Dakar, 11 March 2014 – Greenpeace today added its voice to support artisanal fishermen in Senegal following their call to the government not to renew the fishing agreement with the European Union, given the current fragile state of fisheries in the country.
As a new round of negotiations opens this week in Brussels, between Senegal and the European Union, fishermen, fishmongers and women processors representing 17 fishing communities in the Senegalese coast published a statement with their position on these talks.
"We believe that the artisanal fishermen in Senegal have every right at this stage not to support the renewal of this agreement. Not only is their call legitimate but also a part of a precautionary approach in light of commitments made by the Senegalese government’s plan to establish a new sustainable and equitable fisheries policy” said Ahmed Diame, Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa. "
“These talks come at a time when findings from scientific research on the status of stocks of different species, in Senegal and West Africa sub-region remains alarming. We firmly believe that the government’s priority now must be to consolidate management measures y. Opening the Senegalese waters to some additional fleet, will only increase the already heavy pressure on the resource," stated Diamé.
Greenpeace calls on the Government of Senegal to continue the courageous reforms undertaken in the fisheries sector and to do everything in its power to drive a sub-regional momentum for sustainable resource management.
“We no longer have the luxury to open our marine resources to plunder and even more pillage. Our government needs to act, and it needs to do so now to make sure our fragile marine resources are sustainably managed,” concluded Diamé.
Bakary Coulibaly, communications officer, oceans campaign, Greenpeace Africa