Greenpeace and the industrial and artisanal fishing actors, members of the Senegalese Association of ship owners and industrial processors (GAIPES), the Platform of the Artisanal Fishing Actors of Senegal (PAPAS), the Employers' Union of fishing fleet operators and Export traders of Senegal (UPAMES), the associations of women processors launched yesterday in Dakar the first "Sustainable Fishery Week".
This joint initiative will celebrate from 3 to 8 December 2012 Senegal's unique marine resources. This comes 7 Months after the government stopped exploitation by foreign fleets in the territorial waters.
It highlights the applaudable actions by the government in revoking 29 licenses to foreign super trawlers earlier this year, while exposing the urgency and the need for the establishment of sustainable fisheries policies in Senegal.
"Our fisheries are still under threat from overfishing and the Senegalese authorities now need to follow through with their commitment to protect the fishery sector in which work more than one million people", said Ahmed Diamé Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner.
Activities are planned in Dakar (December 3rd), Kayar (December 5th) St Louis (December 6th) and Ziguinchor and Nianing (December 7th). They will be punctuated by photo exhibitions, debates and discussions and film screenings on overfishing and marine protection tools. In addition, a press conference will be organized by all stakeholders, December 12, 2012 in Dakar, after which a joint statement will be published.
Throughout the week, fisheries stakeholders will call the Senegalese authorities to redouble their efforts in the implementation of the minimum requirements of a sustainable fisheries policy and maintain the course of positive action including never grant licenses of fishing on overexploited stocks already.
"The authorities must now listen to the fishing actors and fully involve them in decision-making regarding the management of fishery resources", said Karim Sall, PAPAS committee coordinator.
The week will also be an opportunity to remind them that in the interest of good governance and transparency, they should shed light on practices that allowed the plunder of fisheries resources within the fishing authorizations granted to foreign pelagic trawlers by the former government(1).
Greenpeace calls for the creation of a network of marine reserves in the Senegalese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as a tool of protection and conservation.
Ahmed Diamé, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner Africa. Tel: 221 77 332 89 93 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bakary Coulibaly, Communications Officer Greenpeace Africa. Tel: 221 773 336 265.