Once home to the world’s fourth-largest tuna fleet and a thriving fishing industry, the catch in the Venezuelan state of Sucre is down to less than a third of what it produced in 2004.

That trade has collapsed, along with virtually every industry across Venezuela.

As a result, gangs of out-of-work fishermen have started to prey upon those who still venture out into the open sea, stealing their catch and their motors, tying them up, throwing them overboard, and sometimes shooting them.

The robberies have taken place daily this year, and dozens of fishermen have died.

«People can’t make a living fishing anymore, so they’re using their boats for the options that remain: smuggling gas, running drugs and piracy,» said Jose Antonio Garcia, leader of the state’s largest union, to the Associated Press.