Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
5 minute read
12 Feb 2021
12:42 pm

New east Asian delicacy another blow to Africa’s marine life

Nica Richards

Very little data has been collected regarding fish maw, which has boomed in the last five years. 

Dried fish maw being sold in a market. Despite massive data gaps, fish maw is known as 'cocaine of the sea’, and averages $190 per kilogram. Picture: iStock

Africa’s key marine species continues to be threatened as east Asia’s insatiable appetite for delicacies continues to produce a never-ending list of consumer demands.  Wildlife trade NGO, TRAFFIC, has reported an increase into the trade of seahorses, sea cucumbers and fish maw. But very little data has been collected regarding fish maw, which has boomed in the last five years.  The main culprits threatening to decimate more marine species are “inadequate regulation [and] stretched law enforcement”, which not only affects marine ecosystems, but local, vulnerable fishing communities and tourism as well.  Dubbed the marine product “gold rush”, TRAFFIC explained that...