5 December 2013

West Africa: Scientists Say Senegal's President Macky Sall Needs to Push for Better Fisheries in West Africa

press release

Dakar — Today, 16 west African and international scientists called on Senegalese President Macky Sall to proactively push for better governance of fisheries in West Africa.

In an open letter they sent him with Greenpeace's support, they welcome his decision to freeze the activities of pelagic trawlers in Senegalese waters. They invited him to play a leading role in the convincing of his Head of State counterparts of the need for better management of fisheries resources, for the well- being of communities and the health of our oceans.

"All scientific knowledge currently available shows that the world's fisheries in general, and those of West Africa in particular, are moving towards an unprecedented collapse. If nothing is done, the social, environmental, health, and economic consequences will be immeasurable for our countries that heavily depend on these resources " said Dr. Alassane Samba, co-initiator of this letter . "We invite President Sall to listen to these independent voices who advocate for healthy oceans at the service of current and future generations" he added.

The exploitation of small pelagic fish (sardinellas, horse mackerel, mackerel...) along the West African coast is one of many illustrations of the challenges faced by coastal States in the governance of fisheries. It is clear that if nothing is done in favour of community management of these critical but heavily exploited(1) resources, the impacts will be enormous.

"West Africa critically needs a leader to bring issues related to fishing to a higher decision-making level. We sincerely hope that President Sall becomes the trendsetter in this regard.", said Ahmed Diamé, Oceans campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

Greenpeace invite President Sall to listen to these voices and to act among its peers for the implementation of community and sustainable fisheries policies in the region in order to preserve the health of oceans and the livelihoods of local communities.

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