Greenpeace today launched a ground-breaking documentary on the increase of catches by artisanal fishermen, three months after the new Senegalese government cancelled 29 fishing authorizations granted to foreign pelagic trawlers that were plundering West Africa's marine resources.
This six-minute film entitled "Senegal's catch of the lifetime", which also has accompanying photographs, illustrates the positive impact that the decision by Senegalese President Macky Sall's government has had on the fishing community of Kafoutine in the South of Senegal. The documentary done in Kafoutine includes shots from local fishermen at work in artisanal fishing pirogues as well as Mr Moro Demba, President of the fishing port of Kafoutine and Mr Moustapha Thiam, Director of the Senegalese Fisheries Ministry.
According to Raoul Monsembula, Oceans campaigner, Greenpeace Africa: "In addition to the increase of catches, some species that had almost disappeared from the artisanal nets are now reappearing."
West Africa is rich in marine resources - with many people depending on fish for their protein and livelihood. However over the past 30 years, these traditional fishing economies have collapsed, affecting job security for hundreds of thousands. Senegal's decision to put an end to the destructive plunder of these resources is key in ensuring sustainable fishing practices across the region.
"President Macky Sall has already set the tone, and now decision makers in West Africa urgently need to develop a common vision and ensure proper management of fisheries for the sake of many West Africans", added Monsembula.
Greenpeace calls on the Senegalese government to keep this momentum in order to preserve the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on fishing.
" West Africa's industry is under threat, and with it the nutrition of thousands of people. We urge the region's leaders to expeditiously police their waters and establish an integrated regional approach to resource management and fisheries policies", concluded Monsembula.