I’ve been around fisheries in one way or another for more than 40 years now and would never have guessed that Senegal would set a world precedent in fisheries conservation and management. However they have and my hat’s off to President Macky Sall for his bold action of kicking out foreign trawlers from Senegalese waters.
West African fisheries have been under siege from fleets of foreign trawlers for many years devastating fish stocks and driving local communities into desperate times both in terms of their food security and economic activity. This year in Senegal with the election of a new President all that has changed. Not only did they kick out the foreign trawlers but the fish have come back beyond anyone’s expectations.. The Senegal story is one of the best fishery management successes and uplifting fish stories I’ve even seen.
I’m so proud of my colleagues in Senegal for their tireless work to achieve this victory for the ocean and the people of Senegal. This is a great example of how doing the right thing for our ocean is also the right thing for those who depend on the ocean for their survival and livelihoods. As the story from Senegal illustrates success is possible.
It’s long past the time to put all of our oceans on the road to recovery so that the benefits now being shared in Senegal can be realized by fishermen globally. A big step in making this our shared future reality is to designate 40% of our world’s ocean as marine reserves now.