Small pelagic fish in Senegal: a multi-usage resource

Elhadj Deme*, Moustapha Deme, Pierre Failler

*Corresponding author for this work

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The objective of this article is to analyse the marketing of small pelagic fish in Senegal and the issues involved in context of growing national and regional demand and the emergence of new uses, particularly the processing of fish meal. The method consisted of compiling and analysing data (2009 - 2018) on national small pelagic fish production, foreign trade and the Senegalese population. In Senegal, fish consumption is largely supported by small pelagic fish, which account for 82% of consumption. This represents an average consumption of 13 kg per individual over the period 2009 - 2018. At the same time, artisanal processing, which is an important element of Senegal;s food security, is mainly fed by small pelagics. However, the emergence of non-food uses and export trends of coastal pelagics threaten national food security and the sustainability of small pelagic stocks. Export levels of these species have increased from less than 71,000 tons to over 200,000 tons over the same period coupled with annual industrial non-food processing (fishmeal) of over 20,000 tons. All these mechanisms are responsible for the decline in per capita consumption of small pelagics in Senegal, from 18 kg in 2009 to 9 kg in 2018. As a food safety net in Senegal, the new uses of coastal pelagics threaten the supply of fish products to the local market. The drop in supply to the artisanal processing sector also threatens the employment of thousands of women and compromises their livelihoods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105083
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Policy
Early online date5 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Sector
  • fishmeal
  • processing
  • supply
  • consumption


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