Peruvian border. The Trans-Amazonian Railway built between Brazil and Peru passes through Rio Branco, with the highway available to finish the final stretch of this logistics route from the developed parts of the country.
The 718 km stretch of road is expected to cost $157.96 million to pave and expand with work lasting three years.
BR-307 (MAP)
Running from São Gabriel da Cachoeira to the Colombian and Venezuelan border tripoint of Cucuí, this part of the border region is able to receive supplies sent over the Rio Negro from Manaus and ship them north.
The 205 km highway will cost $61.5 million to pave and expand, taking five years due to its remoteness.

Main Airbases

Manaus is already the center of Brazilian Air Force operations in the region. It is set to receive an upgrade. Built upon the former Ponta Pelada Airport, Manaus Air Force Base will receive a second runway and upgrades to command and housing facilities, worth $172 million. Work is to last two years.
Rio Branco
Rio Branco International Airport is set to become the second main node to the Brazilian Armed Forces operations in the region. Sitting on a railway route which provides excellent logistics to the area, unparalleled even in Manaus, it too will receive a second runway and military facilities. The cost will be $213 million over two years.

Forward Operating Bases

The three forward bases will be in: Cruzeiro do Sul (Peru border), São Gabriel da Cachoeira (Colombia and Venezuela borders), and Boa Vista (Venezuela/Guyana borders).
Each will have their local airport designated as an air shuttle node, with Brazilian Air Force cargo aircraft connecting them to rear logistics areas where ground or river transit may lag behind.
Cruzeiro do Sul and São Gabriel da Cachoeira will have battalion-sized army bases constructed and staffed year round, while Boa Vista's will be brigade-sized. $350 million will be devoted to this effort, lasting three years.
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2019.09.30 01:49 Danbla Introduction to Lobster Politics

See part 2 here

The nature of lobsters

Lobsters are decapod crustaceans, 'ten-footed' marine animals, a classification which includes clawed lobsters, spiny lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and crayfish. The precise nature of lobsters, specifically whether they are fish, has been a contested issue in international law for more than one hundred years. There are 30 species of clawed lobsters, but the most important is the Homarus americanus or American lobster, which is found in the Atlantic. More than half of all lobster products are produced in Canada and the United States while the top three lobster-importing countries are Japan, China, and the U.S. There are 45 species of Panulirus spp. or spiny lobsters and Jasus spp. or rock lobsters, which are found near the coasts of Florida, Brazil, Cuba, and Australia, and are grouped together. Australia and New Zealand are the biggest producers of spiny lobster products. Homarus gammarus, the European lobster, can be found from the Norwegian Sea to the Aegean Sea. Lobsters are not stationary: they migrate an average of 30 kilometres (19 miles) a year, though some migrate more than 900 miles, making lobster management and ownership difficult and contentious. Lobsters have existed for at least 120 million years and live as long as 140 years, showing little cell degradation as they age. They are also capable of reflex amputation, regrowing lost limbs.

Why lobsters are so valuable

The global lobster market is worth €6.7 billion/$5.7 billion USD (2018). Market researchers project the lobster trade will reach €12.51 billion/$13.9 billion USD in value in 2024. The current value of lobsters is based almost solely as seafood, but that may change. There are more than 200 known applications for lobsters and lobster by-products. Chitin, a biopolymer derived from lobster shells, can be extracted easily and cheaply by grinding up the shells, which traditionally have been trashed. Adding sodium hydroxide to chitin produces chitosan, a carbohydrate with biomedical applications. The U.S. Army has used more than 400,000 field bandages from shrimp chitosan and now a company has created lobster-based chitosan bandages. MIT and Harvard University researchers are turning lobster chitin into a flexible, more maneuverable, body armor. Researchers at McGill University, the Royal College of Art, and Imperial College London have made lobster chitin into a recyclable, biodegradable alternative to single use plastic products like straws and plastic bags. Researchers at the University of Havana have developed surgical threads and stitches from lobsters. Lobster chitin can also act as a surgical implant. Lobster blood treats warts and shingles and other skin issues. Chitin is a food preservative. It treats itching from burn wounds. It is used in nutraceuticals, nutritional, medicinal products, and pharmaceuticals, medicinal drugs. Chitin acts as chickenfeed and can be made into dog biscuits and compost. It is used in food packaging, bio-stimulant wheat seed coating, sonar technology, self-healing car paint, flu decontaminants, and antiviral drugs.
Humans have eaten lobsters for thousands of years. Lobsters are typically boiled alive to prevent transmission of Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria found in lots of seafood, which spreads through lobsters within hours of their deaths. Untreated vibrio infections have a 30-50% mortality rate. Lobsters are also difficult to transport for long periods as they tend to get sick and die or resort to cannibalism in confined spaces. Lobsters are a high protein, low fat food and are arguably superior to red meat. As researchers from the University of Adelaide explain, "The amino acid profile of crustacean protein such as lobster is comparable to that of red meat protein, but it contains more nonprotein nitrogen (amino acids, small peptides, trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), trimethylamine, creatine, creatinine, and nucleotides) ranging from 10–40%. Thus, crustacean protein is more palatable than meat proteins."

Lobster conflicts

China, the U.S., and Canada

U.S. regulations

American lobstermen have been subjected to tremendous economic pressure, first from government regulation, then hurricanes, competition from Canada, and now the U.S.-China trade war. The North Atlantic right whale, a critically endangered species, tends to get tangled in the ropes lobstermen use in their lobster traps. The population has been in a decade-long decline, mostly dying after getting tangled or struck by boats. In 2009, the U.S. government forced lobstermen to switch from floating rope to sinking rope, and 1.6 million pounds of rope had to be discarded and replaced. In 2015, the government limited trap lines and lobstermen switched to stronger lines, which actually killed more whales. The federal government is now pressuring the industry to come up with more regulations to address the issue. In 2018 and again in 2019, the U.S. government imposed stringent herring quotas. Lobstermen, who relied on herring as lobster bait, switched to pig hides and other species of fish from outside local areas. American lobstermen are regulated at five levels of government: local, state, federal, international, and by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, an inter-state compact created by the federal government in 1942. Competitors outside the U.S. face less regulation and lax enforcement of existing rules.

Canadian competition

Canada has only recently moved to protect the whales and has far fewer restrictions on lobster fishing. For example, Canadian lobstermen do not have a lobster maximum size limit while American lobstermen are limited to catching lobster's with a body shell length of five inches. The bigger the lobster shell, the more meat it has and the greater the lobster's value. In September 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement went into affect, eliminating 98% of EU tariffs on Canadian goods. It allowed Canada to export lobsters to the EU, replacing American lobster exports. That same month Florida lobstermen lost 100,000 lobster traps to Hurricane Irma.

U.S.-China trade war

The U.S.-China trade war has turned Maine - and Senator Susan Collins - into a target for retaliatory tariffs. Maine lobster exports to China increased by 169% from 2017 to 2018. In July 2018, the U.S. government placed a 25% tariff on Chinese goods. China retaliated with a 25% tariff on American goods, including live lobsters. On September 1, 2019, China retaliated again, raising the tariff to 35%. U.S. lobster exports to China have declined by 80% while Canadian lobster exports doubled. The U.S. government instituted a 25% tariff on raw steel imported from Canada and Mexico from 2018-2019. The tariff only covered raw steel not finished products made from steel, inadvertently making imported lobster traps price competitive with American-welded traps. The U.S. Commerce Department is now weighing whether China and Mexico have dumped steel, which could result in another round of anti-dumping tariffs.
Some of the shift from 'American' to 'Canadian' lobster exports to China is contrived. Lobsters can grow to up to four feet long, but lobster eggs are 1/16". Lobster smuggling is a multi-million dollar enterprise in southeast Asia. Smugglers are now trafficking American lobsters and Australian rock lobsters into China.

Climate change

Climate change has been great for Maine lobstermen. The Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than 99% of the ocean, resulting in a 515% increase in Maine's lobster population over the last thirty years while other lobster populations elsewhere - like nearby Massachusetts - completely collapsed. However, warming waters also encouraged a growth in the black sea bass population, which gorge on baby lobsters.
Climate change may make the Maine lobster population fall as hard over the next thirty years as it rose over the last thirty years as lobsters permanently migrate north, avoiding the uncomfortably hot water in the Gulf of Maine. Our understanding of lobster biology is incomplete. For example, scientists did not know how to precisely determine a lobster's age until 2012, when the University of New Brunswick in Saint John found that dissecting the eyestalks of decapod crustaceans reveals rings that grow once per year. Scientists still debate whether lobsters are capable of feeling pain. We know American and spiny lobsters are magnetoreceptive and that magnetic fields play a role in determining lobster migration (like birds), but we do not know why they are magnetoreceptive or how this influences their movements. Studies have repeatedly found that electromagnetic fields generated by undersea power cables influence lobster migration.


In the 1920s, studies concluded the ideal temperature for lobster breeding is 15 °C (59 °F) or higher (Huntsman, 1923, 1924). From the 1960s to the 1980s, the scientific consensus placed ideal temperatures at a mean annual sea temperature of 8 to 11 °C (48 to 52 °F) (Dow, 1969: 1062-1063). Today, the scientific consensus is that lobsters cannot handle temperatures above 20°C (68°F). A 2017 study found that lobster larvae are negatively affected at 20-24 °C (68-75 °F), but die off at 24-36 °C (75-97 °F), and recommended further examination of the effect of temperature on lobster survival. In 1999, scientists first identified a parasite, paramoebiasis, which seemed to kill lobsters weakened by high temperatures during a mass die-off. Paramoebiasis passes between infected and healthy lobsters within weeks of cohabitation. There is no guarantee that water temperatures will continue to rise in the Gulf of Maine as we may be at or near the crest of the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation. The American Lobster Settlement Index, first established in 1989, began surveying deep water lobster populations in 2016. ALSI is exploring the theory that lobsters are moving east into deeper (colder) water.


Lobster catches and landings have always fluctuated over multi-year periods with several past scares of unexplained mass die-offs, leading to premature fears of lobster extinction. The average female lobster has 10,000 eggs and females can have up to 100,000 eggs, but the survival rate for baby lobsters in the wild is one tenth of one percent. In 2012, Norwegian aquarists doubled the survival rate by altering lobster feed in a controlled setting. Experimental aquarists lowered Caribbean spiny lobster mortality in captivity to 3-70% through repeated experimentation, altering lobster feed and sterilizing seawater. The National Lobster Hatchery in Cornwall, England has raised and released more than 100,000 healthy lobsters in captivity. This suggests that aquaculture may mitigate the historically high mortality rate in lobster larvae.

Machias Seal Island

The U.S. and Canada both claim ownership of Machias Seal Island, a dispute that revolves around a 400-year old legal question. Canada argues that a 1621 land grant made Machias Seal Island part of Nova Scotia and that the 1783 Treaty of Paris exempted Nova Scotian islands from the islands Canada agreed belonged to the United States. The U.S. argues the grant did not make the island part of Nova Scotia and thus the Treaty of Paris recognized American sovereignty over the island. Canada controls the island itself and has had a lighthouse there since 1832. In 1984, the International Court of Justice delimited boundaries for the U.S. and Canada, but did not consider the issue of Machias Seal Island. In 2002, Canada legalized lobster fishing in the Grey Zone, the waters around the island where American lobstermen had previously enjoyed exclusive access. Enhanced immigration enforcement in the Trump administration has seen U.S. Border Patrol authorities detain Canadians in the Grey Zone while American lobstermen have begun arming themselves, threatening Canadian lobstermen, and there has been mutual lobster trap sabotage. In 2009, disputes between the residents of Matinicus Island, an American island slightly west of Machias Seal Island, and the mainland U.S. also led to armed confrontations, and in 1998, Monhegan Island residents successfully lobbied for exclusive rights to lobstering near their island.

Miskito, Nicaragua, and Honduras

The Miskito are a pre-Columbian, largely Moravian Protestant people of 300,000. Their native land occupies eastern Honduras and Nicaragua. While Nicaragua and Honduras have a small share of the international lobster market, the lobster industry generates €133 million/$100 million USD (2014) in revenue. They export most of their catch to the United States, particularly the Florida-based restaurant chain Red Lobster. The Miskito overwhelmingly make up Nicaragua's lobster divers, but do not own the actual lobster boats, earning only a pittance for their lobster catch. While North American lobstermen trap their lobsters, most Miskito lobstermen dive, a practice that is illegal in most countries because of the danger to divers who decompress too quickly. While North American lobsters are shipped alive, Miskito lobstermen sell frozen lobsters, a far less valuable product. While some American lobstermen earn six figure salaries, the poverty and desperation of Miskito lobstermen have led them to dive farther out to sea at greater depths and out of season, taking younger, smaller catch, inflicting permanent ecological damage to the lobster population and physical damage to themselves.

Historical background

The Miskito nation became a British protectorate in 1638, an alliance that endured until 1860, when the British transferred sovereignty of the Miskito kingdom to Nicaragua (through the Treaty of Managua) while maintaining its self-governing autonomy. In 1894, the Nicaraguans annexed the Miskito's territory, violating the Treaty of Managua and triggering a brief British occupation. In the 1970s, the Miskito, Sumo, and Rama nations pressed Nicaragua's Somoza regime for land concessions and legally recognized self-rule, which they had had from 1860 to 1894. Somoza never gave in to their requests. In 1979, the Sandinista revolutionaries (FSLN) took control of Nicaragua and nationalized the seafood industry. Representatives of the three pre-Columbian nations presented Plan 81, defining formal borders for their lands. Instead of land reform and economic assistance, the Sandinistas burned down and bombed Miskito villages, forcibly relocating the population they had economically disenfranchized. In 1985, the U.S. cut off all trade with Nicaragua, an embargo that lasted for four years. Nicaragua bypassed the order by presenting millions of pounds of lobsters caught in Nicaragua as 'Honduran lobsters'. Japanese and Honduran lobstermen purchased lobster licenses, working in what Miskito considered their territory without their permission while the government banned lobster diving, which effectively shut out the Miskito from the industry because Miskito fishermen did not own lobster boats. In 1985, the American Indian Movement, which had been part of the international indigenous rights movement since the 1970s, threatened to invade Nicaragua. In 1988, they were finally granted autonomy (effective in 1990), and in 1990, the lobster ban was lifted.
In 2002 and 2006, the right-wing government of Enrique Bolaños provoked threats of secession from the Miskito (in Nicaragua and Honduras) when he pushed for a transnational dry canal. The canal was never built, but in 2009, the Miskito, partly motivated by declining lobster profits, declared independence and have since been in a decade-long low level war with the Nicaraguan government with accusations of violent attacks (including beheadings), land seizures, arson, kidnapping, and rape. In 2013, President Ortega, hated by the Miskito for the original lobster ban, granted a concession to a Hong Kong-based company to build a full, transnational canal through Miskito territory. The Miskito conflict is largely confined to Nicaragua as Honduras now recognizes Miskito sovereignty over a territory of 1.86 million acres (920,000 hectares), the land the Miskito had been guaranteed control over in 1860.

Lobsters and Cocaine

Cocaine traffickers have filled the void left by the Honduran government's withdrawal from Miskito lands. Honduras and Nicaragua do not have the mountains necessary to grow coca, but their location in between cocaine producing countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, and cocaine consuming countries, namely the U.S., has made the ungoverned Miskito space a natural transshipment point for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels since about 2007. Some Miskito lobstermen, unable to make a steady living fishing, have collaborated with traffickers. USAID recognized the lobster-cocaine link and since 2008 has spent almost a million dollars to beef up the lobster industry as part of its counter-narcotics strategy. Traffickers travel using planes and boats from Colombia to Bluefields, the capital of Nicaragua's Miskito territory. If traffickers think they have been spotted and risk arrest, they will dump their contraband into the ocean. The cocaine that is dumped and washes ashore is known as 'white lobster'. Finding and selling dumped cocaine has become its own profession as the average cocaine package is worth more than €91,000/$100,000 USD in a region with per capita incomes below €5,400/$6,000 USD. Some Miskito nationalists in Nicaragua have openly suggested collaborating with drug cartels and accepting that the Miskito economy is now a narco-economy.

Canada, France, and the UK

The Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 ended the War of Spanish Succession. It also recognized France's right to fish off the northern coast of Newfoundland, fishing rights that had survived the Seven Years War. In the late nineteenth century, Canadian lobstermen moved into French territory, setting up lobster processing factories and violating what the French saw as their exclusive right to fish off the coast. The French lodged official protests, worried about the impact of lobster traps on caplin, which the French used as fishing bait, and cod, which ate lobsters, the potential extinction of the local lobster population, and the seeming disinterest of the British Colonial Office in resolving the issue. The British argued that French fishing rights were concurrent with Canadian fishing rights, that the right to fish did not extend to lobsters because they are crustaceans not fish, and that France needed to negotiate with the Canadians. At the time however, many in England used the word fish to mean any animal that lives in the ocean. In 1886, a French warship destroyed a Canadian lobster factory at Port Saunders, and another lobster factory nearby in 1889. The Newfoundlanders responded with the Bait Acts, a series of laws that cut off French access to Canadian bait. The French and British maintained the dispute from 1881 until they reached a compromise, modifying French rights when they signed the Anglo-French Convention in 1904.

Japan and the U.S.

In 1964, the Continental Shelf Convention (CSC), an international treaty, recognized the exclusive right of nations to the territorial waters, sea beds, and natural resources therein that extends 200 nautical miles from a nation's continental shelf, known as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The CSC includes sedentary species in its definition of natural resources exclusively owned by adjacent coastal states. Fish are not included in this definition because they freely pass in and out of an EEZ. Lobsters (and crabs) defy easy categorization because while they are not embedded in sea soil like oysters or clams, they also do not swim through the ocean, they walk on the seafloor. Japanese fishermen had fished for crabs and lobsters in Alaska's continental shelf near the Aleutian Islands, so in 1964, the Japanese argued neither qualified as sedentary species. While the U.S. refrained from formally accepting that either are sedentary species, they compromised, allowing the Japanese to continue fishing in the continental shelf with annual quotas.

France and Brazil

In the 1960s, France and Brazil had a bloodless military confrontation known as the Lobster War over whether French fishermen had the right to fish for lobsters in Brazil's continental shelf. Mauritania gained its independence from France in 1960. French lobstermen worried they would lose access to Mauritanian fisheries, which had been in a twenty year decline, and began looking elsewhere for lobsters. In 1961, four French ships crossed the Atlantic to Brazil, catching 85,000 lobsters in one month. Brazil initially granted three ships the right to fish off their coast, but dozens of ships followed, so Brazil banned foreign lobster fishing altogether. Fishermen ignored the ban, and in 1962, a massive haul of lobster prompted the Brazilian navy to start boarding French boats. The Brazilian government argued that lobsters traverse the sea floor and therefore were part of the continental shelf, which Brazil exclusively held sway over. France argued lobsters swim like fish and are therefore not part of the continental shelf. The Brazilians suggested that if lobsters are fish because they live in water, then kangaroos are birds because they jump in the air.
On January 30, 1963, the Brazilian government boarded and seized three French fishing boats. The French navy sent warships, including a destroyer and an aircraft carrier, to Brazil, and Brazil deployed its navy. France took the issue to the International Court of Justice, but before a decision could be rendered, in 1964, the Brazilian military overthrew President Goulart in a coup d'état. His successor, Castelo Branco, signed a deal accommodating French interests in December 1964, allowing some French lobstermen to fish for five years. In 1966, Brazil took another group of French fishermen when they illegally fished off Fortaleza. In 1969, the Brazilians expanded their designated territorial seas to 12 miles out, and in 1970, they expanded it to 200 miles from their coast.

Further reading

The Lobster Gangs of Maine by James M. Acheson (1988)
Lobster: A Global History (Edible) by Elisabeth Townsend (2011)
submitted by Danbla to geopolitics [link] [comments]

2016.12.15 23:31 imgp10 SOME UPDATE FROM BRAZIL

The Brazilian govt will award the Defense Merit Order & the Order of Rio Branco to the Colombians involved in Chape's plane crash rescue.
submitted by imgp10 to Chapecoense [link] [comments]