Fisheries in Africa

According to the World Bank, 24 of the 30 World’s poorest countries belong to the African continent. Yet, Africa is immensely rich in terms of natural resources, which have always attracted foreign investments for drilling, mining, timbering, fishing etc. Because of these tremendous riches, Africa has always been the theatre of the most violent of human behaviours, such as slavery and colonization. 

In line with this history, the wealthy marine ecosystems along the African coastline have long been intensely exploited by ‘distant’ fishing nations, chiefly from Europe — Africa was dubbed its ‘fish granary’1 — and Asia. 

As a result, fish populations around Africa are, by and large, overexploited, and the fishing capacity that is deployed in these waters is, literally, out of control. In the end, not only the health of marine ecosystems is at stake, but also food security, political stability, and eventually, the inhabitability of our planet. 

On this page, we dive into these issues, and provide key insight and ground-breaking analyses on fisheries in Africa. This page will regularly evolve as we make new revelations and publish new results.  


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This campaign is based on years of research supported by OAK Foundation, the Waterloo Foundation, and the Agence française de développement. 

1 Alder and Sumaila (2004) Western Africa: a fish basket of Europe past and present.

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