The last few months have seen a string of victories for our oceans campaign in West Africa – and the most recent is just as sweet.

Two months ago the newly elected Senegalese government cancelled 29 licenses previously granted to foreign industrial trawlers. Having completely emptied their own reserves, fishing trawlers from the likes of Europe and Russia had moved into West African waters where they were continuing their destructive fishing practices. Cancelling licenses was a very important first step towards restoring the fisheries to what they were before large-scale plunder began.

(Watch our video series on the human costs of overfishing)

Then just last week, the new president took another bold step: closing the fisheries to industrial fishing for at least 6 months, providing a valuable window period for the fisheries to regenerate.

12 July 2012 Back in Stock

A woman sells fish at the Soumbedioune fish market. Greenpeace has been campaigning in West Africa for the establishment of a sustainable, low impact fisheries policy that takes into account the needs and interests of small-scale fishermen and the local communities that depend on healthy oceans.

Here in Dakar, artisanal fishermen are already seeing a difference thanks to these steps. Whereas a few months ago local fishermen were struggling to feed their families and have something to sell at markets, now they are triumphantly returning home at night with something to put on the table.

Senegalese fisheries are once again providing for Senegalese people in the form of food and employment.

This is an important victory for the Greenpeace Africa oceans campaign in West Africa. However, we still have a long way to go in the region, and as fisheries recuperate, the incentive for mega trawlers to return will only increase. For this victory to be a sustainable one, we will continue our campaign and support the Senegalese government. 

Thanks for your ongoing support.