Migration of Senegalese fishers: a case for regional approach to management

Thomas Binet, Pierre Failler, Andy Thorpe

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    This article traces the recent history of Senegalese small-scale fishers’ migration in West Africa. It details how migration of Senegalese fishers developed and then intensified to become a specialized fishing strategy spread out all along the coast of West Africa, from Mauritania to Sierra Leone and beyond. This escalation has rapidly led to the depletion of fish stocks in the region. Today, while fishing migration still largely contributes to food security and provision of sustainable livelihood for coastal communities, this type of migration has reached both an ecological and social deadlock and its future is largely uncertain. Based on current trends in Senegalese fishing migration, this paper highlights the main drivers of changes and impacts of migration. It proposes the development of a regional approach to fisheries management, emphasizing the need for collaborative transnational research projects and stressing the necessity for biodiversity project managers to include the issue of fisheries migration in their regional conservation strategies. It also suggests there may be a need to introduce property rights so as to limit the open access enjoyed by Senegalese migrant fishers almost all over the West African sub-region.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalMaritime Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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