“Just weeks before the presidential elections in Senegal, the purpose of the travelling caravan is to collect 3000 petitions from fishing communities asking future leaders to provide guarantees that fisheries will be better managed,” said Raoul Monsembula, Greenpeace Africa Oceans Campaigner.
Fishing is an important aspect of the local economy, providing income and employment in to many communities in Senegal. Eating fish is the primary source of animal protein for Senegalese people, whose annual fish consumption of 28kg per capita is among the highest in West Africa1.
“Despite the importance of West African fisheries, the fishing sector has never been subject to proactive policies that promote preservation and protect the interests of coastal fishing communities,” said Monsembula.
As foreign fleets continue to plunder African seas and send the fish back to Europe and Asia, overfishing has become one of the main threats to fishing activity in Senegal. Unfortunately overfishing often persists due to the complicity of dishonest civil servants.
“It is high time for policy-makers to make sustainable fisheries a priority -- not only for survival of the fishing sector, but also for the well-being of current and future generations,” said Monsembula.
Policy-makers must urgently agree to review the legal and regulatory instruments governing the fishing sector. It is about reforming the fisheries management system so that it can guarantee enhanced governance and transparency in the sector.
Greenpeace Africa and coastal fishermen of Senegal want leaders to step up and take responsibility for the fisheries that are so important to the livelihoods of Senegalese communities. “Our future lies in government policies. Take action now!” said Monsembula.
The caravan is scheduled to launch on January 14 in Joal, and will then meet coastal fishermen in Mbour, Cayar, Yarakh, Thiaroye, Soumbédioune, Ziguinchor and Kafountine.
( 1) Charlines Guadin. Mai 2011. Rapport d’Evalutaion pays, Sénégal.Europe
Raoul Monsembula : Oceans Campaign Officer, Greenpeace Africa, tel. : +221 77 332 89 94
Ahmed Diamé : Communications Officer, Greenpeace Africa, tel. : +221 77 332 89 93