Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221486
Title: REINVENTING ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED, AND UNREGULATED FISHING POLICIES IN GABON: AFRICA'S LAST EDEN
Authors: LOKE YOKE KUEN KATHLEEN
Keywords: 2020-2021
Dean's Office (Environmental Management)
Master's
MASTER OF SCIENCE (ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT)
MEM
Le Berre Lemaire-Lyons Youna
Issue Date: 18-Aug-2021
Citation: LOKE YOKE KUEN KATHLEEN (2021-08-18). REINVENTING ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED, AND UNREGULATED FISHING POLICIES IN GABON: AFRICA'S LAST EDEN. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a dynamic and ever-evolving concern that has contributed immensely to the depletion of fish stocks. Because IUU fishing activities can occur at the high seas or within the national territorial waters, it may not be possible to measure the volume of the stolen fish accurately. A new study estimated that eight to 14 million metric tonnes of unreported catches have been illegally traded annually. The value of these catches is estimated to be between US$9 to US$17 billion, resulting in an annual economic loss of up to US$26 to US$50 billion1. Perversely, this cost is disproportionately borne by the most vulnerable, albeit resource-rich communities in the world, limited by their capacity to abate the problem. This thesis examines the partnership between Gabon and Sea Shepherd Global and evaluates the results of their five-year collaboration: if the number of fishing vessels acting illegally has decreased following the at-sea patrols and monitoring, control and surveillance operations organised between 2016 and 2020. The findings of this research are based on the data collected during the boarding and inspection exercises over the five years. Current regional and international fishery agreements and frameworks established with the purpose of eliminating IUU fishing were also reviewed to appraise their adequacy, practicality and significance to Gabon. Based on the analysis, Gabon’s existing fishery management is found wanting. The lack of a tuna processing facility or infrastructure not only hinders their ability to obtain accurate catch data to facilitate sustainable management and assessment of future fish stocks, but it has also created economic losses in terms of post-harvest revenue. Other improvements include implementing technology, such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), and sharing of VMS data to make fishing activities in their territorial waters transparent. Strengthening regional and international regulations are other methods to deter IUU fishing activities. Despite the agreements that have been established previously to prevent and tackle IUU fishing, it was determined that these regulations have not been as adequate in reality. Finally, this thesis offers recommendations for Gabon to address the challenges and gaps in their existing fisheries administration in order to achieve their desired sustainable fisheries management and conservation goals.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221486
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