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Dakar, Senegal, 30 September 2020 – Greenpeace Africa closely follows developments in the incident that took place off the coast of Senegal. A clash between the industrial fishing vessel “Soleil 7” and an artisanal fishing pirogue from Mbour had caused injury to the invoked mariners and damaged the pirogue’s equipment. A press release (Sunday) by the Senegalese Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, raises the problem of the delimitation of fishing zones between industrial and artisanal fishing. 

“Like all Senegalese citizens, we share the fisherman’s pain of his burns. This new tragedy shows the existential threats that an uncontrolled fishing industry poses to the artisanal sector. Industrial fishing vessels have long depleted our oceans and destroyed the equipment of artisanal fishermen. Setting fire to pirogues and putting lives at risk is a new low,” saïd Abdoulaye Ndiaye, ocean campaigner at Greenpeace Africa. 

The industrial vessel, with a Senegalese flag, is believed to have carried a foreign crew which is responsible for the attacks on the artisanal fishing pirogue, by throwing corrosive products on it. In the ministry’s press release, it is mentioned that the company in charge of the vessel will pay all material damages to the owner of the pirogue, as well as cover all medical bills of the injured fisherman. 

Greenpeace Africa expects a full investigation and a tightening of controls over the fishing industry. For the final solution to the problem of non-compliance with the delimitation of fishing zones, Greenpeace Africa calls on the Government of Senegal to urgently begin inclusive consultations with all stakeholders and to incorporate the relevant recommendations into the law (2015/18 in the maritime fishing code).