Greenpeace launches new campaign to protect the iconic Senegalese "thiof" (white grouper)

Press release - February 22, 2013
Dakar, 22 February 2013 – Greenpeace Africa today inaugurated a new campaign called "Save the "thiof" , as a reminder not only to Senegalese but also to the world to conserve this threatened fish. Overexploited, the "thiof" whose scientific name is "Epinephelus aeneus" fish is becoming more and more inaccessible and too expensive for most Senegalese .

"The status of "thiof" stocks  in Senegalese waters requires urgently the establishment of a sustainable management strategy. If we are not careful, this species may be exploited until its extinction and future generations will grow up never knowing that iconic fish of Senegal” says Ahmed Diamé, Oceans campaigner at Greenpeace Africa.

According to several scientific studies, the percentage of mature thiofs decreased by nearly 80% in the early 1990’s to about 38% in 1999 (1). The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is so concerned that it has placed the declining thiof as Near Threatened on its Red List of Threatened Species. (2).

In Senegal, the thiof population is so depleted that the species has been listed in the higher risk category of vulnerable (1).

Despite the critical situation of its stocks, the thiof keeps being fished and exported at a worrying pace. In 2011, 1,649 tonnes of thiof have left Senegal for markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North America and Africa. Alone, the European Union (EU) has received nearly 70% of that quantity (3).      

"The conservation of the thiof must be a shared concern for all those who are mindful of the health of our oceans. We are calling on fishermen, consumers and policy-makers to take a stand and act to avoid the scheduled disappearance of the "thiof", adds Diamé. 

Greenpeace calls upon the Senegalese authorities and other key actors to establish concrete conservation measures for the "thiof".

"We demand a moratorium on the exportation and the creation of marine reserves in the Senegalese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). We are also calling on fishermen, consumers, every stakeholder of the sector (particularly the retailers) and policy-makers to take a stand and act to avoid the scheduled disappearance of the "thiof", concluded Diamé.  

 

Notes to Editors :

(1)  Sidibé A (2010). Liste Sidibé A (2010). Liste rouge et gestion éco systémique des pêches en Afrique de l’ouest. IUCN Programme Marin et Côtier pour l’Afrique Centrale et Occidentale. Accessed June 2012 at: http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/uicn_2010_liste_rouge_et_demersaux_d_afrique_de_l_ouest.pdf

(2)  Froese R (2004). Keep it simple: Three indicators to deal with overfishing. Fish and Fisheries 5: 86–91

(3)  Rapport de recherche de Greenpeace Afrique sur le marché du thiof au Sénégal. Janvier 2012. 

 

Contacts :

Ahmed DIAME, Oceans campaigner Greenpeace Africa Email: ; Telephone: +221773328993

Bakary Coulibaly, communications officer Oceans campaign, Greenpeace Africa, Email: ; Telephone: +221773336265