Yellowfin Tuna in Dakar
Yellowfin tuna from the Spanish purse seiner 'Iribar Zulaika' is offloaded in the industrial fishing port of Dakar.
© Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
The traditional Senegalese delicacy leads the way in the decline of West African fish population while local government gives fisheries no respite.
The Senegalese Maritime Economy Ministry has failed to save its country’s diminishing fish stocks.
This week, it slashed the biological recovery period of commercial fisheries because of pressure from national industrial lobbyists. The recovery period is vital because it gives fish populations time to regenerate between fishing intervals. Cutting the amount of time between fishing periods means fisheries don’t have a chance to recover before being fished again.
Millions of Senegalese depend on the fish caught off shore for their basic protein needs, but because the West Africans waters are becoming increasingly overfished by European trawlers. Many species, including Thiof -- the traditional Senegalese delicacy -- are now threatened with extinction.
Oumy Sene Diouf, Greenpeace Africa’s Oceans Campaigner says, "African governments need to take the responsibility of enabling sustainable incomes and livelihoods for their citizens. The governments also need to tackle overcapacity, the destruction of fisheries, ecosystem preservation, as well as control and surveillance."
In fact, a reduction of the fishing activity for some years would help restore stocks to a level enabling fishermen to catch and earn more income than they currently do, without depleting the resource in the long term.
Greenpeace has called on the Senegalese government to reconsider its decision, and reinstate the two month moratorium on commercial fishing.
We believe it must base the management of its fish stocks on proven scientific research, rather than on short term economic gains that will lead to the long term detriment of its people.
For more on the drastic state of the West African marine ecosystem, see our report: How Africa Feeds Europe.