The Print Reveals How China Over Exploiting Sierra Leone’s Marine Resources, Adversely Affecting The Economy 

A Media Outlet in India called ‘The Print’ has reveled through reports, that China over exploiting Sierra Leone’s Marine Resources is adversely affecting the economy. 

In the report, it is stated that the Chinese over fishing is marginalizing Sierra Leone fishermen, a country in West Africa that has one of the richest fisheries in the continent. 

It also stated that, Presently, as reported by European Times, China accounts for 75 percent of Sierra Leone’s industrialized fishing fleet. 

The report further discloses the following: According to one of the advisers to Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Chinese fleet has been taking the profits of the fisheries for the last 30 years causing a considerable adverse impact on the fish stocks between 2009 and 2021. 

The sea-food resources are, therefore, disappearing fast, local fishermen are suffering and the families in the coastal communities are starving where many families, according to reports, could manage only one meal a day, reported European Times. 

Tombo, a coastal city in Sierra Leone, in particular, is facing a severe economic crisis. The city’s economy is heavily dependent on the fisheries and the fishermen in Tombo are increasing, as per media reports, getting into debts and are resorting to violence. 

People in Tombo are rising up in arms against Chinese fishermen who have usurped and seized their marine resources. About 40 per cent of industrial fishing licenses are owned by Chinese vessels, who pay negligible fees for their permits, under-report their catch and overfish Leone waters. 

The fact that many of these Chinese vessels are far larger and technologically more advanced than those of their African counterparts exacerbates the problem further. Importantly, they provide little or no benefit to the local economy, since their catches are sold elsewhere, European Times reported. 

Sierra Leone’s troubles have been further compounded by ‘IUU’ – vessels engaging in behaviour that is illegal, unregulated and unreported. Catches are going undeclared, not all boats are fitted with tracking technology and the country lacks the resources to enforce any regulations. 

All of this is taking away national revenue and preventing local people from developing their own industry. 

The African nations are gradually realizing the costs of over-reliance on China and many countries are now cancelling contracts with Chinese companies for their shoddy work. China is increasingly being cornered by many African countries in investment-related issues, reported European Times. (ANI) 

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