Illegal fishing by EU boats
WWF - Stop overfishing of fishing will be over - 17th March 2003 (posted)
In 2002, UNEP concluded that the dramatic fall in catches in African waters was due to "a failure by some fishing boats to comply with the rules, lack of enforcement and a shortage of fisheries protection boats.”
Few developing countries have the resources to enforce fishing regulations so many foreign boats have flaunted the rules. Boats come into coastal areas vital for the replenishment of fish stocks.
In Mauritania for example there are laws to protect the coastal area but trawlers that come from Senegal, the EU, Canada and Japan "blatantly flaunt these regulations as they flaunt agreed quotas," according to the World Conservation Union, IUCN.
Afrol.com reported in 2002 that illegal vessels - both local and Europeans - exploit the limited monitoring capacity of West African coastguards. In addition to illegal over-fishing these large vessels endanger the lives of local fishermen as they “turn their lights off at night, causing deadly collisions with the small local boats.”
With few catch limits and rampant illegal fishing it is not surprising that the EU fleet is contributing to overfishing, especially off the coast of West Africa.