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Overfishing drives Congolese fishers to take sharks by Sheree Bega August 24,2020   |  Source: IOL

Congolese artisanal fishers are turning towards shark fishing because of the increased scarcity of other stocks, overfished by industrial fisheries.

With a coastline just 169km long, an active fleet of more than 110 industrial vessels and close to 700 artisanal boats far exceeds the national Exclusive Economic Zone’s (EEZ) carrying capacity estimated at 30 industrial vessels.

“Besides overexploitation, artisanal fishers consider industrial Chinese trawlers their biggest threat, which illegally operate in artisanal fishing zones and destroy their gear as well,” said a new report, released by Traffic (wildlife trade monitoring network) this week, called: “Rapid Assessment of the Artisanal Shark Trade in the Republic of the Congo”.

The huge number of petroleum platforms is also a major constraint to artisanal fisheries reducing the artisanal fishing zone by two thirds and polluting coastal waters.

The report notes how the Republic of Congo was the fourth largest catcher of hammerheads globally between 2000 and 2017 and has a thriving artisanal fishing sector, landing at least 15 sharks and rays species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

Illegal fishing by industrial trawlers in zones

 

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Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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