The authorities of Sierra Leone have applied "a wise decision", according to environmental advocates. Indeed, the country banned for one month, from Monday 1 April 2019, the industrial fishery in its waters to preserve the stocks. Industrial fishing companies, often Asian, must also put an end to exports. The ban is intended, in principle, to protect fish stocks if it is known that illegal fishing would represent about 30% of the catches of foreign trawlers in Angola.
The ban announced by the Ministry of fisheries in Sierra Leone aims, in particular, on foreign trawlers. In Sierra Leone, the President of the National Consortium of fishermen, Alpha Sheku Kamara, welcomes this measure. But for environmental advocates, that is not enough.
"That's good, but it's not enough," says Ibrahima Cissé, the head of Greenpeace Africa's oceans campaign. It is not sustainable what is happening now. We know that in the long run, it is a problem of food security, it is a problem of poverty, it is a lot of problems that are going to be posed in the subregion. There is an effort to ensure that at least the common problems are managed in a common way. »
It remains to be known whether Sierra Leone will be able to enforce this prohibition. Illegal fishing would represent about 30% of the catches of foreign trawlers.
"This is not to say that there will be zero illegal fishing," says Ibrahima Cissé. But it is already a very strong measure that will still score and show that even something is being done. »
According to the International Union for the conservation of nature, some 37 species are already in the process of extinction from Angola to Mauritania. Fourteen other species could soon be in turn.
This decision by Sierra Leone has not gone unnoticed abroad. Haïdar El Ali, an environmentalist activist, is a former Minister of fisheries and Maritime Affairs of Senegal.