Give Thiof a Chance

Fisheries recovery period slashed in Senegal

Press release - September 21, 2011
We have growing concerns about Senegalese Maritime Economy Ministry’s decision to reduce biological recovery period to benefit national industrial fleet.

Dakar, September 19, 2011 – Greenpeace has called on the Senegalese government to reinstate its two months moratorium on commercial fishing. Senegalese Maritime Economy minister Kouraichi Thiam slashed the annual two month respite, which had been due to start on October 1, after pressure from the national industrial lobby.

Millions of Senegalese depend on the fish caught off shore for their basic protein needs. The traditional West African fishing grounds are under incredible pressure from commercial overfishing and the white grouper, or Thiof, the traditional Senegalese delicacy, is now in calamitous decline.

"If the government does not take proper actions for a sustainable management of fishery resources, in particular some demersal species, we will witness their collapse" said Raoul Monsembula of Greenpeace Africa.

Greenpeace urges the Government of Senegal to reconsider its decision. 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”, added Monsembula.

“A balanced, scientifically grounded commercially fishing policy will create the groundwork for a sustainable fishing industry to the commercial and physical benefit of the country. The current decision will only speed up the irretrievable extinction of a fish Senegalese once regarded as their birthright – and with it the destruction of a once highly viable marine ecosystem” Monsembula stated.

“Greenpeace calls on the Government of Senegal to reconsider its decision and to rely on scientific opinions to better manage its fishery resources on which depend millions of people for their food security” concluded Monsembula.

Enquiries:

Oumy Sène Diouf - Oceans Campaign, Greenpeace Africa : +221 (77) 332 8993

Raoul Monsembula - Oceans Campaign, Greenpeace Africa : +221 (77) 332 8994

Ahmed Diamé - Communications Officer, Greenpeace Africa: +221 (77) 246 34 51