Developing countries are losing billions of dollars due to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, a study by Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC) has revealed. The Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC) is a global network of more than 150 allied civil society organizations, more than a dozen governments, and some of the world’s foremost experts on illegal movements of capital from one country to another, known as illicit financial flows (IFFs). The study whose findings were released this week shows that Africa is the most affected continent, losing some $11.2bn in revenue annually from IUU fishing. The most affected region in Africa is West Africa in which 40 percent of the global IUU fishing took place with a loss of up to $9.4 billion in Illicit financial flows, according to the study. West Africa has a quarter of its jobs dependent on fisheries. Fisheries and aquaculture provide livelihoods to around 820 million people worldwide, many of whom are women. Overall, global losses due to IUU fishing are estimated to be up to $50bn. The top 10 countries where illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels were detected between 2010 and 2022 include Indonesia, Sierra, Leone, Ghana, Guinea, Taiwan, Guinea Bissau, Somalia, Peru, Liberia, and Argentina. Over 1,700 illegal fishing nets confiscated in Rwanda Although East Africa is not among the top regions with illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development (RAB) says that the activities are still affecting fish production in Lake Kivu. Solange Uwituze, the Deputy Director-General of Animal Research and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agricultural and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), told The New Times that 1,743 illegal fishing nets were confiscated in this year. “Fishing efforts increase on an annual basis which affects the catch per unit per day, thus the number of illegal fishing nets affects the legally captured production. What the fishing community and shore lake community need to understand is to abide by the proposed measures to sustain the production,” she said. She disclosed that 307 poaching boats and 29 poachers were also confiscated. “The major cause of low production is the use of mosquito nets that destroy the future population of isambaza,” she said. The official added that the government is in the preparation process to develop the ‘National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Fisheries in Rwanda.’ “This is supposed to carry out the impact assessment of the use of illegal fishing equipment in lakes in Rwanda, and propose an effective Fisheries Information and Statistics Development System,” she said. Fish production in Lake Kivu decreased from 24,199 tonnes in 2017/18 to 17,296 tonnes in 2018/19 before plunging further to 16,194 tonnes in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. This was partly attributed to the use of illegal fishing gear. The 28 per cent reduction means that about 7,000 tonnes of fish were lost due to illegal fishing.