54 new government fisheries observers trained and qualified to fight IUU fishing in Senegal

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, December 8, 2020
The Director of the Fisheries Monitoring and Protection Service Mamadou NDIAYE hands a certificate to Mme Cor Guéne DIEYE, the first women ever to qulaify as an observer in Senegal
Feed the Future Dekkal Geej

In recent years, there has been an extraordinary increase in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which threatens to wipe out all the efforts made by the Government of Senegal and the actors involved in the sustainable management of fisheries. This form of fishing causes a loss for Senegal estimated at 150 billion CFA francs (US$272 million) per year. It also contributes to overfishing, and the loss of biodiversity and livelihoods.

The Fisheries  Monitoring and Protection Service (DPSP) of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Economy, supported by the Feed the Future Senegal Dekkal Geej (Restoration of the Sea), organized in August a workshop to qualify 54 government fisheries officers, including one woman, as fisheries observers to contribute to the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Dekkal Geej is funded by the United States International Development Agency (USAID) as part of the U.S. Government Feed the Future initiative and implemented by Winrock International.

The 5-day training was facilitated by a panel of experts from DPSP, the Oceanographic Research Center of Dakar Thiaroye (CRODT), the West Africa’s Sub Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) Department Monitoring, Control and Surveillance, and researchers from the Senegal Agriculture Research Insitute (ISRA).

This first of its kind event made it possible to renew the corps of observers who are aging and are currently understaffed. The workshop was also an opportunity to initiate senior technicians and fisheries engineers in the field of monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fisheries and data collection for scientific research.

Thanks to the workshop, Senegal now has its first female fisheries observer - Cor Guène DIEYE. Ms Dieye is the Head of the Guete Ndar Fishing Control Station in the Saint Louis. Open to the sea, the region has a large fishing community and is known for its important fish stocks, especially pelagic species, such as sardinella, ethmalose and mullet, among others. The number of St. Louis fishermen considered by the Regional Maritime Fisheries Service in 2011 is about 8,000. And the number of women counted the same year in the fish processing sector is about 1,200.

The participants were informed on international, sub-regional and national legal and institutional framework, different fisheries, estimation of catches, and navigation and communication tools as well as ethics and transparency.

The role of the observer is to ensure the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks. The essential part of their work consists of identifying and measuring all the catches brought on board and noting the characteristics of the fishing gear such as composition and mesh size used bythe fishing vessels. The data collected allows to complete and consolidate the information provided directly by the vessel owners, determine compliance and thus better characterize the fishing activity. In addition, all these surveys can contribute to stock assessments and scientific studies on the biology of the species.

By supporting the training of observers, Dekkal Geej contributes, on the one hand, to improve the system and the capacity to combat IUU fishing and, on the other hand, to strengthen the decision-making capacity through the availability of data that can shed light on the state of the stocks and the biology of the species. This contributes to the sustainable management of the fishing resources and the reduction of the enormous economic losses and biodiversity, which are expected in the following two results: 1)  adaptive and evidence-based decision-making capacity is strengthened; and 2)  institutional capacity for decentralized fisheries co-management at all levels of governance is strengthened.