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Sierra Leone moves to combat overfishing June 17,2019   |  Source: African Business Magazine

In April, Sierra Leone took drastic action to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing in its territorial waters in a bid to protect its valuable marine resources. The government declared a one-month ban on industrial fishing, much of which is undertaken by unregulated Chinese and South Korean fishing boats. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, illegal fishing is worth an estimated $2.3bn annually in the northwest African sub-region of which the country forms a part, accounting for up to 20% of the global loss from illegal fishing.

The ban, which also required fish to be sold in local markets only, was applauded by local fishermen, who have seen hauls dwindling and profits decline. “We are happy the government has declared a fishing ban after a series of complaints from us,” said Alpha Kamara, leader of the National Fishermen’s Consortium. “Industrial fishing boats are depleting fish stocks.”

The government insisted that a one-month ban would allow time to replenish depleted stocks. Yet there is significant debate over whether time-limited local bans are a successful way of tackling a multinational problem that stretches across maritime boundaries.

Some experts argue that a window of at least 90 days would be required to

Theme(s): Others, Coastal Ecosystems and Threats, Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods, Landing Centres, Fisheries Resources, Communities and Organisations, Fisheries Development and Aquaculture, Post Harvest Technology and Trade, Freshwater ecosystems and threats.

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