Seasick: As COVID Locks down West Africa, Its Waters Remain Open to Plunder

Fishmen in Elmina, Ghana. (Photo: Afrikit)

West African fish stocks are under constant pressure from foreign distant fishing fleets accessing West African waters both licitly and illicitly. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, while artisan fishers and local processers were complying with lockdown restrictions, foreign industrial fleets continued aggressive fishing. While food insecurity rose in the region, fishmeal factories, processing tons of fish into feed for industrial aquaculture and livestock in Europe and Asia, continued unabated. The situation revealed the need to institute strong regional measures to change the fisheries management system, particularly on pelagic fish stocks shared between countries.

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Security Topics:  Environment and Security   Maritime Security