Toute l'actu sur la protection de l'environnement

CAMEROON: Strangled by Foreign Trawlers, Deep-Sea Fishing Devastates Biodiversity

A recent gathering on May 7, 2024, in Douala delved into the harrowing impact of deep-sea fishing on Cameroon. Spearheaded by the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organization (AMMCO) in partnership with CEMLAWS Africa and Cameroon’s Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Industries, this event marked a significant stride in comprehending the hurdles encumbering the nation’s fishing sector.

Funded by the US Embassy in Ghana, the initiative seeks to foster transparency, accountability, and local empowerment to combat the destabilizing repercussions of Foreign Distant Water Fishing Vessels (DWFVs) in the Gulf of Guinea and Mauritanian waters.
Revelations during the workshop uncovered startling statistics regarding the fallout of unregulated deep-sea fishing. West Africa, on average, hemorrhages roughly 790,000 tonnes of fish annually to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, culminating in staggering economic losses exceeding 2 billion dollars yearly.
Cameroon finds itself dealt a « red card » from the European Union (EU) for its ineffectual management of deep-sea fishing, failing to meet international standards. Preceded by a warning « yellow card, » these sanctions spotlight the persistent governance dilemmas plaguing the nation’s marine resources.
A focal point of discourse was the notion of ‘flags of convenience,’ where foreign vessels secure registration in a nation sans rigorous scrutiny of their fishing track record. This loophole empowers unethical vessels to sidestep regulations, exacerbating the challenge of marine conservation.
Elevating local investment in the fisheries sector emerged as a pressing imperative. « Our aim wasn’t to sideline foreign investors but rather to embolden domestic stakeholders to engage in the fisheries sector. The untapped potential beckons, and I firmly believe Cameroon’s economy stands to reap substantial rewards from heightened participation of homegrown investors in industrial fishing, » elucidated Aristide Takoukam Kamla, President of AMMCO.
The workshop served as a pivotal platform to illuminate the toll exacted by distant water fishing and to chart a course towards bolstered governance within the sector. It underscored the significance of synergistic collaboration among governmental bodies, civil society entities, and private stakeholders to safeguard the longevity and prosperity of Cameroon’s coastal communities.
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