Is China Still Stealing Fish From Africa?

It has been found that Chinese trawlers are illegally fishing at the coast of Guinea.

This has reportedly exhausted the west African country’s fishes and robbing local fishermen of their source of livelihood.

In December 2015, 24 African countries met and unanimously banned Chinese expatriates from trespassing into our coasts and illegally reaping Africa off her fishes.

See Also: 24 African Countries Prohibit China From Encroaching On Their Fisheries

In an 8 year period Africa has recorded over 100 cases of illegal fishing in West Africa.

Guinea’s coasts are vulnerable as the government is currently battling with funds to adequately protect their marines.

Guinea farmers are having a hard time in their businesses lately. According to an affected fisherman in Guinea,

“We used to get between $700 (£540) and $1,400 worth of fish a day. But now, because of the increase in illegal fishing, there are fewer fish. The same catch will now get around $140 because there’s no fish in the zone we normally fish in.”- Abdoulaye Soumah

The United Nations estimates that illegal fishing affects global economy by an annual deficit of over $23 billion. An Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) record shows that West African coasts suffer most in the world from the effects of illegal fishing.

It says more than 0ne-third of the fish caught illegally in the region are often not reported or regulated.

“These illegal pirate fishing operators are in effect stealing from some of the poorest people on our planet to provide short-term profit to wealthy fishing operators.” – Steve Trent, EJF head.

Steve also stresses that bad governance and corruption makes some countries targets for exploitation. On that note, Guinea has been accused of not stepping up to reform policies that will counter illegal fishing in the country.

Thus, Guinea is the only African country banned from exporting fish to Europe.

See Also: Migrant Smuggling: Bodies Of Ethiopians Found In A Truck In DRC

Aboubacar Kaba, head of the Artisanal Fisheries Union, says that the fish specie at risk is the yellow croaker. The endangered specie has reportedly disappeared from Chinese seas because of over-fishing.

This explains what the Chinese trawlers are searching for in Guinea’s coasts. The Yellow Croaker is the most expensive fish in Asia.

“In 2008 there were 14 Chinese trawlers in these waters. We’re now in 2016 and there are close to 500 trawlers all searching for this species of fish.”– Aboubacar Kaba