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A Threat to Cameroon’s Blue Economy Development

In Cameroon there is growing awareness that there’s a direct relationship between illegal and unregulated activity in the fisheries sector, and maritime security in the waters off the country’s coast. Like most countries along Africa’s Atlantic coast, addressing illegal fishing and fisheries crimes is challenging for Cameroon. Earlier this year the European Commission called out the country for failing to control vessels engaged in illegal fishing under the country’s flag. It also pointed to weak governance, including poor knowledge of the scale of illegal fishing. In a recent paper, researchers looked at how Cameroon’s fisheries sector allows for unscrupulous actors to use fishing activities and fishing assets to engage in criminal activities. Researchers also sought to assess the implications for Cameroon’s maritime security. I analysed existing research and media reports, talked to military officers and other state agents, representatives of fishing community organisations and civil society actors.