Stop Unsustainable and Illegal Fishing in Senegal

Target: Abdoulaye Baldé, Senegal’s Minister of Environment

Goal: Protect vulnerable and diminished fish populations from over-fishing in Senegal while also protecting the livelihoods of the country’s fishermen.

The region of West Africa experiences more illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing than any other place in the world, and in the country of Senegal, this is an acute problem.

Senegal’s coasts are continuously plundered by unauthorized fishing ships, most of which are much larger and much more capable of taking in massive amounts of fish—on an industrial, rather than local scale—than are the canoes used by many small-scale Senegalese fishers. The African Institute for Security Studies (ISS) notes that, “With a crew of 82 sailors… [a] 120-metre-long ship,” a not-uncommon visitor to Senegalese waters, “is capable of processing an estimated 20,000 tonnes of fish annually. It would take 645 canoes typically used by small-scale, or artisanal, fishers to take away that tonnage per year.” In the same article the ISS clarifies that the annual financial loss to the Senegalese state due to unregulated fishing is about $272 million USD.

Along with economic consequences, the unsustainable fishing occurring in Senegal has turned into a rapidly-escalating environmental crisis. Fishing stocks are now so depleted in the country that Alassane Samba, a former director of Senegal’s oceanic research institute, has called the situation a “crisis,” and has said that, “If things keep going the way they are, people will have to eat jellyfish to survive.”

Because of all this, the Overseas Development Institute, as reported by The Guardian, says that a “crackdown on illegal fishing, and building up national fleets,” would be beneficial to many fish species, and, “could generate billions of dollars for the region.” Sign this petition to demand that regulations are put in place to protect Senegal’s coast and citizens from the dangerous effects of over-fishing.


Dear Minister Baldé,

Senegal’s coast, vital to both the health of its environment and the prosperity of its people, are subject to ongoing destruction by unregulated, illegal and unsustainable fishing practices. If these trends continue for much longer, Senegal’s fish stocks could be depleted to almost nothing, with many of its millions of people left without livelihoods or a source of sustenance. And this isn’t even considering the unknown repercussions for the nation’s maritime environment, with potentially devastating knock-on effects spiraling up or down the food chain.

Please urge your government to clamp down on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in Senegal, for the sake of the Senegalese people and their environment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jacques Cavaillon

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One Comment

  1. All comes down to over-population.

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