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Illegal fishing plunders and strains West Africa

FREETOWN/DAKAR (Reuters) On a recent mission pursuing pirate fishermen off Sierra Leone coast, the head of the Fisheries Protection Unit found himself adrift on the high seas with six crew after their rented motorboat ran out of fuel.

Sierra Leonean security forces guard the Marampa 803, discount moncler jackets a vessel apprehended for alleged illegal fishing activities, that has been moored off the West African country’s capital Freetown January 21, 2012. West Africa, recognized as one of the world’s richest fisheries grounds teeming with moncler sale outlet snapper, grouper, sardines, mackerel and shrimp, loses up to $1.5 billion worth of fish each year to vessels fishing in protected zones or without proper equipment or licenses. Widespread corruption and a continuing lack of resources for enforcement mean huge foreign trawlers often venture into areas near the coast that are reserved exclusively for artisanal fishermen, allowing them to drag off tonnes of catch and putting at cheap moncler jackets risk the livelihoods of millions moncler uk outlet of local people. Picture taken cheap moncler jackets mens January moncler sale online 21, 2012. To match Feature WESTAFRICA FISHING/ REUTERS/Simon Akam

started rationing the food and water, Victor Kargbo said. With no long range radios to seek help, they improvised a makeshift sail from a tarpaulin, but with only one day supply of food and water remaining, they feared the worst.

if we should die in the process, we knew we had served the country well, Kargbo said. helicopter spotted the stranded boat after two days, underscores the huge challenge facing impoverished West African states seeking to defend their waters from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

West Africa, recognized as one of the world moncler outlet richest fisheries grounds teeming with snapper, grouper, sardines, mackerel and shrimp, loses up to $1.5 billion worth of fish each year to vessels fishing in uk moncler outlet protected zones or without proper equipment or licenses.

Widespread corruption and a continuing lack of resources for enforcement mean huge foreign trawlers often venture into areas near the coast that are moncler outlet woodbury reserved exclusively for artisanal fishermen, allowing them to drag off tons of catch and putting at risk the livelihoods of millions of local people.

Experts say the annual moncler womens jackets plunder risks deepening instability in West Africa by driving communities that live off the sea toward crime, in the same way illegal fishing in Somalia in the 1990s encouraged locals there to cheap moncler jackets womens turn to piracy, now a criminal enterprise that costs the world billions of dollars each year. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). officials say, threatening shipping activity from a growing source of oil, metals and agricultural commodities for Western markets.

While there is no clear evidence that local fishermen there are behind recorded hijacks of ships and sea borne raids on moncler outlet online banks in coastal cities, there are fears their declining livelihoods could push them into such activity.

would be reasonable to be concerned, Doulman said.

EJF says fish native to West Africa have shown up in market stalls in London, some in boxes the logo of CNFC, a state owned Chinese company that owns many of the IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) vessels operating in Guinea.

The European Union says it is working on the problem. An EU official said uk moncler sale it seeks to curb illegal fishing as well as the sale of illegally caught fish in EU markets through a system of certification and a blacklist for violators.

China Ministry of Agriculture, which oversees the fishing industry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

OFFSHORE INSHORE CANOES In an ironic twist, Sierra Leone Kargbo and his moncler sale colleagues ended up being rescued by the same trawler suspected moncler outlet store of illegal fishing that they had seized earlier in their troubled mission, the Marampa 803.

The 61 meter (200 foot) trawler, boarded by Kargbo unit before the group raced off to intercept another suspect vessel, was one of several owned by local firm Sierra Fishing Company (SFC). Its management had been outsourced to a Canary Islands registered company, Taerim Ltd, moncler outlet sale according to private equity firm ManoCap, moncler online store which owns 40 percent of SFC.

took the decision to outsource management, and then didn spend time looking at what the vessel was doing, ManoCap founder Tom Cairnes said, adding management of best moncler jackets Marampa 803 would be changed.

A Sierra Leone patrol had spotted the ship twice in inshore waters reserved for artisanal fishermen before it was seized.

The illegal trawlers typically catch fish in off limits waters near shore and their catches by offloading far out at sea onto refrigerated moncler outlet prices vessels, sometimes European or Chinese owned, cheap moncler coats mens called

Illicit fish catches off West Africa are part of a global problem straining world stocks. moncler outlet online The United States and the European Union estimate illegal fishing yields as much as $23 billion worth of seafood worldwide annually.

But the ocean off West Africa presents a special case: it has the world highest proportion of illegal catch at about 37 percent of the region total, according to researchers, and as a result is at risk of collapse.

A crew member sits on a fishing net as Sierra Leonean security forces guard the Marampa 803, a vessel apprehended for alleged illegal fishing activities, that has been moored off the West African country’s capital Freetown January 21, 2012. REUTERS/Simon Akam

Lack of money to buy patrol boats, or even the fuel to run them, has crippled West African governments efforts to crack down on the illegal fleets.

the end of the day we, the local fishermen, suffer a lot, said Philip Gabbidon, a 32 year old from Sierra Leone John Obey beach, where brightly painted canoes are drawn up on the sand and women stack freshly caught fish in wicker baskets.

Other moncler usa forms of illegal fishing in the region include the use of a single license for multiple vessels or small mesh nets nets https://www.monclerdownjacket.biz whose holes are smaller than regulations stipulate and which end up catching even the smallest fish.

Sometimes local fishermen become part of the illegal fishing enterprises. The interlopers employ them with their canoes to access the off limits near shore zones along the vast stretch of coast without triggering suspicion.

On the cliff lined beach cheap moncler sale at Ouakam just outside Senegal capital Dakar, Mamadou Seck rests among the wooden pirogues canoes hand built from local timbers after months working for South Korean ships.

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