Statement of Senegalese small-scale fishermen on negotiations between the Senegalese State and the European Union for the renewal of fisheries agreements.

Press release - March 13, 2014
We, Senegalese small-scale fishermen, from various backgrounds and professional organizations, met on February 26, 2014 in Mbour, under the auspices of the platform of traditional fishing stakeholders of Senegal (PAPAS), to discuss the resumption of negotiations on fisheries agreements between the Senegalese State and the European Union:
  • Acknowledging  the  choice  made  by  Senegalese  authorities  to  co-opt  the
    small-scale fishing stakeholders representatives without a prior consultation
    of the grass-roots in the ongoing negotiations process; 
  • Considering the scarcity of resources which results in decreasing landings,
    lowered  stakeholders'  activities  and  revenues  in  all  Senegalese  quays  and
    fishery products processing sites and units;
  • Considering  the  overexploitation  of  almost  every  species  present  in
    Senegalese waters;
  • Considering  the  Senegalese  State  Policy  for  reducing  fishing  effort  (see Fishery  Sector  Policy  Letter  Paper  (PLD),  the  Inter-ministerial  Council  on Fisheries  on  06-06-2013) and  supporting  the  initiatives  proposed by  grassroots  stakeholders  for  a  sustainable  management  of  marine  and  coastal resources  (FPA,  community  MPA,  artificial  reefs  immersion,  biological recovery, etc.);
  • Considering the scientific opinion from the CRODT, ICCAT and CECAF/FAO
    on the stocks available in Senegalese Waters;
  • Considering  the  lack  of  surplus  noticed  by  scientists  from  the  above
    mentioned  institutes  and  the  need  to  comply  with  Article  62  of  the  United
    Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
  • Considering  the  limited  monitoring  means  of  the  concerned  government
    services (DPSP, DPM, etc.) and the  need for strengthening them for a better
    monitoring of fishery activities in Senegalese waters;
  • Considering  the  limits  of  the  resource  access  policy  currently  implementedand the need for improving its efficiency;
  • Reiterating  the  recommendations  included  in  the  Small-scale  fishing memorandum  handed  over  to  the  President  of  the  Republic  during  the audience granted by the latter to fishery stakeholders on January 16, 2014 in Kayar;

We  declare  that,  based  on  the  current  scientific  data  and  the  precarious
situation of fisheries in Senegal, the conditions for the renewal of the fishery
agreement with the European Union have not yet been met.
Therefore, we call on the Senegalese State to:

  • Remain consistent in its fishery resources sustainable management approach. It seems to us quite contradictory that on the one hand, the Senegalese State seeks  to  reduce  fishing  efforts  by  asking  us  to  make  sacrifices  and  on  the other hand, wishes to authorize the arrival of a foreign fleet;
  • Initiate large consultations  with grassroots stakeholders to involve them in all negotiation processes;
  • Mobilize adequate resources to support and enhance  the  relevant services in terms of research and monitoring, control and surveillance;
  • Meet  its  commitments  particularly  those  made  within  the  context  of  regional and international conventions on fishery resources management, conservation and  preservation;  and  initiate  the  necessary  steps  within  the  Sub  regional Fisheries  Commission  (SRFC),  for  a  common  approach  to  managing  the resource ;
  • Undertake the necessary reforms to regulate access to the resource. These rules shall be based on transparent objective and measurable environmental and social criteria, such as :

               -  Environmental  impacts  :  level  of  incidental  catches,  damages
                  caused to the marine and coastal environment
               -  Quantities  authorized  under  fishing  permits,  licenses  and
                   possible agreements ;
               -  Compliance with existing regulations by vessels ;
               -  Quantity and quality of provided data ;
               -  Energy consumption per catch unit ;
               -  Quality of landed and marketed fish ;
               -  Socio-economic benefits, particularly for coastal communities.

                                                         Issued in Mbour on February 26, 2014