Fish oil tanker intercepted by Greenpeace in efforts to safeguard livelihoods in West Africa.
On the 7th of October in Senegal, a group of activists from Greenpeace intercepted a fish oil tanker. The shipment came from west Africa as an investigation by Greenpeace Africa discovered. Furthermore, the investigation showed that the fish oil industry has grown alarmingly over the last year and a half.
“The basis of this business strips our oceans of life and kills the fishing communities. They must stop,” shared Dr Aliou Ba, the oceans campaign manager at Greenpeace Africa. Action is demanded by Greenpeace Africa on importers and parties part of this terrifying trade.
Fish oil tanker intercepted from West Africa but why is this important?
In addition, on an annual basis about half a million tonnes of fish are taken from West African waters. This large amount is used to create fish meal and oil to feed farmed fish and other animals around the world. However, this amount of fish could feed 33 million people in an area terribly plagued by food insecurity.
Moreover, Greenpeace Africa released numbers that in Mauritania, fish exports rose by an alarming 16% in 2020 alone.
“The fish they used to produce this oil should be bought and sold in local markets,” said Fatou Samba, president of the women fish processor’s association, from Bargny, Senegal. “It could be creating jobs and feeding people in my community, or anywhere in West Africa. But instead it will be fed to farmed fish and animals in Europe. This has to end, before this crucial source of food and jobs for us is destroyed.”
A large percent of fish oil is used for fish farming. Further, the European sector is driven by four major aqua-feed companies namely; BioMar, EWOS/Cargill, Mowi and Skretting. According to Greenpeace Africa these companies have sourced fishmeal and fish oil from Mauritania to produce aqua-feed.
Conclusively, the pressure being imposed by the large exploitation of the West African shores is harming large populations. The attention brought by Greenpeace Africa shows the need for balance to ensure all peoples livelihoods are looked after.