The European Parliament approved on November 18, 2020 a new fisheries agreement protocol between the European Union and Senegal. Negotiations began on July 19, 2019. This agreement provides for fishing opportunities for international European trawlers of 28 freezer tuna seiners, 10 pole-and-line vessels for tuna, 5 longliners for tuna, 2 trawlers for hake over a period of 5 years.
This signature comes in a situation of social tension. almost 500 people died trying to go to Europe on October 24, 2020. Most of the volunteers who leave for this clandestine emigration, belong to the family of fishermen, Senegalese fishermen who for lack of being able to fish in the areas full of fish and being able to make a living from their trade, take the canoes for a dangerous and uncertain journey.
At the signing of this fishing protocol for the countries of the European Union, representatives of Senegalese artisanal fishing organizations expressed their concerns about the difficulties in the sector. Through a document entitled “Concerns and expectations of artisanal fishing professionals and Senegalese civil society”, demand transparency concerning the access of foreign fleets to Senegalese waters and in relation to sectoral support, the amount of which is 585 million FCFA per year. They are asking for regulation of the sector, a revaluation of their profession, a better distribution of water but also, to give them the means to be able to access national fishing resources as a priority. Their claim via this document includes the terms of access to resources with no access to small pelagics, access to hake, as well as the development of artisanal tuna fishing.
The last protocol between Senegal and the European Union expired eight years ago. This new agreement authorizes more than 40 vessels flying European flags to catch 10,000 tonnes of fish per year. A counterpart of 912 million 500 thousand CFA francs will be paid by the EU over five years. A financial envelope that will be divided between the right of access to Senegalese waters and the fees due by the shipowners for fishing authorizations.