Billions of dollars have been lost worldwide, and entire ecosystems are at risk from the effects of illegal fishing.
Africa, in particular, is threatened by the trend, according to Kenya’s The Nation newspaper.
The culprits — mostly large commercial fleets from Asia and Europe — break international law, and prey on developing nations that lack the infrastructure and clout to enforce fishing regulations.
While the collective financial losses are huge — adding up to $1 billion annually in sub-Saharan Africa alone — the effects are felt at the local level.
Family and subsistence fishers, for example, find their traditional waters suddenly populated with massive trawlers they can’t compete with.
Ecological devastation also follows in the wakes of these fleets, which use vast nets and long lines that sweep up marine life indiscriminately.
Much of this catch is consider economically worthless, and is dumped, lifeless, back in the ocean, further depleting local waters.
“Africa: Illegal Fishing Costs Continent Sh62 Billion”
The Nation (Kenya), May 2, 2008