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China’s Distant-Water Fishing and Its Impact in West Africa

KAMBOU SIA / AFP

In recent years, China’s distant-water fishing (DWF) has expanded rapidly, particularly off the coast of West Africa, attracting the attention of NGOs and the international community. In April 2020, the Chinese government began to implement significantly stricter Regulations on the Management of Distant Water Fisheries. The new law features strengthened monitoring measures and harsher penalties for violation. Important questions nonetheless remain as to what is driving this move, whether the new rules can effectively put a brake on China’s illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the region, and what the Chinese and African governments can do to improve the sustainability of these fisheries.

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