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Cameroon's choppy waters: the anatomy of fisheries crime in the maritime fisheries sector
Beseng, M. (2019). Cameroon's choppy waters: the anatomy of fisheries crime in the maritime fisheries sector. Mar. Policy 108: 103669.
In: Marine Policy. Elsevier: UK. ISSN 0308-597X; e-ISSN 1872-9460, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Illegal fishing; Fisheries crime; Transnational organized crime; Security; Cameroon

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  • Beseng, M.

    This article removes the lid on fisheries crime in Cameroon by providing empirical evidence of criminal practices along the maritime fisheries value chain. To achieve this, the study relied on both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collected from direct observation, informal group discussions and semi-structured interviews involving state officials, coastal community groups and other civil society organisations in the west maritime district of Southwest Cameroon. The article reveals a plethora of fisheries-related crimes encompassing corruption (i.e. bribery and abuse of office), document and identity fraud, illegal exploitation of fish maws and endangered marine mammals. Other crimes associated to the fisheries sector included: smuggling of contraband goods, arms smuggling, illegal migration, illegal recruitment and abuse of workers' rights. Through these examples, this research empirically demonstrates the interrelationship of the different criminal practices and their organised and transnational dimension. The study also paints a complex picture of criminality perpetuated by a sophisticated network of both local and foreign industrial fisheries stakeholders. Consequently, addressing illicit activities in the maritime fisheries sector requires cooperation from a wide range of both state and non-state actors in investigating and analysing the nature of fisheries crime practices, the agents involved and their modes of operation. This approach is necessary to gain a better understanding of the problem and enable actors design appropriate and targeted management responses.

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