Gabonese Government suspends fishing to insist on best practices for sustainability
In December 2012, the Ministry of Fisheries in Gabon detected illegal fishing by four industrial trawlers which were operating in the waters off Port Gentil without licenses.
In response, the government has temporarily halted the issuance of all industrial fishing licenses. The Ministry of Fisheries has taken bold action to assert the importance of fisheries resources to the economy of the Gabonese Republic and remind operators that fishing is subject to certain terms.
The suspension of licenses is intended to ensure compliance with Gabonese Law 15/2005, which determines the Regulations for fishing in coastal waters and the need to apply in advance for a license. The Ministry of Fisheries has made it clear that they are working towards best practices for sustainable fishing and intend to make further legislative changes in the fisheries sector.
Consultation meetings are being held with every level of the fishing industry in Gabon to ensure the sustainable management of Gabonese fisheries resources. There is currently no end date set for the suspension of licenses.
"This is an encouraging and potentially important action by the Government of Gabon. Illegal fishing is a widespread problem in West and Central Africa. EJF is working to ensure that international measures to combat IUU fishing are developed, ratified, implemented and strictly enforced. It is vital for countries to enforce their own fisheries laws as a means of protecting the environment livelihoods and food security. Transparency in fisheries management is crucial for sustainability." Steve Trent, Executive Director of EJF
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