According to INTERPOL, IUU fishing is responsible for an estimated financial loss of US$1.3 billion per year in West Africa. Fishing brings with it many advantages: it fuels economic growth, provides livelihoods to a large part of the population and is, for most people, the main source of dietary protein as it is easily accessible. Fisheries value chains (fishing and aquaculture) are undoubtedly one of the key components of the future development of West African countries. However, this industry has been threatened by the overuse of fishery resources for years, which has impacted not only fish stocks but also the blue economy.
Likewise, as evidenced further on, the development of these value chains relies on inter and intraregional African trade which, far from being a way of turning inward, helps increase the value added derived from the sector by small-scale fishing communities that play an active role in production and processing, while contributing to food security.
Author: Papa Gora Ndiaye, Executive Director of REPAO (Network for fishing policies in West Africa).
 The blue economy is wide-ranging and covers more industries than just fishing and aquaculture. It also includes tourism, transport, naval construction, energy, bioprospecting and all aspects of the underwater mining industry.
 The FAO’s Agreement, which came into effect in June 2016, helps fight IUU fishing by allowing port authorities to prohibit the entry and trade of fishery products of dubious origin that cannot be traced.
 This corresponds to over 7 million euros worth of subsidies intended for purchasing engines for small-scale fishing.
 Fishing more to earn more in order to compensate for the potential loss of competitiveness in markets, against the background of free access to resources and/or absence of restrictive controls on landings (authorised sizes and weights) and the fishing gear used.