21 May 2015

West Africa: His Excellency Mr. Ambassador, Should We Act or React?

press release

After the publication of the new report entitled "Scam on the African Coast: The Hidden Face of Chinese and Joint-Venture Vessels' Tonnage Fraud in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Guinea" by Greenpeace Africa, the Chinese Ambassador in Senegal, His Excellency Mr. Xia Huang, reacted in the media disproving the information contained in this document and promising to organize a press conference to clarify Greenpeace's accusations.

In his own words, the Ambassador said: "What I would like to say is that today, no fishing license is granted to Chinese flagged vessels in Senegal. If there are Chinese people, working in the fisheries sector, they are working for a Senegalese company, and therefore legally, these are vessels flying the Senegalese flag. So I wonder where these indiscriminate accusations against the Chinese come from. "

By reacting in this way, His Excellency states the importance of the fisheries sector not only for the people who depend on it, but also for the authorities whose duty is to manage this common wealth.

His Excellency, now that you have reacted to our report, we expect you to ACT!

Act now, by listening to the plea of the artisanal fisherman who see their nets more empty everyday due to the unfair competition between small pirogues and big vessels like those of the CNCF (China National Fisheries Corporation, China's largest distant water fishing company).

Act now by respecting scientific recommendations to reduce the fishing on certain species presently targeted by CNCF's vessels.

Act now, to safeguard the main source of animal protein for West African populations.

Act now, asking the Chinese government to immediately conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged fraud of its Gross Tonnage especially of fishing companies operating in Senegal, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, and possible fraud by other companies as well as other Chinese vessels authorized to fish in the EEZs (Economic Exclusive Zone) of other African countries.

Act now, by asking the concerned authorities in your country, to take this matter seriously and stop the illegal activities of Chinese vessels in the West African waters.

Because of the fishing activities of vessels like those of the CNCF, fish stocks along the West African coast are declining by the day. Your action would certainly help safeguard the already limited remaining stock.

His Excellence, act now; by listening to the call of the fisherman, scientists and people along the West African coast, so that this region does not become depleted of fish stocks in the same way the Chinese waters have.

Reacting is a step forward, but Acting would be much more better for the good health of African oceans, the wellbeing of todays generations and those of tomorrow.

West Africa

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