There is very little written about the role of fishing agents in Africa. Yet there are those who feel they are central to a range of problems in the sector, and work to undermine sustainable and responsible fisheries management. The problem seems to stem from systemic corruption and conflicts of interests. However, in most countries foreign fishing vessels are mandated by law to use an agent for a range of services. It is time for this situation to be reviewed, and there needs to be further debate on how the role of agents needs to be reformed, and whether some services provided by agents are in fact necessary - particularly services which should be provided by national fishing authorities.