Economic dimension of the collapse of the ‘false Epinephelus aeneus in a context of ineffective management of the small-scale fisheries in Senegal

  • D Thiao
  • C Chaboud
  • A Samba
  • F Laloë
  • PM Cury

Abstract

Small-scale fisheries are often seen as a solution for ensuring sustainability in marine exploitation. They are viewed as a suitable alternative to industrial fisheries, particularly when considering their social and economic importance in developing countries. Here, we show that the booming small-scale fishery sector in Senegal, in the context of increasing foreign demand, has induced the collapse  of one of the most emblematic West African marine fish species, a large grouper Epinephelus aeneus, historically called ‘false cod’ by European fishers. The overexploitation of this species appears to be on account of the increasing effort sustained by a growing international demand and important subsidies, which resulted in a relative stability of the average economic yield per fishing trip and an incentive for continuing targeting this species to almost extinction. It is a critical time for addressing and mitigating the pressure of the small-scale fisheries to prevent declines of fish species that are highly valued by northern markets. A balance between conservation and exploitation is necessary to maintain ecological viability while considering the socio-economic importance of the small-scale fisheries. However, a new strategy is needed for conservation that will consider and articulate simultaneously the concerns regarding unmanaged and growing small-scale fisheries, rampant subsidies and increasing foreign demand.

Keywords: conservation, foreign demand, grouper, overexploitation, price

African Journal of Marine Science 2012, 34(3): 305–311

Author Biographies

D Thiao
Centre de Recherches Océanographiques de Dakar-Thiaroye (CRODT), BP 2241, Dakar, Senegal
C Chaboud
IRD, UMR EME 212 (Exploited Marine Ecosystems), Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale IRD – IFREMER and Université Montpellier II, Avenue Jean Monnet, BP 171, 34203 Sète Cedex, France
A Samba
Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Cité ISRA n°103, BP 03, Dakar RP, Senegal
F Laloë
IRD, UMR GRED 220 (Gouvernance, Risque, Environnement Développement), IRD – UPV Montpellier III, 911 avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
PM Cury
IRD, UMR EME 212 (Exploited Marine Ecosystems), Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale IRD – IFREMER and Université Montpellier II, Avenue Jean Monnet, BP 171, 34203 Sète Cedex, France
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Articles

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eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X