How to Stop Illegal Fishing in Africa:Options for Actions to Ensure Change at National Level


The low chance of detection of illegal activity has fuelled a thriving market in illegal fishery products; at least one out of every four fish caught in Africa is caught illegally.

Only through its eradication can countries enjoy the full benefits available from their fishery resource.

Despite these challenges, African countries have demonstrated that they can stop illegal fishing and take control of their inland, coastal, and off-shore waters. Some examples of these successes are (i) Community surveillance; (ii) Increasing deterrence though successful prosecutions; (iii) Strengthening national level inter-agency cooperation; (iv) Trade, market and consumer initiatives assist to tighten controls; and (v) Strengthening court systems.

In addition to building on these successes, there is a need to building capacity across the continent to implement the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement.

Where possible at sea observers should be capacitated to strengthen cross-checking of fishing vessels.

African countries should strengthen their fisheries governance frameworks, in order to deter and stop illegal fishing, and these may include ratification or accession to international and regional fishery agreements; and resolutions as well as implementation of these into domestic legislation to facilitate national actions against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing operators.