Greenpeace ship dubbed ‘My Esperanza is set to sail for eleven weeks along the coasts of West Africa to raise awareness on the state of fisheries.
My Esperanza will sail the waters of Cape Verde, Maurituana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sirra Leone and Senegal. The ship docked at the port of Praia in Cape Verde and will trek the coasts of the listed West African countries to bring light to the current state of the fishery industry through public engagement, consultations with the West African science community and political events.
The voyage dubbed The West Africa Tour of Hope is aimed at bringing issues of the commercial marine industry to West Africa to an international light. According to Njeri Kabeberi, Greenpeace Africa Executive Director, the organization seeks to reiterate its ultimate commitment in working with local communities and governments in addressing issues of overfishing and illegal fishing that have plagued the region for decades.
According to Greenpeace Africa, West Africa’s waters are among the richest in the world – with millions of local farmers and communities depending on them for social and economic survival. However, as the population grows, so does the demand for fish. And environmental issues such as climate change and pollution make harvesting marine product sustainably even more strenuous.
According to Ibrahima Cisssé, Greenpeace Africa Senior Oceans Campaign Manager, overfishing and illegal fishing in West Africa has posed as a threat to food security. “fish stocks and a healthy ocean. It is critical that the collaboration between states be reinforced to support a regional approach to better management of fisheries in West Africa” he said.
Dr.Cisse believes that West African countries will have to work together and act with a unified voice to safeguard their water. “A sustainable common management of resources, especially the small pelagic is a first step to guarantee fish stock for present and future generations,” he added.