URI gets $11.5 million for sustainable fishing in Senegal (Apr 25, 2011)
NARRAGANSETT — The Coastal Resources Center and the Fisheries Center at the University of Rhode Island have won an $11.5 million federal grant to promote sustainable fishing practices in Senegal over the next five years.
The grant, from the US Agency for International Development, marks the URI centers’ first venture in Senegal, although the centers have worked on similar coastal management and sustainable fishing projects in in several other sub-Saharan countries for many years.
The project aims to help the Senegalese government work with fishermen as partners to prevent overfishing while still providing food to the population, said Brian Crawford, director of international programs at the Coastal Resources Center.
One of the challenges, he said, is that farmers and others in Senegal who struggle financially may turn to fishing to help make ends meet, with the result that “there are too many fishermen chasing too few fish.”
Fishermen must be involved in the management process, which would likely mean that some Senegalese who want to fish would be restricted from doing so, he said.
“It is a long-term process, so we don’t expect that there will be huge changes in the biological conditions over the five-year life of the project,” Crawford said.
“But we want to build a foundation of enabling conditions so that those changes can eventually be achieved,” he said.
The Senegal project is one of seven international initiatives run by the Coastal Resources Center with USAID funding totaling $8 million annually.