Greenpeace Urges WA Governments to Develop Sustainable Fisheries

Press release - June 29, 2011
Dakar June 29, 2011 – Greenpeace Africa today highlighted the plunder of West Africa’s once rich fishing grounds through presentations under the theme: «Towards sustainable fisheries … Greenpeace and West African fishermen map out the future … », at the Douta Seck Cultural Center. Presentations showcased the global overfishing crisis and its impact in the West African context. In attendance were key actors from government, the academia and the fishing industry.

One of the major perpetrators is the European Union’s fishing fleet. Each year, the leviathan trawlers and the massive factory ships along the West African waters proceed to empty the ocean of every living thing in their bid to fill their hold and put fish on the tables of European restaurants.

To tackle this issue, Greenpeace offices in Europe and in Africa joined forces in a project called the “African Voices”, in light of the revision of the Common Fishery Policy (CFP) by the European Union in 2013.

Together with six fishermen from Cape Verde, Senegal and Mauritania, Greenpeace met with Ministers, parliamentarians, civil society, media and the fishing industry, in eight European countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Austria, Spain and the UK. The ‘voices’ described the effects that the overfishing of foreign fleets have on their livelihood as well to the European Comission.

According to Raoul Monsembula, Greenpeace Africa Oceans Campaigner, ”The European Union needs to secure fairer and more sustainable fisheries partnership agreement. They can’t just shift the problem to a different part of the world, particularly the coastal regions of Africa, where most of our animal proteins intake comes from the sea”.

In the the latest Word Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report [1], 53 percent of the world fish stocks are fully exploited, 32 percent are overexploited or depleted and only 15 percent are moderately used or underexploited.

Furthermore, modern fishing practices remain incredibly wasteful. Every year, fishing nets kill up to 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises globally. Entanglement is the greatest threat to the survival of many species. Additionally, some fishing practices destroy the fragile habitat. Bottom trawling, for example, destroys entire ancient deep-sea coral forests and other delicate ecosystems.

Oumy Sene Diouf, Greenpeace Africa’s Oceans Campaigner says: “The situation is alarming and African Governments must immediately secure sustainable fisheries. They need to take their responsibility to enable sustainable income and livelihoods for their citizens. The governments also need to tackle overcapacity, destructive fisheries, ecosystem preservation, as well as, control and surveillance”.

 

NOTES

[1] Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) -http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1820e/i1820e00.htm

CONTACTS

  • Oumy Sene Diouf – Greenpeace Africa Ocean campaigner: +221 (77) 332 8993 (mobile);

  • Raoul Monsembula - Greenpeace Africa Ocean campaigner: +221 (77) 332 8994 (mobile);

  • Fiona Musana – Greenpeace Africa Communications: +27 79 5129381 ,