The Cameroon Mangrove Conservation Network (RCM) has come out strongly against Illegal and unregulated fishing, and destruction of the mangroves ecosystem during its seventh round table meeting held in Kribi, in the South of Cameroon in December 2022.
The network that regroups several organizations working on mangroves and wetlands conservation, is urging repression in the strategy to fight against recurrent abuse in the exploitation of mangroves. It wants to also integrate denunciation of violators in its strategy and to mobilize and sensitize the population on the importance of mangroves in the protection of the coasts and the risks of the advancing sea.
Headed by Dr. Gordon Ajonina, Coordinator of Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society, members of RCM say they are worried illegal and overfishing, especially industrial fishing, and wanton felling of mangroves for wood to smoke fish is causing huge destruction on the environment. They listed some of the bad practices causing havoc to the ecosystem including: artisanal fishing which takes out both small size as well as female fishes that come to lay eggs, industrial fishing that is carried out in the coast and uses non-regulatory net leading to the loss of biodiversity and the abusive exploitation of the mangrove that results in the destruction of this ecosystem.
“This destruction has consequences on the aquatic biodiversity, We have observed catches are more constituted of small-sized fishes due to bad fishing practices that is causing the disappearance of big-sized fishes, which come to the mangroves to reproduce. This also impacts on small sized fishes that nourish and seek shelter in mangroves,” said a report issued after the meeting.
Created on January 25, 2005, the Cameroon Mangrove Network has been active in the conservation of the mangrove landscape and wetlands in the country.