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Foreign fishing vessels forced fishermen out of job

Published by FiskerForum, 03-06-2008 · info@fiskerforum.dk

The presence of foreign fishing vessels in Cameroon waters forced its fishermen to buy their own fish and remain out of job.

It is true that Cameroon have abundant seafood resources but today the nation has to import most of the seafood it consume, while local fishermen are going out of business. According to the fishermen the reason is the presence of foreign fishing vessels in their waters. They said that these vessels are overfishing their waters and thus the fishermen sits idle by their wooden canoes in the fishing town of Limba in Western Cameroon. Mbilla Valerie, fisheries expert at the agricultural non-governmental organisation Service d'Appui aux Initiative Locales de Développement (SAILD), informed that the international fishing companies pay the federal government large sums for the right to catch and export the fish. He further adds that the Chinese have a cooperation agreement with Cameroon which allows Chinese fishing trawlers to pretty well fish how they like.It is informed that the international fishing vessels are only supposed to trawl on the high seas and leave local fishermen to fish along the coast. According to the local fishermen the foreign vessels usually comes at night to trawl by the coast and go into bays and estuaries where fish are spawning. Many fishermen are out of job and some of them have found a way of making a living by buying fish from the foreign fishing trawlers.Commenting on that the government officials said that the local fishermen are disgruntled and ignorant. Alphonse Ateba Ndoumou, spokesman for the minister of commerce, immured that strict measure are being taken to ensure that the foreign vessels do not fish outside authorised zones. He blamed the spilling of oil along the coast near Limba that forced the fishermen out of job. But the reality is somewhat different that government does not want to light up.

Source: allafrica.com

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