Friends of Angola


   Minister for Fisheries, Carmen do Sacramento Neto

                                                                                        Minister of the Interior, Eugénio César Laborinho


Minister of Justice and Human Rights,

Marcy Cláudio Lopes

17 June, 2024


Subject: Seizure and burning of buoys and canoes belonging to artisanal fishermen in Namibe, Angola


Your Excellency,

Friends of Angola (FoA) expresses its deep indignation and repudiation of the seizure and burning of buoys and canoes belonging to artisanal fishermen in Namibe province, carried out by the local government authorities in the early hours of the June 19th, 2024. This act represents a direct attack on the livelihoods of several families who depend on artisanal fishing for their survival. According to the images and videos circulating on social networks, the victims claim that these means of sustenance were used by more than 15 families who lived directly and indirectly from fishing and were left without a source of income to support them.

Artisanal fishing is a fundamental activity for the local economy, providing employment, livelihoods and food security for thousands of people in the country. If it is true that the fishermen have indeed committed an infraction in the exercise of their activities, it would be advisable to apply a measure proportional to the infraction. The destruction of the fishermen’s buoys and canoes not only makes it impossible for them to continue their activities, but also worsens the economic and social situation of these communities, which are already facing countless difficulties. We strongly repudiate the lack of dialogue between the government authorities and the fishermen to resolve this dispute.

How many complaints have been made about Chinese ships trawling at sea and nothing is done about it?

According to an Angolan newspaper (Expansão) in an article entitled, “Trawling in protected areas and outside the limits becomes a crime:”

Trawling is “killing off” marine resources along the Angolan coast, especially in protected areas, i.e. zones permitted only for artisanal fishing. The climate of impunity that existed for many years, in which offenders only paid fines, many of which were low, encouraged shipowners [large vessels, with foreign crews] to take the risk, since the benefits were greater.

Trawling outside the permitted zones is often done by large vessels, with foreign crews, but with Angolan partners, according to the Minister of Fisheries, Cármen dos Santos. Just to remind you that these practices, last year, led to a drop in fish catches in the artisanal fishing segment and fishing production in 2022 fell 6% compared to 2021, to a figure of 558,549 tons.

According to various sources, artisanal fishing is not what has penalized the sector. On the contrary, “trawling, which is used to catch demersal species [which live most of the time on the seabed], is made up of nets with openings outside the defined standard” and the sale of fishing licenses for trawling is undoubtedly the phenomenon that has contributed to the lack of fish in Angola.

We reiterate the importance of public policies that value and support artisanal fishing, promoting the social and economic inclusion of fishing communities. It is essential that the authorities review their practices and adopt measures that respect the rights of fishermen, encouraging sustainable development and social justice.

We therefore demand the immediate repair of the damage caused, with the replacement of the destroyed buoys and canoes, and the implementation of a constructive dialog between government authorities and artisanal fishermen, in order to prevent acts like this from happening again in the future.

We sympathize with all the fishermen affected by this unjust and inhumane measure, and we will continue to advocate for the defense of their rights and the enhancement of their activities.




Florindo Chivucute

Executive Director

Friends of Angola