September 11, 2023, Senegal, Dakar
In an effort to address the destabilizing impacts of distant water fishing vessels (DWFVs) in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), a capacity-building and training project recently took place in Senegal. Organized by the DWFV Project Working Team, which consists of CEMLAWS Africa and CCM, UCC, in collaboration with local experts from FENAGIE PECHE, this training aimed to equip media, civil society organizations (CSOs), and community actors with the tools to monitor and report on the negative activities of DWFVs.
The Gulf of Guinea is home to a vast number of foreign-owned DWFVs that exploit the region’s ocean resources with limited regard for sustainability. These vessels, which fly flags of convenience between Gabon and Morocco, engage in destabilizing activities such as unsustainable exploitation, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the depletion of fish stocks. West Africa alone loses about 790,000 tons of fish annually, resulting in economic losses of over $2 billion. Senegal, with its heavy reliance on fisheries and limited monitoring capacity, is particularly vulnerable to these activities.
The training focused on various aspects, including Senegal’s national and regional fisheries, fisheries governance, transparency, and accountability.
Participants also gained insights into the impacts of IUU fishing and the destabilizing effects of foreign DWFVs in Senegalese waters. The program aimed to achieve the following outcomes: Capacity building, Understanding Fisheries Laws and Enhancing Transparency.
FENAGIE PECHE, renowned for its research capabilities, played a pivotal role in mobilizing participants and facilitating the training. They also contributed as resource persons, ensuring the success of the program.
Participants and Mode of Delivery
The training involved 25 participants, including 12 journalists, 7 CSOs representatives, and 6 community actors. It was held in-person at the Good Rade Hotel, Dakar, Senegal, on September 11, 2023, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM local time.
This training represents a significant step towards curbing the destabilizing impacts of foreign DWFVs in Senegal and the broader Gulf of Guinea, ultimately promoting the sustainable use of ocean resources and the protection of livelihoods dependent on the fishing industry. It is part of a larger effort to empower local stakeholders to hold policymakers accountable and enhance transparency in the management of fisheries in the region.