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What Happened to Illegal Fishing Whistleblower Emmanuel Essien?

Emmanuel Essien has been missing since 2019. Image via GhanaWeb

The Ghanaian news outlet GhanaWeb recently published an investigative report about the purported disappearance of Emmanuel Essien, an official for the Ghanaian Fisheries Commission. He was reportedly last seen aboard a Chinese fishing vessel Meng Xin 15 on July 5, 2019.

Two weeks before, he apparently submitted video footage taken aboard another vessel, Jin Hao 608, to the Ghanaian police. It documented instances of saiko – the illegal transshipment of under-sized fish to local sellers. Saiko fishing has long been condemned by Ghanaian fishing NGOs for contributing to the collapse of coastal economies and it is a well-documented practice among Chinese fishing crews.

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