This spring, the Greenpeace ship ‘Esperanza’ and its crew set course to West Africa to document the beauties of these rich waters, and bear witness to a growing threat to food security from decades of overfishing.Millions of West Africans depend on eating and catching fish to survive. But rapid growth of fishing fleets from Africa and abroad is making it harder than ever before for local communities and fishermen to catch enough fish to uphold a living. Also, it drives up prices on local markets where less fish are available.

Greenpeace has kept an eye on the downwards spiral for more than fifteen years, and helped document the consequences of overfishing and illegal fishing in the region. Since 2001 Greenpeace ships have visited West Africa to spotlight what is at stake, and engaged in discussions about solutions to the problem of overfishing. Now the ‘Esperanza’ is back to further document the situation at sea, support African communities’ fight for healthy oceans, and engage in political debates on how to turn the tides and avoid exhaustion of the very fish resources, West Africa depend on.

As an important part of the ship tour, the ‘Esperanza’ will engage in day– and night-time joint surveillance with West African authorities from selected countries, that are part of the Sub Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC). The aim is to help support West African, coastal countries in protecting their waters and highlight the need for efficient management as well as strict enforcement of fisheries law.

On 23rd February 2017, the ‘Esperanza’ arrived in the port of Praia, Cape Verde. From here, the ship will sail the waters of West Africa and visit ports in Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal.

Download the briefer here to read more on the ship tour.