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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
IUU Fishing in West Africa
IUU fishing levels in the West African region have been recently assessed as the highest in the world. Post-conflict nations such as Liberia and Sierra Leone and those with current political instabilities such as Guinea are particularly vulnerable, both as targets for IUU fishing operations and to the significant environmental, social and economic impacts of these activities.
Using Sierra Leone as a specific case study, the presentation summarises the findings of EJF investigations over the past 18 months documenting the extent and impacts of IUU fishing in the region. Key issues including both numbers and identification of IUU vessels, fishing methods and an examination of the exploitation of Flags of Convenience and DG Sanco numbers by illegal operations are discussed.
The wider impacts of IUU fishing, in particular the social and economic impacts on artisanal fishing communities, are presented (incl. livelihoods, food security, conflicts, migration). The existence and drivers of local IUU fishing is examined, along with an assessment of the limitations of government fisheries capacity, in particular in regards to monitoring, control and surveillance.
The need for national and regional approaches and support to end IUU fishing is discussed. Current and developing EJF programmes that integrate both top-down and bottom-up approaches are presented. These include collaborations with Sierra Leone government agencies and the direct engagement of artisanal fishing communities on initiatives to both address IUU fishing, and achieve wider sustainable management of fisheries.
Duncan Copeland is the Senior Campaigner at the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). Specific areas of interest and focus are IUU and wider fisheries management issues in the West African region.
See details for related event '5th International Forum on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing'
Link to document