The article evaluates the impact of EU fishing activities for the sustainable development of Senegal’s maritime fishery. An evaluation of Senegalese fisheries’ policy discourse introduces the idea that Senegalese fisheries’ policies have not been fully compatible with the sustainable development of the country’s fishery sector. A comparative analysis of the sustainable development impacts associated with the activities of different fishery user groups shows that managed activities of heterogeneous user groups can benefit the sustainable development of the sector. Conclusions suggest that the heterogeneity of the user groups frequenting Senegal’s marine fishery system can be capitalised upon through allocating fishery access in accord with each group’s ability to generate sustainable development benefits. On the basis of these findings the article suggests that the presence of an EU fleet in Senegalese waters could play a meaningful role in ensuring the sustainable development of Senegal’s marine fishery.