Unregulated Chinese Fishing Practices Impact Livelihoods of Cameroon’s Local Fishermen


In Cameroon, local fishermen are facing severe challenges as their livelihoods are threatened by illegal, unregulated Chinese fishing vessels. These foreign trollers, accused of not adhering to local fishing regulations, have been fishing unchecked, leading to depleted fish stocks and smaller catches for local artisanal fishermen. The situation is exacerbated by allegations of corruption and inadequate government action to address the problem. This has not only impacted the local economy but also fueled conflicts at sea, with reports of attacks against local fishermen by those protecting the foreign vessels. Despite government claims of enforcement and regulation efforts, local fishermen remain skeptical about the future of their profession and the sustainability of fish stocks in their waters.
  • Local fishermen in Cameroon are being negatively impacted by illegal and unregulated fishing by foreign vessels, primarily Chinese.
  • These practices have led to significantly reduced catches for local fishermen, threatening their livelihoods.
  • Allegations suggest that foreign vessels do not adhere to local fishing regulations and use destructive fishing methods.
  • Cameroon loses over $30 million annually due to illegal maritime fishing while importing around $160 million worth of fish each year.
  • Conflicts at sea have been reported, with local fishermen facing attacks if they confront foreign vessels protected by armed personnel.
  • The European Union has previously imposed a ban on imports of fishery products from Cameroon, citing lack of cooperation against illegal fishing.
  • Government officials claim efforts are being made to regulate and control fishing practices, aiming to move Cameroon from the “Red Zone” of illegal fishing to a more compliant status.
  • Local fishermen remain concerned for their future, doubting significant changes without more effective enforcement and regulation.

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