West Africa economies losing out to illegal fishing – report

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DAKAR: “Catastrophic” levels of illegal fishing in west Africa are costing the region millions in lost revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs, a development think tank said on Wednesday. Countries such as Senegal, Sierra Leone and Mauritania are missing out on vital income because of the masses of fish taken from their waters by trawlers from as far afield as South Korea, according to research by Britain’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Senegal lost $300 million, or 2 percent of its GDP, to the practice in 2012, while Sierra Leone—one of the region’s poorest nations—missed out on $29 million, said the report, titled “Western Africa’s Missing Fish.” A lack of government transparency in the region, limited capacity to patrol the seas and legal loopholes once west Africa’s fish arrive in Europe, its biggest market, were all contributing to the situation, report author Alfonso Daniels told Agence France-Presse.

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