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.
Marie Suzanne Traoré, Oceans Campaigner Greenpeace Africa, + 221 77 3328994,
Bakary Coulibaly, Oceans Communication Officer Greenpeace Africa. +22177 3336265,