Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA)

Senegal shows commitment to fight IUU fishing and endorses National Strategy and Action Plan

©FAO/Kristín von Kistowski

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently carried out a detailed review of the Republic of Senegal’s existing policy and legal frameworks as well as its monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) system to effectively implement the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) and complementary international instruments and regional mechanisms to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The combined mission was jointly organized and conducted with the Directorate for Fisheries Protection and Surveillance (Direction de la Protection et de la Surveillance des Pêches, DPSP) under the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, and took place between 15 and 25 May 2023.

This mission built on the National Strategy and Action Plan that had been formulated in a consultative process during a national needs assessment workshop in November 2022, which was formally endorsed by the Government of the Republic of Senegal during a special event on 24 May 2023 at the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy (MPEM) in Diamniadio.

During the nine-day mission, the review team – consisting of FAO specialists and DPSP staff – met with representatives from all relevant divisions within MPEM as well as from other relevant administrations such as for maritime affairs, port, customs and police.

The mission team thoroughly examined Senegal’s policy and legal frameworks that provides a basis for the country to meet its international obligations as a port, flag coastal and market State to combat IUU fishing. The team also conducted a review of the activities of the fisheries sector, national and foreign fleets, known activities of IUU fishing threatening sustainable fisheries, the MCS and enforcement framework, and the operations of Senegal‘s Fisheries Monitoring Center.

As part of the mission, the team visited the port of Dakar that is designated for foreign vessels under the PSMA, as well as important landing sites in St. Louis and Joal where large volumes of fish are being landed. The team examined the existing MCS capabilities with its dedicated human resources, information collecting mechanisms, means and assets. The review focused on capacity, training needs and needs to develop standard operating procedures.

The mission team highlighted the significance of small-scale fisheries in Senegal in the context of IUU fishing, as small-scale fisheries both negatively affected by IUU fishing activities and also contribute to these activities and thereby to the overexploitation of marine living resources in Senegalese waters and beyond. The small-scale fisheries sector accounts for around 85 percent of marine catches and plays a very important role for food security and livelihoods in the country.

The combined legal and MCS mission was the second project activity in Senegal under the Germany funded project GCP/GLO/1047/GER, the Port State Measures Support Project,  which supports, among others, capacity development in four African developing States.