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Preventing Illegal Fishing in African Waters

IUU Home        Africa        Eastern Tropical Pacific

The New Front Lines of Marine Conservation

Since 2015, Sea Shepherd has been working with national authorities and regional partners to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and fisheries crime, in African waters. Successful campaigns have already been conducted in partnership with authorities in Gabon, São Tomé & Príncipe, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin, The Gambia, Namibia and Tanzania.

What’s at Stake in African Waters

The rich biodiversity of the African coastline provides vital habitat to a wide range of marine wildlife. From Gabon’s recently established network of marine protected areas to the endangered mangroves of Tanzania, these waters are home to many species of tuna, leatherback sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and migratory species such as whale sharks, birds, humpback whales, porpoises and Bryde’s whales. Unfortunately, the waters of many African coastal and island states are plagued by illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Most people know Africa’s iconic elephants, rhinos, and gorillas need protection from poachers, but few people realize that illegal fishing activities are also wiping out Africa’s precious marine wildlife.

How We Help Combat Illegal Fishing

The key to stopping IUU fishing is monitoring, control and surveillance – especially the enforcement of existing laws and regulations protecting marine wildlife, people and the environment. However, many African coastal and island states do not currently have offshore patrol vessels that can cover the entirety of their waters. Sea Shepherd is the only organization providing civilian offshore patrol vessels (COPVs) so that authorities from partner countries can enforce fisheries and conservation laws in their sovereign waters.

Latest Updates


Sea Shepherd Welcomes Age of Union to the Fleet

A generous donation from Age of Union Alliance strengthens Sea Shepherd's efforts to protect marine…
Sea Shepherd Tracks Down and Exposes Notorious Chinese Squid Fishing Fleet off the Galapagos Islands
The Battle Against Illicit Fishing – Sea Shepherd Participates in Government Panel Discussion in Washington, DC
Gabon Minister Suspends Shrimp Fishery and Expels Purse Seiner that Tormented Two Humpback Whales

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