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HomeCHINA EXPLOITS AFRICAPirate China is plundering Africa’s West Coast!

Pirate China is plundering Africa’s West Coast!

‘They are stealing what should be ours’! Chinese trawlers are emptying West African fishing grounds!

As China’s global fishing net widens, artisanal fishermen off the coast of Ghana see their catches plummet and go to bed hungry:

China is engaged in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities, which pose a great threat to the countries of Africa’s West Coast.

The overfishing problem involves exceeding catch quotas, using illegal fishing gear such as fine-meshed nets, and disregarding protected species. Chinese companies, often operating under local disguises, dominate the fishing industry in countries like Ghana, sidelining local fishermen.

Recent revelations from the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) shed light on the extent of violations in the southwest Indian Ocean region. Out of 168 identified violations between 2017 and 2023, 78 were linked to Chinese state-owned or affiliated companies, representing 41% of the 142 Chinese vessels operating there.

Reports from crew members reveal disturbing practices onboard, including the mass capture of sharks and concealment tactics to evade inspections. The use of illegal fishing gear and encroachment into unauthorized waters are common occurrences. Additionally, more than half of the surveyed crew members reported instances of physical abuse, with some being held against their will.

This situation casts a negative light on China’s “New Silk Road” initiative, which initially garnered enthusiasm, particularly in Africa. However, disillusionment has arisen due to China’s significant involvement in port construction in the region, facilitating IUU fishing operations.

Researchers at the U.S. think tank Stimson Center believe that China—the world’s top sponsor of distant-water fishing vessels—could take the lead in addressing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in West Africa. This region loses $9.4 billion annually to IUU fishing, and most of the loss is caused by Chinese-controlled ships.

According to the Stimson Center’s research team, these Chinese fleets are exploiting West Africa’s rich fishing grounds. Paired with the absence of fisheries enforcement capacity, endemic official corruption, and underreporting of harvests, the DWF fleet is having a serious impact on the region. According to the report, West Africa now accounts for 40 percent of all IUU fishing worldwide, and the region’s fish stocks are getting depleted.

Local artisanal fishermen are the most affected and often cannot compete.

This post is based on the information from

“The Economist” https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2024/04/11/chinas-fishing-fleet-is-causing-havoc-off-africas-coasts

“The Telegraph” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/climate-and-people/how-chinese-trawlers-are-emptying-west-african-fishing-grou/

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