Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Senegal Artisanal fisheries sub-sector
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Fishery production system report 2008
Senegal Artisanal fisheries sub-sector
Fact Sheet Citation  
La pêche artisanale au Sénégal
Owned byFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – more>>

Overview: The Senegalese fisheries are predominantly artisanal...

Location of Senegal Artisanal fisheries sub-sector

Geographic reference:  Senegal
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2008
Approach: Production System

Means of Production
Land Base: Senegal
Type of production system: Artisanal

Fishery Indicators
Employment: Number of fishers; Auxiliary employment…; Total employment; % women
Fishing Capacity: Number of vessels/fishing…
Production: Landed Volume; Landed Value
Utilization: Share of production…
Economic Performance: Tonnes of fish…

Means of Production
Type of production system: Artisanal   

National definitions of production systems
(definitions in Fisheries Act [Code de la pêche] 1998)1

Artisanal = traditional undecked canoes,using non-mechanised gear and only using ice and salt for the preservation of catches.

1Centre de Recherches Océanographiques Dakar-Thiaroye (Oceanographic Research Center Dakar-Thiaroye).
Land Area

Land Area References for: Senegal

Fishing Gear
The most commonly used gear include encircling nets, ringnets, set gillnets, hooks and lines, and handlines.
Encircling gillnets
Ring nets
Set gillnets (anchored)
Hooks and lines
Handlines and hand-operated pole-and-lines
Fishing Technique
Many fishers combine different fishing methods in order to make the most of the increasingly scarce fishery resources.
Captured Species
Coastal pelagic species make up the bulk of the catches, including sardinella, bonga, anchovies, horse mackerel and mackerels. In the inland sector, the canoe fishery target finfish, crustaceans and molluscs in the river deltas. Bonga, tilapias and mullets are among the most common species landed.
Socioeconomic Assessment
The data in this fact sheet have been sourced mainly from the BNP case study in Senegal in 2008. The case study was carried out as a desk study, compiling and analysing existing secondary information from different sources including official statistics, censuses, research data and project reports. The data used referred to different years (e.g. inland fisheries data mainly from 1999-2000; number of fishers in the marine sector from 2005) but the preliminary study results were discussed and validated with key informants and local experts and were considered valid estimates for base year of the study, i.e. 2006 (see more explanations with regard to methods and sources in the BNP case study report: Démé, M. 2008. Revue sectorielle des statistiques de pêche et des systèmes de collecte de l’information au Sénégal. BNP working document, and in Table 1 of Senegal Fishery sector fact sheet). It should be noted that figures may differ from officially reported data..

Complementary information has also been derived from:
Related Fisheries - Related assessment
The assessment presented in this fact sheet is part of a more comprehensive national assessment undertaken under the BigNumbers project. Please refer to the other observation units [or fisheries] assessed:
Senegal Fisheries sector, Senegal Marine industrial fisheries sub-sector.

  • Inland – Senegal river – non-motorised/motorised canoes
  • Inland – Sine Saloum river – non-motorised/motorised canoes
  • Inland – Casamance river – non-motorised/motorised canoes
  • Marine – Atlantic coast – motorised canoes

The Senegalese fisheries are predominantly artisanal, i.e. they take place by the use of canoes operated by traditional fishing communities, some also fishing on foot without vessels. There are an important number of landing sites for the marine sector along the 700 km long Atlantic coast from Saint Louis in the north to Boudiédiéte in the south. Inland fisheries are mainly found in the deltas of the three main rivers; Senegal, Saloum and Casamance. About 82 000 fishers work in the artisanal sector, with a more or less equal distribution between the marine and the inland sector. In addition there are some 37 600 jobs in ancillary activities, mainly fish processing and marketing, giving a total of 119 600 jobs in the sector. 30 percent of the workforce are women.

It is estimated that there are some 30 300 fishing units in the Senegalese artisanal fisheries sector. This includes some 9 200 motorised canoes fishing in the Atlantic as well as handheld gear (i.e. fishing without boats), motorised and non-motorised canoes in inland waters.

Total annual landings of the artisanal sector are estimated at 488 100 tonnes at a value of USD 109 million. The marine artisanal fleet lands 85-90 percent of this total. It is estimated that 66 percent of the artisanal catch is consumed locally in country. The share for local human consumption is higher for inland catches (75 percent) than for marine (66%).

Data on fuel consumption is available for the marine artisanal fleet. There is great variation in the amount of fish that is caught per unit of fuel consumed, from less than one tonne of fish per tonne of fuel (pots, longlines, beach seines) to over 20 tonnes per tonne of fuel (purse seines operated by two boats and ringnets). On average, the sector catches about 10 tonnes of fish per each tonne of fuel used.
Fishery Indicators
EmploymentNumber of fishers82000persons
Auxiliary employment (upstream and downstream employment)37600persons
Total employment119600persons
% women30%
Fishing CapacityNumber of vessels/fishing units30300Maritime Area
ProductionLanded Volume 488100tonnes
Landed Value 109million USD
UtilizationShare of production for domestic human consumption66%
Economic PerformanceTonnes of fish caught per tonne of fuel consumed9.7tonnes of fish/1 tonne fuel

More information on employment is found in Table1

More detailed information on fishing capacity, production, utilisation, and economic performance is included in Table 2.
Source of Information
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