SENEGAL – The fishing sector in Senegal, contributing 3% to the GDP and employing approximately 600,000 people, is set to receive a boost with the signing of a financing agreement on February 27.

The agreement, signed by Robert Guei, FAO coordinator in West Africa, and Japanese Ambassador Izawa Osamu, outlined a project titled “Improving the quality of life and livelihoods of women fish processors and their communities in Casamance.”

With a total cost of 1.12 billion CFA francs (US$1.8 million), this three-year program is set to strengthen the artisanal fishing sector in the Casamance region while enhancing the food and nutritional security of women fish processors.

The project is designed to establish environmentally friendly, sustainable, and healthy fish processing infrastructures in localities such as Cap Skirring, Elinkine, Fanda, Goudomp, Niaguiss, and Ziguinchor. Additionally, it includes the installation of vital landing sites along the Casamance River.

In addition, five artisanal processing units and 25 FAO-Thiaroye processing ovens (FTT) are slated for installation in targeted localities to enhance fish drying, smoking operations, and other fishery products.

Artisanal fishing contributes around 80% of the local fish supply in Senegal, amounting to approximately 450,000 tonnes per year, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Tunisia boosts fight against illegal fishing with acquisition of surveillance vessels

Meanwhile, in a move to combat illegal fishing and protect the vital fishing and aquaculture sector, Tunisia has acquired two surveillance vessels.

Abdelmonem Belati, the Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources, and Fisheries, received the vessels at the port of La Goulette on February 26.

The two boats, dedicated to illegal fishing surveillance operations, were obtained at a total cost of 25 million dinars (US$8 million).

The vessels were part of a generous donation from Japan to Tunisia, facilitated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Takeshi Osuga, the Japanese ambassador to Tunisia, highlighted the long-standing cooperation between the governments of Japan and Tunisia, as well as the close collaboration between JICA and the Ministry of Agriculture.

According to a 2023 report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC), Tunisia is vulnerable to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, similar to its South African neighbours.

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