If governments in western Africa could end illegal fishing by foreign commercial vessels and build up national fleets and processing industries, they could generate billions of dollars in extra wealth and create around 300,000 jobs, according to anew report (pdf).

The devastating, social, economic and human consequences of overfishing in western Africa’s coastal waters have been well documented but the report, Western Africa’s Missing Fish, by the Overseas Development Institute and Spanish investigative journalists porCausa, lays bare the extent of lost opportunities across countries including Senegal, Mauritania, Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

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