Dakar July 11- Greenpeace Africa calls on EU to consider African fishermen’s interests in the same way as those of European fishermen. This statement is made while the European Union is on the verge of adopting, this July 13th, new plans to save overexploited fish stocks in its waters in order to achieve sustainable fishing in 2015.
This review occurs at a time when the controversy over the activities of European vessels in West African waters is swelling. “While the EU seeks to ensure the sustainability of the resource in its waters and save the jobs and well-being of its fishermen, its fleet is seriously harming West African fishermen and marine ecosystems” said Raoul Monsembula of Greenpeace Africa.
This overfishing reduction project in Europe is worrying all the more as the future of this fleet with excess capacity remains unknown. “We risk seeing all these vessels invade West African waters” added Raoul Monsembula of Greenpeace Africa.
As early as late February and April 2010, during an expedition led by Greenpeace, 12 of the 50 largest and most powerful vessels of the EU, classification based on their tonnage of more than 3000 GT, the power of their engine and / or the length of these vessels over 100 meters, have been identified in West African waters between Las Palmas and the southern border of Senegal (1).
“As the European Union worried about the future of its fisheries and fishermen, likewise should it be for West African fisheries and fishermen who suffer from the activities of its fleet, mainly responsible for overfishing in West Africa”, adds Iris Menn of Greenpeace.
72% of European fish stocks are overexploited. Among them, over 20% are exploited beyond safe biological limit, that is to say beyond their normal reproduction capacity2).Thus, a reduction of the fishing activity for some years will help restore stocks at a level enabling fishermen to catch and earn more income than now, without depleting the resource in the long term, says the Commission.
Greenpeace urges the European Union to be guided by the same principles and concerns of sustainability of the resource in its fishing policy with western countries; and to African governments not to endanger the livelihoods of their communities.
- Raoul Monsembula, Oceans Campaign Officer in Greenpeace Africa, Tel : 221 77 32 89 94
- Ahmed Diamé, Communications Officer in Greenpeace Africa Tel : 77 246 34 51
Uicn, semaine européenne de la pêche 2011 ; http://bijagos.poisson-scie.over-blog.com/article-semaine-europeenne-de-la-peche-2011-retour-vers-le-futur-74571815.html