The Gulf of Guinea Commission has said that West African nations lose $2bn to theft of maritime resources and illegal fishing on a yearly basis.
According to the commission, the poorly developed state of the coastal region was a major challenge in the continent’s efforts to maximize the gains of the blue economy.
This came from the Executive Secretary of the commission Florentina Ukonga on Monday in Lagos at the GoG conference on the maritime sector.
“While other countries and regions are reaping the benefits and returns from the blue economy, West Africa, for example, is estimated to be losing about $2bn annually from illegal fishing,” Ukonga said.
“Its coastal sector remains largely underdeveloped and poorly governed, which has enabled other forces from outside the continent to benefit more from it than its citizens.
“Approximately, 57 per cent of fish stocks are fully exploited and another 30 per cent is over-exploited, depleted or recovering.”
According to her, “No individual state can effectively and prudently manage its maritime domain. We must collectively, continue to manage the human activities that are negatively affecting our seas and oceans.”