The cancellation, in May, of 29 fishing authorizations granted to foreign vessels by the Senegalese government is beginning to have beneficial effects for Senegalese people already.
Less than two months after the departure of the foreign trawlers, an increase in daily catch has been observed in all fishing areas of Senegal -- in St. Louis Kafountine through Rufisque Thiaroye, Hann, Soumbedioune, Mbour, Joal and the Saloum islands.
According to artisanal fishermen from around the country, the catches of local fishermen now litter the piers every day.
"Since the departure of foreign boats, the catches become very interesting," said Médoune Sarr, a fisherman we met at Hann.
The same story can be seen unfolding in Casamance. Since the beginning of May, the mood at the town’s port has changed dramatically.
"I understood that Greenpeace was right to help us fight against these pelagic trawlers," says Moro Demba, president of Kafountine fishing pier, apparently very happy with the new state of the pier.
We recently returned to Kafountine city, in which Greenpeace launched the “My Voice, My Future” caravan earlier this year, asking Senegalese leaders to cancel the fishing authorizations granted to foreign pelagic trawlers.
Here, we were overjoyed to learn that the fishermen had seen a considerable improvement in their catches since the departure of big trawlers from Senegalese waters. Production in the city has returned to its highest level in two years.
While welcoming these results, however, some fishermen speak of the need to keep continued pressure on the authorities. "We won the battle but not the war," said an official of the artisanal fisheries in Ziguinchor. He added: "We will continue our struggle until total victory, that is to say, until the implementation of a sustainable fisheries in Senegal."