FISH-i Africa Is Proving That Coastal Countries Can Halt Large-Scale Illegal Fishing
The Seychelles has been fighting illegal fishing for many years. The Western Indian Ocean is home to the world’s second-largest tuna fishery, making it a hotspot for illegal fishing with an estimated one in four fish caught illegally. Illegal-fishing operators are able to profit off their illicit activities because they operate in flexible and quickly maneuverable networks that enable them to capitalize on the weaknesses in national and international systems. The Seychelles government is already actively engaged in various activities to stop illegal fishing in the waters of the region with all partners concerned. We needed an equally flexible and maneuverable system in our region. FISH-i Africa, a network of seven countries, fills the gap facilitating cooperation between seven countries, regional organizations and international experts. Together we present a formidable force against illegal-fishing operators.
Seychelles has a vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 1.3 million square kilometers and limited surveillance resources. With the future prosperity of our nation tied to the success of our “Blue Economy,” the Seychelles is determined to tackle this issue more effectively. Since 2012, in response to this challenge, Seychelles joined together with six other Southeast African coastal countries along the Western Indian Ocean — Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Tanzania — to build FISH-i-Africa. Initiated by Stop Illegal Fishing, an African-based not-for-profit organization funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Ending Illegal Fishing Project and with advice from technical, operational and legal experts, FISH-i Africa has quickly proved to be the most effective means we have to eradicate illegal fishing.
FISH-i Africa really is a pioneer initiative. It has developed a network for our seven neighboring countries to —> Read More