Overfishing, illegal fishing, depletion of fish stocks are some of the major issue for many African coastal countries. Apart from robbing the economies of African countries off millions of dollars it also causes irreparable damage to marine life. Often the EU and international organisations like WTO appear to be helping the rich western nations out of Africa’s misery, instead taking measures to end it. Now, once again, the EU has become the stumbling block as India-Africa seek better safeguard for local marine life.
EU opposes India-Africa’s move
Indian Ocean countries want better safeguards for local marine life by updating fishing quotas and restricting harmful catch methods. However, conservation groups have said that such a move has not-so-surprisingly faced, resistance from the European Union, as per a report. Officials of Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, a group of 30 countries who regulate and manage the ocean’s Tuna are gathering in Mombasa, Kenya for a meeting on this issue.
Africa has received support from India to eliminate the use of high-tech devices to scoop vast amounts of marine life. Additionally, Kenya too wants a limit on the devices and more transparency on tuna fisheries. The western countries especially EU, with their technologically advanced machinery have been scooping out marine life from the Indian ocean, much to the detriment of several coastal African countries. That is why the EU appears set to oppose the plans.
The EU’s stand has received backlash from conservation groups.
Bloom, a Paris-based nongovernmental organization focused on ocean conservation, said the EU should reconsider its stance and join calls by other countries in the region to protect marine life. Further, it urged the EU to abandon its “past colonial stance” on allocation of quotas and that it “can’t let history repeat itself”.
Read more: US/China- controlled WTO is legalizing illegal fishing all across the African coastline
Previously we have told our readers how the US dominated WTO was legalizing illegal fishing all across the African coastline by securing agreement on fisheries subsidies. After that recently, the European Commission banned imports of seafood caught in Cameroon’s waters, or caught by ships flagged there which was again a move that could end up benefitting the Western rich nations while putting Cameroon at a considerable disadvantage.
Read more: Boycotting Cameroon is ‘fishy’, there is much more than what meets the eye
This shows, that the EU’s exploitation of African resources has been carried out even at the cost of destroying the economy, livelihoods and its very resources, as long as the rich nations can benefit from it. Now, the EU is under considerable pressure to restrict its huge fleet of fishing vessels from using “fish aggregating devices” that scoops huge numbers of fish and contribute further to overfishing.
As per a report, more than 100 environmental groups have warned EU officials that the devices (FADs) are one of the main contributors to overfishing of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean, because they catch high numbers of juveniles. The Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna is currently listed as “overfished,” according to the Global Tuna Alliance. Therefore, stopping its further depletion is of great importance. However, despite all this the EU being hell bent on opposing such plans that could provide some relief to Africa, that has perennially faced the issue of overfishing and has already incurred heavy environmental and economic losses, is shocking to say the least. Now it is to be seen if the EU will save it face and finally bow to the pressure mounted by India, Africa and the environmental groups.
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