Scam on the African Coast

The hidden Face of Chinese and joint-venture vessels Tonnage Fraud in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Guinea

Publication - May 7, 2015
West African waters remain one of the few fertile fishing grounds in the world. For many coastal countries, fishing contributes significantly to the national economy as an income source. It also contributes to job creation and, more importantly, to food security for local populations. But West Africa is no exception to the overfishing that affects all the world’s oceans. The most recent studies show a decline of many species of both demersal and pelagic fish stocks.

However, it remains to be seen if the future fisheries  management policies will provide the required solutions,  for several reasons: poor political and economic strategic  choices, lack of political will, lack of resources to  ensure effective control of fishing activities in their EEZ  resulting in widespread illegal fishing.

Taking advantage  of the weaknesses of fisheries management systems,  unscrupulous players undermine the future of many  people who rely on this sector for their food security and  livelihoods.  The case studies analysed in this report expose a  widespread fraud involving Chinese companies, both  vessels flying the Chinese flag and vessels operating under  joint ventures and the serious and largely unquantifiable  impacts on West African fishing communities’ livelihood  and food security, the marine environment and government  revenue.


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