Sir Peter Scott Fund project: Shark meat trade, West Africa
- To facilitate and support the withdrawal of women from shark meat processing;
- To provide technical, financial and institutional support to retrain the women in more sustainable fish markets and improved processing practices
Shark-finning in West Africa is an unsustainable fishing practice that is endangering local shark populations. Certain species no longer exist in areas of their former range whilst others have entirely disappeared from the sub-region.
Industrial and small scale fisheries in West Africa have increased their fishing efforts to meet the demands for this product in Asian markets, whilst shark meat is also bought locally.
By re-training women traditionally involved in the processing of shark meat to new sustainable livelihoods, this project hopes to achieve a community-based conservation action that benefits marine biodiversity throughout West Africa.
(May 2008) The project was launched publically on 30th May 2008, with representatives from the region’s governmental fisheries department and local media.
(June 2008) A key action for the project was implemented with a practical workshop on the processing of alternative types of fish product. This was to encourage women to withdraw from the shark meat trade through training in the use of abundant fish species such as sardinella as a more sustainable source of income.
After the success of this event, which trained 35 participants from different areas of Senegal, the women involved spoke of taking the initiative back to their local areas to establish new partnerships and explore market opportunities.
(April 2009) The field work has been completed and the results of the training workshops have been very positive. Full report