In the neighbourhood of M’bour, a 75 year old fisherman, Alioune Ndoye, known as Badou, lives with his family. Old photos, souvenirs of sea trips, drawings of pirogues, posters and some certificates of acknowledgment adorn the wall of his bedroom: “in 1956, I started the job as an artisanal fisherman and three years later, I was promoted captain of the pirogue that belonged to my father and my mother. After several decades of intense activity in this sector, I stopped in 2009”, says Captain Badou.
A privileged witness of the evolutions in Senegalese artisanal fishing sector, Alioune Ndoye confides that fish is getting scarcer. “In Mbour, in the past, we used to have fish in abundance and the fishermen did not need to spend many hours or stay overnight at sea to catch it”, he recalls. These times are now by-gone.
For this retired fisherman, irresponsible fishing practices are the major causes for the depletion of this resource. “Some fishermen, – those using nylon mono filament nets-, are no stranger to the scarcity of fish that we are facing now. When fishermen loose these nets at sea, they end up cluttering the rocks which are the best fish reproduction areas and this disturbs the fish”, moans Captain Badou.
He straightens up and accuses the governance of the sector. “The multitude of pirogues in Senegal is a problem for the artisanal fishing sector itself. And the State of Senegal is the first culprit. There was a time when it was possible to identify who was a fisherman and who was not. Today, it is no longer the case”, adds Alioune Ndoye.