Not content with slapping up huge trade barriers which shut out African farmers from the European market, or with heavily subsidising wealthy European farmers to keep food prices artificially high, the EU also allows its businesses to plunder Africa's waters.
Europe has long suffered from depleted fish stocks, thanks to years of rampant overfishing; now, it's simply exporting the problem. A new report by Guardian journalist John Vidal, aboard Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise, reveals how commercial fishing by European-owned vessels is decimating the fish stocks of west Africa. For locals, the effects are disastrous:
What can be done? Activists have identified seven steps to prevent the collapse of west Africa's fishing stocks:
1) Stop the use of "flags of convenience" by fishing vessels. They hide the nation of origin of a vessel, giving cover for illegal activities.
2) End EU subsidies that encourage legal fishing fleets to exploit the waters of developing countries.
3) Press for international measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
4) Help developing countries combat illegal fishing by supporting coastguards and navies.
5) Reduce the size of foreign fleets.
6) Set up large-scale marine reserves.
7) Insist foreign trawlers land a percentage of their fish in the country whose waters they fish.
Further reading: Overfishing causes political and economic strife all over the world. Here's an in-depth analysis of Iceland's model fishing quota system, now under threat due to the financial crisis.