Greenpeace and the artisanal fishermen of Senegal celebrate World Oceans Day, as a symbol of hope and responsibility

Press release - June 10, 2013
Joal, June 08, 2013 - Today, Greenpeace Africa and the artisanal fishermen of Joal, a Senegalese fishing village, celebrate World Oceans Day as a symbol of hope and responsibility.

Fishers, women processors, porters, children, people of all ages hung paper fish onto a 40 meter long net in order to express  the  return of their hope after the departure of foreign pelagic trawlers. In the same way, the fisher also expressed their  commitment  to responsible fishing practices.

This day is also a call to all the people   and fisheries stakeholders in the region, up to the governmental level,  to work towards a better management of marine resources.

"The exploitation of marine resources has been  intensively carried out, to the detriment of ecosystems. Foreign pelagic trawler activities, and the use of prohibited fishing gear such as mono-filaments, cast nets, dynamite fishing etc.. have  further jeopardized the already declining fish stocks," said Marie Suzanne Traoré, Greenpeace Africa oceans campaigner.

Once considered one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, the West African coast suffers from many pressures as a result of human activities, which negatively impact the fisheries resources and  the food security of the people who depend on them.

In particular, the waters of this region  have been systematically  overexploited by  European, Russian and Asian trawlers which have been sucking up almost everything in their path.

With the cancellation of 29 fishing  permits of foreign pelagic boats by the Senegalese President Macky Sall, hope has been reignited for  millions of people who directly or indirectly depend on fisheries.

"It is of utmost importance to  maintain and expand this decision at the regional level. Until  rigors and independent scientific studies  demonstrate that there is a surplus in the fish stock, the Senegalese waters should not be reopen to exploitation. This must be done sustainably. "adds Marie Suzanne Traoré.

Some fishing communities are already aware of the dangers that threaten them and are taking action to protect their resources. They must be encouraged and supported in their aim. The hope that was generated last year by the Senegalese head of state must be renewed  by  further strengthening and extending these decisions.

 

Editor’s note

(1) http://www.greenpeace.org/africa/fr/Actualities/actualites/Le-Senegal-annule-29-autorisations-de-peche-accordees-aux-navires-etrangers/

Contacts:

Marie Suzanne Traoré, Oceans Campaigner Greenpeace Africa, + 221 77 3328994,

Bakary Coulibaly, Oceans Communication Officer Greenpeace Africa. +22177 3336265,