The Indian Ocean is the second-largest tuna fishery in the world after the Pacific. Two-thirds of the main species here are considered to be either over or fully exploited.
Sustainable use of this high-value renewable resource is one of the key economic growth prospects for developing coastal States in the region as well as being a crucial source of animal protein.
Illegal large-scale fishing in this region is threatening economic and food security. Overall, it is estimated that one in four fish caught off Africa's coasts is taken illegally. It is a resource crime which must be stopped. See more about illegal fishing.
The mostly foreign-flagged industrial tuna fleet operating in the Western Indian Ocean nets an average 700,000 tonnes of yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack annually- worth up to $US 2 billion based on current market prices.
FISH-i Africa is connecting technical expertise, on-the-ground awareness, political capability and jurisdiction to act, and serves as a model framework for fighting IUU fishing elsewhere in the world. The taskforce has shown it is possible for countries, even on different sides of Africa, to cooperate to bring illegal actors to book.
FISH-i Africa is zeroing in on fisheries crime - making a dent in the profits of unscrupulous fishing companies and turning illegal fishing in to a high-risk, low reward activity.