Greenpeace and Senegalese fishermen cooperate to tackle overfishing

Press release - February 16, 2012
Dakar, 16th February 2012. Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, has docked today at the port of Dakar, where they were welcomed by more fifty artisanal fishermen with their traditional pirogues. In the coming weeks the Arctic Sunrise will sail the waters of Senegal to document and expose the overexploitation of marine resources by foreign fleets. Together, they will draw the world's attention to the plight of Senegalese Fishermen whose resources are being plundered by foreign fleets.

“Our resources are already being over exploited and the situation is made worse by big foreign industrial trawlers which are literally emptying the waters of Senegal”, says Raoul Monsembula, Oceans Campaigner atGreenpeace Africa. Yesterday Greenpeace protested against the 107 meters long Russian trawler, the Vasili Lozovski, which was fishing in Senegalese waters. European and Senegalese activists carried a banner with “Stop fishing away Africa’s future”.

West African waters including those of Senegal have been subject to overfishing for decades, the effects of which are being felt by local communities. The scientific community recognizes that fishing capacity of many stocks must be reduced in order to ensure the long term sustainability of West Africa’s marine resources.

After overexploiting fish stocks in their own waters, foreign fleets, in particular Russian, Asian and European have moved their focus to the waters of countries like Senegal. These fleets are plundering our seas thus compromising the food security and livelihoods of coastal communities who have been depending on artisanal fishing for centuries. The fish is caught, processed and then frozen on board, with little or no benefits for the local markets. 

“Greenpeace is campaigning together with local Senegalese fishermen who see their catches shrinking due to competition with these big foreign trawlers”, concludes Raoul Monsembula.

Greenpeace is campaigning for the establishment of a sustainable, low impact fisheries policy that takes into account the needs and interests of small-scale fishermen and the local communities that depend on healthy oceans.

Contact :

  • Ahmed Diamé,  Communications on land, ,               +221 773328993      
  • · Raoul Monsembula, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace Africa,              +221 773328994      
  • · Melanie Aldrin, Communications on board,  ,
  • · Images available, please contact Ahmed Diame