Declining trend in fisheries catches threatens food security in African coastal communities

Declining trend in fisheries catches threatens food security in African coastal communities

Declining trend in fisheries catches threatens food security in African coastal communities

Ghanaian fisherman. Photo from Pikist.

Fish catches in Africa have reached a peak and, in many cases, have moved into a declining trend that threatens the food security and economic development of coastal areas.

A new study by researchers at the University of Western Australia, the University of British Columbia and Ecotrust Canada analyzed fishery yields in the seven Large Marine Ecosystems or LMEs that surround the African continent and found that most fisheries in the region rely on overfished resources.

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Somali fisheries urgently need better data

Phot by Jean Pierre Larroque, One Earth Future.

Photo by Jean Pierre Larroque, One Earth Future.

In order to back government efforts to overcome the likely legacy effects of illegal fishing and piracy, stakeholders of Somali fisheries should emphasize improvements to their catch data, a new study finds. The paper, recently published in Marine Policy, also reveals that the amount of fish taken out of the country’s waters over the past six decades was 80 per cent higher than officially reported.

The paper, produced by scientists with the Sea Around Us at the University of British Columbia, the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean at the University of Western Australia, One Earth Future’s Secure Fisheries program and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, shows how the lack of proper oversight, monitoring and control in years prior to the establishment of the new Federal Government in 2012 allowed for industrial foreign vessels to exploit Somali marine resources or to operate under dubious licenses.

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