The U.S. Military conducted its first maritime drill with West African forces as part of the Flintlock program.
350 soldiers from Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria participated in the drill.
The objective of the program is to assist coastal states in combating maritime threats like drugs, illegal fishing, human trafficking, and piracy.
The financial Transparency Coalition estimates that IUU fishing is costing West Africa $9.4 billion through unlawful financial flows.
8 of the top 10 companies involved are Chinese-flagged vessels which often ignore regulations.
Commodore Godwin Livinus Bessing from Ghana’s Naval Training Command is focusing on curbing IUU fishing due to a shortage of resources.
Incidents of piracy in the region have decreased since 2021.