2017-09-10

A number of fishing companies are flouting international law, exploiting workers, and over-fishing, thus stripping vulnerable countries of a vital food source.

Last year, just a few kilometres from where South-Africa's Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was hosting an international conference on fisheries crime, workers mainly from the Philippines and Indonesia were trying to escape slave-like conditions at the port of Cape Town.

A team of journalists from France, Belgium, Mozambique and Spain have investigated how a number of fishing companies are flouting international law, exploiting workers, and over-fishing, thus stripping vulnerable countries of a vital food source.

European vessels are catching vast amounts of fish from the coasts of African countries that are ill-equipped to police their waters. But increasingly vigilant observers are compiling data that has begun to quantify illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and illustrates the huge gap between official catch figures and the devastating reality. From outright theft to the falsification of documentation, European and Asian industrial fishers are threatening the food security of developing countries and undermining their economies.

(© photo Clive Reid)

Kyle G. Brown

Kyle G. Brown is a Paris-based journalist who has reported for numerous media outlets, including The Guardian, BBC, France 24, Al Jazeera, CBC, the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star.

Delphine Reuter

Delphine Reuter is a Belgian freelance journalist, based in Brussels.

Ángel Varela Pena

Ángel Varela Pena is a Spain-based journalist and campaign manager.

Supported
Grant of €22,500 (€15.000 CC & €7.500 ECB), allocated in 2015.
ID
CC/2015/008 and JF/JO3G/2015/284

ONLINE

Boost for African coastal states as EU parliament acts to curb illegal fishing - The Guardian (UK), 2nd February 2017

Bid for freedom: rescuing trafficked fishermen as they dock in Cape Town - The Guardian (UK), 11th August 2016

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa - France 24 (FR), 26 May 2017

Afrique de l'Ouest : un navire pour lutter contre le pillage de la pêche - FRANCE24, 26 MAY 2017

MAGAZINE

L’Afrique dépouillée de ses poissons - Le Monde Diplomatique, May 2018

PODCAST

Industrial fishing off the African coast, Part 1 - RFI.FR, 14 JUNE 2017

Under-reporting fish catches off Africa's coast, Part 2 - RFI.FR, 15 JUNE 2017

Greenpeace tracks down illegal fishing off African coast - Part 3 - RFI.FR, 19 JUNE 2017

RADIO