Every year, European companies contribute to a tragic diversion of fresh fish that is essential to maintaining the food security of over 33 million people in the West African region. This is the result of a new report from Greenpeace Africa and Changing Markets. Feeding a Monster: How the European Aquaculture and Animal Feed Industry Steals Food from West African Communities.
The report shows how every year more than half a million tons of small pelagic fish are extracted along the coast of West Africa and converted into feed for aqua and agriculture, nutritional supplements, cosmetics and pet food products outside the African continent.
“The fishmeal and fish oil industries, and all the governments and corporations that support them, are essentially depriving the local population of their livelihoods and food. This runs counter to international commitments on sustainable development, poverty reduction, food security and gender equality. ” said Dr. Ibrahimé Cissé, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa.
The report is based on research into the fish meal and fish oil (FMFO) trade relationship between the FMFO industry in West Africa and the European market. It includes dealers, aqua and agrofeed companies in France, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and Greece. It also examines the supply chain relationships between fish processors / distributors and farmed fish producers who have purchased Aquafeed from companies involved in the West African FMFO trade and well-known retailers in recent years France (Carrefour, Auchan, E. Leclerc, Système U, Monoprix, Groupe Casino), Germany (Aldi Süd, Lidl, Kaufland, Rewe, Metro AG, Edeka.), Spain (Lidl Espana) and the United Kingdom (Tesco, Lidl, Aldi).
“Exports of fish meal and fish oil to Europe steal the livelihood of coastal communities by depriving the population of an important source of food and income. European aquafeed companies and retailers can no longer ignore this important human rights and environmental issue. Now is the time to rethink supply chains and quickly end the use of wild-caught fish in farmed fish and other animals in order to conserve these fish populations for future generations. ” said Alice Delemare Tangpuori, Campaign Manager, Market Change.
Research by Greenpeace and Changing Markets confirms a rapid expansion of FMFO in recent years, particularly in Mauritania, where 70% of fish oil exports went to the EU in 2019. The governments of Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia have so far failed to jointly manage their common small pelagic fish resources and to take appropriate measures to guarantee the right to food and livelihood for the affected communities, including the artisanal fisheries sector, which continue to oppose the FMFO – factories protest.
“During the cold season in Senegal, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find sardines at the usual landing points. The consequences for the food and nutrition security of the local people are catastrophic as well as for the balance of the food chain at sea. ” said Dr. Alassane Samba, former Research Director and Director of the Dakar-Thiaroye Oceanographic Research Center in Senegal.
Harouna Ismail Lebaye, President of the FLPA (Artisanal Fishing Free Federation)The Nouadhibou Section in Mauritania has a strong message to companies and governments involved in the procurement of FMFO: “Your investments are robbing us of our fishery resources, your investments are starving us, your investments are threatening our stability, your factories are making us sick … It is Time to stop now. “
Greenpeace Africa and Changing Markets urge companies, policymakers and governments not to take fish from West Africa suitable for human consumption in order to meet demand for fish meal and fish oil in the European Union and Norway.
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