Rising global demand for fish has made African waters a magnet for fleets from around the world. European trawlers remain the primary foreign presence, but fleets from China, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan have also expanded in recent years.
Every year, the region loses $1.3bn worth of fish to illegal fishing. Apart from draining the region of revenue, overfishing reduces fish stocks, lowers local catches and harms the marine environment. It destroys communities, who lose opportunities to catch, process and trade fish.
The silver lining around this stormy cloud is that these issues are now where they should be, at the top of the international political agenda.