Chinese nationals have been issued Gambian citizenship, to register fishing trawlers in The Gambia, so that they could fish in Senegalese waters, the Senegalese opposition have alleged, Freedom Newspaper can report. The Senegalese Opposition made the revelation in an opposition forum in Dakar, where they repudiated the Macky Sall government for allowing what they called “such a maritime fishing fraud.” Opposition Leader Ousman Sonko and his colleagues said about 52 fishing licenses have been issued to Chinese citizens, who have been granted Gambian citizenship. The Senegalese opposition had also claimed that millions of dollars have been accrued from the illegal fishing emanating from the West African nation of The Gambia. The opposition added that the Chinese nationals have been operating in other neighboring West African nations after been granted citizenship from those countries.
The raging opposition have blamed Minister Omar Gaye for being responsible for the organized sea poaching illegal fishing. They have called for an end to such an illegal fishing.
“Senegal should be able to manage its own sea to a point that it should be able export fish overseas. We are far ahead of The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and other countries, when it comes to resources. We should manage our resources,” Opposition Leader Ousman Sonko said.
“We will no longer allow these vessels to intrude into our waters. We will make sure that only our vessels would be allowed to fish in our waters; our catchments would be used to feed Senegalese and the rest would be stored,” he added.
The opposition said the illegal fishing is adversely affecting Senegalese local fishermen. They have called for an end to such an illegal practice.
Fisheries Minister James Gomez could not be reached for comment at press time.