Research program on fisheries agreements
To compensate for declining catches off the coasts of industrialized countries, fishing fleets have been receiving subsidies to enable them to extend their fishing to more distant waters. These large industrial vessels have deployed their fishing effort in the waters of developing countries through fisheries agreements established at the beginning of the 1980s to supply Western markets.
These fisheries agreements are widely criticized for their opacity and inequity. They include little incentive for good behavior on the part of foreign fishers, and the profits for ‘partner countries’ are often ridiculously small while foreign vessels are competing with small-scale local fishers. Moreover, the fishing practices used in the framework of these agreements have a considerable impact on ecosystems. Several target species are overfished, such as longfinned and bigeye tuna in the Atlantic, and albacore tuna in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The standard modus operandi of these fleets also involves the use of Fish Aggregating Devices, which are responsible for numerous incidental catches: silky shark, whale shark, oceanic whitetip shark, dolphinfish, ocean triggerfish, sea turtles, manta rays, etc.
The objective of this project is to improve conservation of the marine environment in Africa so as to preserve endangered species, stop the North-South export of fishing overcapacity, and protect fishing communities by restricting competition with foreign industrial fisheries.
To achieve this goal, BLOOM plans to set up an extensive research program on fisheries agreements.