Photos from Wikimedia Commons.

Illegal foreign fishing and lack of reporting threaten Sierra Leone’s fisheries sector

Photos from Wikimedia Commons.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons.

Illegal fishing accounts for about 30 per cent of catches by industrial foreign fleets in Sierra Leone, says a new study published in Marine Policy.

The paper states that, in the past decade, industrial foreign vessels have increased their presence and illegal activities in Sierra Leonean waters either on their own or by enticing small-scale fishers into illicit partnerships, such as acting as transshipment vessels in nearshore areas.

Reduced monitoring, control, and surveillance, related to the withdrawal of development aid, is spurring unlicensed operations, researchers say. The study estimates that more than 42,000 tonnes of fish were caught illegally in 2015 alone.

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Dirk Zeller talks about the new Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean

Starting in the summer of 2017, Dr. Dirk Zeller will be leading the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean as Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Western Australia.

While continuing with the project’s global approach towards the study of the impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystems of the world, the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean will focus on issues affecting this particular region and surrounding areas, and how those issues need to be taken into account when addressing global ocean conservation.

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Missing Catch movies

Sneak peek: The Sea Around Us’ research featured in the film “An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch”

Missing Catch movies
Researching and reporting on overfishing and underreported fish catches is not an easy task.

Nevertheless, for the past 18 years, the Sea Around Us has taken on this mission and nowadays its global reconstructed catch data has become a point of reference for scientists, conservation practitioners, fishers, and fisheries managers across the world.

But getting this information and the associated implications to the general public, and inspiring people to take action on it, is a whole different story. Fortunately, filmmaker Alison Barrat, from the Khaled Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, understood how important it is to spread the word about the true amount of fish we are taking out of our oceans and, with the support of the Smithsonian Channel, Rare and the Sea Around Us, produced and directed the documentary An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch.

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The Sea Around Us expands its global presence

Dr. Dirk Zeller, lead of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean node

Dr. Dirk Zeller, lead of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean node. Photo by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud

We are proud to announce that Dr. Dirk Zeller, Senior Scientist and the Executive Director of the Sea Around Us has been appointed as Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Western Australia (UWA), a new position created at the UWA School of Biological Sciences and the UWA Oceans Institute. Dr. Zeller’s appointment supports the establishment of the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean node at UWA.

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