This article discusses the phenomenon of irregular migration among Senegalese artisanal fishermen to European countries with the Spanish coast as a gateway by sea. Thus, he starts from the hypothesis that the persistent crisis in the artisanal fishing sector and the precariousness of fishermen are the direct causes of this illegal migration. The marine convoys that started in 2000 are amplifying more nowadays (with the massive departures noted between September and November 2020 in the various departure centers of Senegal). The method consisted in conducting qualitative perception surveys among artisanal fishermen on the Senegalese coast in order to determine the causes. These investigations were supplemented by life stories of former candidates to this peril and a consequent documentary research. Overall, it emerges from interviews with artisanal fishermen that fishing is no longer profitable in this context of overexploitation and depletion of resources. Beyond the considerable drop in income, the activity remains more and more dangerous (increasingly distant fishing grounds) and the physical conditions of work more difficult (long stays at sea). In addition, very few employment alternatives in the Senegalese economy are available to artisanal fishermen outside the fishing. Joining the Spanish coast therefor becomes in their eyes the only alternative for a better tomorrow. The deep anchoring of this solution in the imagination of fishermen who are candidates for irregular migration is supported by the “wealth” (beautiful habitats, latest generation mobile phones, used cars brought back from Europe) of the first migrants to return to the Senegal. So many illusion, social representations, material and immaterial expectations linked to irregular migration discussed in this article.
|Translated title of the contribution
|The massive irregular migration of young fishermen to the Spanish coasts: the expression of a Senegalese artisanal fishing sector in difficulty?
|Number of pages
|Sciences et Actions Sociales
|Published - 1 Feb 2022
- irregular migration