Fishing for pet food ‘deprives millions of West Africans’

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Monitored on BBC – Environmental campaigners have warned that exports of fish meal and fish oil from West Africa are depriving more than 30 million people a year of food.

A report by Greenpeace Africa and the Netherlands-based organisation Changing Markets urges governments to phase out processing of fish which is fit for human consumption being used for fishmeal and oil.

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This is especially true of The Gambia, where exploitation of catch landings for the domestic consumer markets are diverted to a network of Chinese fishmeal factories dotted along the coastline – exploitation on a grand scale!

Greenpeace Africa has said the fish extracted by industrial vessels off West Africa are processed and exported, mainly to Europe and Asia, as feed for fish farms, pet food or use in cosmetics.

How does heartless foreign owners justify the practice devoid of any human feelings or their security. Across the region, food insecurity is the population’s common lot from the depths of Timbuktu in Mali, to the heartlands of Benenden, off Gunjur coast.

Will the Gambia government respond to concerns, set quota limits on daily, monthly catch limits with regards to export, ahem exploitation controls?

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The report further says the industry is devastating coastal communities and undermining food security in Mauritania, Senegal, the Gambia, Mali and Burkina Faso, among others.


Gibril Saine

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