African mackerel to leave Russian market

May 17, 2012 11:45

Senegal's new government has revoked the licenses of 29 foreign fishing trawlers and demanded that they land their catches in the capital Dakar before leaving the country's waters. The ban first of all has touched Russian vessels, namely 10 trawlers owned by Murmansk Trawl Fleet who used to harvest ca.100,000 MT of Senegal fish during the season which accounted for 40% of the total harvest of local fishermen, reports with reference to

The final decision has been taken by Senegal's Minister of Fisheries Mr. Pape Diouf after a special investigation carried out by Senegal ecologists. The latter claim that Russian fishermen have been abusing their permission and gathering the whole harvest as their big trawlers have come close to the shores where local fishermen are allowed to harvest fish only with small nets or fishing rods.

In particular, in late February 2012 Greenpeace found Oleg Naidenov 120-meter trawler owned by Murmansk Trawl Fleet-2 in the waters closed for fishery and immediately reported about the fact to the Senegal authorities. After the consequent check Senegal's Department on Fishery Protection and Surveillance has confirmed illegality of the Russian trawler's operations. The violation has been estimated at 30 million African francs.

In the meantime, the shipowner pleads Oleg Naidenov not guilty referring to the Russian-Senegal intergovernmental agreement on fisheries signed on 8 February 2011. The agreement's protocol specifies the given trawler as one of the fishery participants.

Senegal's new government is actually strongly dissatisfied by former agreements. According to the recently elected President Maki Sal, ex-government has signed unbeneficial agreements with Russian fishing companies under which they should pay USD 35 per tonne of Senegal fish. Thus, the new government is ready to terminate fisheries agreements with Russia as they think that Russian fleets exhaust Senegal's fish stocks while the nation's economy strongly depends on the fishing sector.

According to sales director of Murmansk Trawl Fleet plc Vyacheslav Sturzu, mackerel, sardine and sardinella harvested by the Russian vessels in the Senegal waters are sold on the Russian market, in particular, in Kaliningrad and Saint-Petersburg, as well as in a number of European countries. African mackerel has its niche on the Russian market, it has a smaller fat content and therefore is cheaper than its North Atlantic congener.

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