Tuna: Investigations of value addition and potential EU investments in tuna fisheries in Africa

Pierre Failler, Grégoire Touron-Gardic, Juliana Arias-Hansen, Alexandre Rodriguez, Sonia Doblado, Øystein Hermansen, Jónas R. Viðarsson, Andy Forse*, Ben Drakeford

*Corresponding author for this work

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This research studies investment opportunities within the tuna fish pole and line fishery by the coast of the African Atlantic Façade (mainly SW–Senegal), and the associated value chains. Also, a section is dedicated to investigating the specific case of investment of French capital in tuna fisheries in Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The investigation was conducted under the FarFish project, which overarching objective is to provide knowledge, tools and methods to support responsible, sustainable and profitable EU fisheries outside European waters, both within the jurisdiction (EEZ) of non-EU coastal states as well as in international waters/high seas. In order to achieve this, the aim of this research is to identify, study and potentially recommend investment opportunities for EU operators within some of the project’s case study countries. The investigations done into tuna fisheries were based on interviews with relevant stakeholders, including shipowners and key personnel from public bodies and institutions both in West Africa and Europe (see Appendix A for the list of stakeholders consulted). In addition, most of the data presented in this section was acquired from DG-Mare in a non-public dataset compiling every fishing lot from EU vessels operating within SFPAs in Senegal. A second case study in tuna fisheries in this case in the Indian Ocean, investigates the investment from the French company SAPMER to improve the land infrastructure in the Port of Victoria (Seychelles), as this would be the only notable investment by European interests in recent years for tuna fishing in Africa. These sections conclude that the fishing area where EU pole-and-line vessels are active is becoming less productive, decreasing the profitability of European flagged vessels, as well as of Senegalese flagged vessels that maintain close partnerships with Europe. As a response, they have attempted to extend their fishing grounds. Additional fishing opportunities are opening in The Gambia (whose EEZ is restricted) and other countries are expected to follow. Contrastingly, the EU sustainable partnership fisheries agreement with Senegal or Mauritania could include fewer fishing opportunities in terms of tonnage, as well as increasingly restrictive conditions for access and landings. European operators have reacted so far by considering the switch to private regime, instead of operating under SFPA, as a preferred strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107
Number of pages21
JournalSustainable Economies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2024


  • climate change
  • adaptation measures
  • vulnerability
  • co-creation
  • sustainability

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