World’s first treaty on illegal fishing takes force

| July 4, 2016

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A treaty designed to stamp out illegal fishing came into effect last month, with 30 countries signed on. The Port State Measures Agreement aims to detect and stop illegal fishing by requiring foreign vessels to share information with ports about the fish they have on board. Under the Agreement, landings can only happen at specific ports which are equipped for effective inspections.

Most illegal fishing activities involve operating without proper authorization, catching protected species, using outlawed types of gear, and disregarding catch quotas. Ignoring catch quotas can lead to overfishing and the collapse of the fishery.

Illegal fishing costs West Africa $1.3 billion a year, according to a report from the Africa Process Panel. This affects the livelihoods and food security of people who work in the fishing industry.

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To read more about illegal fishing in West Africa, go to:

Photo credit: REUTERS/Luc Gnago