Senegal’s Fishermen No Match for EU Trawlers
Adjusted over his ocean kayak’s unfilled hold, Daouda Wade levels an accusatory finger at four blotchs upcoming – manufacturing plant measured remote vessels angling in the Atlantic off West Africa.
“Those huge water crafts have found everything,” the 33-year-old angling commander says.
The European-hailed boats are working in Senegal’s waters under a four-year, $75-million contract between the European Union and Senegal’s administration, which says the assertion gets a constant flow of painfully required money.
“What’s more, now there’s nothing left for us, the Africans,” Wade says, his 25 sweat-streaked crew members hunching down inactively on unused nets heaped in the base of the kayak.
It’s a protest progressively listened: that Western pontoons that have drained angling grounds in the North Atlantic now are exhausting African waters, leaving little for local people. The European trawlers – multi-deck steel ships 20 times the span of Wade’s 100-foot kayak of splendidly painted timber – can arrive single pulls of fish worth a huge number of dollars in Europe.
Senegal’s fishing community will act on foreign fleets if government doesn’t
These days, Senegalese fishermen say, they are earning less than a dollar a day — if they’re lucky. In a 14-hour day, Wade’s crew didn’t catch a single fish.
Senegalese fishermen, whose practices are little modernized beyond outboard motors and synthetic-fiber nets, say the coastal catch they consider their birthright is disappearing into the trawlers’ refrigerated holds.
The World Wildlife Fund says a decrease in fish stocks off West Africa is linked to European vessels legally fishing, as well as Russian and Asian boats that slip in illegally.
The foreign-flagged vessels are “mainly responsible for overexploiting the fish resources, which ought to be providing food for Africa now and in the future,” the fund said in a 2002 report.
But conservationists say Senegalese fishermen also bear blame, some for keeping small fry rather than throwing them back, others for using dynamite instead of nets and hooks.
The European Union defends its fleet. Senegal News, Sports and Politics says the contract limits the catch of many fish species, installs observers on each boat and provides jobs for Senegalese. Under the four-year contract, extending a pact originally signed in the early 1980s, the EU pays nearly $20 million annually to Senegal, one of the world’s poorest countries.
EU Fisheries Partnerships with Senegal
The settlement requires that $3.6 million of the yearly continues be spent on creating manageable and mindful angling techniques in Senegalese waters.
“This will add to a significant change in the administration of the marine assets in Senegalese waters,” Gregor Kreuzhuber, a representative for the EU’s agribusiness and fisheries magistrate, said in a composed reaction to questions put together by Associated Press.
“It’s so critical for the administration to have this cash,” Moustapha Thiam, a delegate chief of Senegal’s Department of Fisheries, said.
But many people in Senegal’s fishing towns say they see little benefit trickling down from the EU payments.
About 600,000 people in this former French colony of 11 million work in fishing and related industries.
A dry land edging on the Sahara Desert, Senegal produces little beyond peanuts, cotton and cement, so fish have always played a vital role in incomes, diet and culture.