07 January 2014 Russian vessel Oleg Naydenov in Dakar port after its arrest

Following the detention of the Russian-flagged trawler the “Oleg Naydenov” by the Senegalese national navy on charges of illegal fishing, Greenpeace reiterates its support to the government of Senegal for the enforcement of fisheries legislation and calls on the President and his government to remain firm on its commitment to put an end to illegal activities by such vessels.

The Russian trawler Oleg Naydenov has once again been the main player in the saga "IUU fishing off the Senegalese coasts." In late December, it was caught engaged in suspected looting in southern Senegal by the National Navy.

Oleg is used to such illegal activities. Already in 2010 and 2012, the same vessel was caught by the Greenpeace ship MY Arctic Sunrise practising IUU (Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated) fishing. After that second incident, it had to pay a fine to return to sea and continue its evil practices. Oleg believed it was untouchable at that time.

Now it’s up to the government of Senegal to act and take firm measures to punish this insatiable monster of the seas. If nothing is done, it will continue to fish with impunity to the detriment of populations and fishing communities.

Since it took power, the new Senegalese government seems very concerned about the welfare of its population, and it has shown and is continuing to show its willingness to properly manage its fishery resources. This was substantiated by the cancellation of fishing licenses to 29 pelagic trawlers, in April 2012, and now the arrest of this lawless fishing vessel.

Senegal’s willingness to act and to enforce fisheries laws should serve as an example elsewhere in the region. It is time that the West African states provide the means to strengthen the surveillance of their waters.

From Morocco to Guinea through Mauritania, governments should work together to fight this battle. A fight for the welfare of people today and tomorrow.

This lesson should serve as an example to all the lawless fishing monsterboats that continue despite everything, to plunder the little resources still available in the West African waters. The monsterboats plundering the oceans of the world should be sent to scrap, where they belong!