The goals of this paper are threefold. First, it quantitatively and qualitatively determines the economic and social cost of illicit trade in marine resources of West Africa. Second, the paper discusses the channels and scale of illicit trade in fish and fish products. Third, the economic loss and impacts from illicit trade are determined and policy options for curbing this trade suggested. We found substantial effects of illicit trade in the marine resources of West Africa, in terms of economic impact (defined as the added value through the fish value chain generated from the revenues earned from fishing), income, jobs and tax revenue impacts. For instance, the region as a whole is estimated to be losing economic and income impacts of nearly US$1,950 million and US$593 million, per year, respectively.