Friday, 9 May 2014

Fisheries in Africa are losing billions due to illegal practices

'Ocean-grabbing' threatens the lives of tens of thousands of fishermen, warns the 2014 Africa Progress report


Guardian Professional, Thursday 8 May 2014 11.36 BST

Africa is losing billions to illegal and shadowy practices in fishing, according to the Africa Progress Report published on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of artisanal fishermen in Africa now feel their livelihood is under threat. "Families have lived off fish for generations ... we used to be able to save a bit for our children's education or to fix our boats but it has now become harder to make ends meet," says Issa Fall, a member of the Fisherman Committee in Senegal.

While the waters of the Atlantic ocean around West Africa are one of the world's richest fishing grounds, income is declining. This is due to the rise of illegal and unregulated fishing by commercial fleets from other countries.

This problem is not unique to Africa. There are currently 12 million small-scale fishermen across the world who derive vital income from fisheries. The report published today further highlights the rise of "ocean-grabbing", the practice of pirating fish from the shores of developing countries, and the lack of global success in preserving small scale fisheries.

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