CAPE TOWN - 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)
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