According to the environmental NGO, “marine ecosystems are increasingly degraded by pollution, overfishing by foreign trawlers, destructive fishing methods and illegal fishing” in the Gulf of Guinea.
African coasts have been victims for decades of industrial fishing, often illegal. After the Japanese or European boats in the 2000s, it is also the Chinese, Turkish or Korean factory ships that plunder the waters of the Gulf of Guinea, while local fishermen went out to sea less during the Covid-19 epidemic. . The report Seasickness, which has just been published by Greenpeace Africa, asks for more transparency and questions the interest of this industrial fishing for a country like Senegal.
“Marine ecosystems are increasingly degraded as a result of pollution, overfishing by foreign trawlers, destructive fishing methods and illegal fishing” in the Gulf of Guinea, specifies the environmental NGO.
According to Greenpeace, at least eight Chinese fishing vessels participated in questionable activities between March and July 2020 off the coast of Senegal. All bear the name of Fu Yuan Yu, but with different numbers. They fish at night in the Senegalese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), without knowing whether they have licenses, or whether they were obtained in accordance with the rules and procedures.
The Senegalese government grants some licenses, but without any transparency. The Chinese fishing fleet uses all possible tricks to avoid detection in territorial waters. Like putting the same name on several ships or turning off the satellite identification system that tracks the movements of the ships.
The impacts of this industrial fishing are very negative on fish stocks but also on food security, livelihoods and the well-being of millions of people. “The declining fish stocks in West Africa should be better managed and better secured to feed the populations of the region above all, especially in this period of imminent food insecurity and loss of biodiversity “, says Dr Aliou Ba, political advisor for the Ocean Campaign at Greenpeace Africa.
“The world economy is in recession and the West African region is not spared. At the same time, the fishmeal and fish oil industry is expanding by using local fish stocks to produce food for pets, pigs and fish for the aquaculture industry in Europe and Asia, to the detriment of vulnerable populations in West Africa. Governments of West Africa must work together to close these factories for good “, denounces Dr. Ba.
According to Greenpeace, the question is whether multinationals, big corporations and governments have the right to deprive thousands of people of the resources they depend on for their work and survival, with destructive and illegal fishing practices that the we also find massively off the Somali coast.