The wave at the heart of Senegalese fishermen

Photography : Guillaume COLLANGES     Texts : Sébastien DAYCARD HEID    

At three o'clock in the morning, Renaud yhuel takes his spinner out of the port of Lorient. The two sailors, Souleymane and Pascal finish their night in the bunks of the calle, near the engine.
Souleymane has been working on belladonna for three years. Senagalese by origin, he has been in France for five years.
Souleymane has been working on belladonna for three years. Senagalese by origin, he has been in France for five years.
Back from fishing, the men sort the fish by species and size before landing.
After 12 hours at sea, the boat returns to the port of Keroman.
On the Bara landing, business for a 14-day tide departure is ready.
Bara has tea with Lamin Diop, the recently retired veteran and Mamadou, also a fisherman.
Bara during the end-of-day prayer.
Lamin, Bara and Mamadou walk in the streets of Lorient.
A child swims back the pirogue for the day's fishing. Like many others, he wants to become a fisherman later.
A group of small-scale fishermen watch the horizon for a school of fish. Unlike modern trawlers in Asian, Russian or European fleets, they do not have sonar to track fish.
Purse seine fishing is the most classic technique. Even if it is forbidden, the nilon net is the only one used by fishermen: cheaper and more efficient.
After a day of fishing, the pirogue comes back with barely enough to feed the crew. The small fishermen of Joal are forced to go further and further in Gambia to make profitable their activity. Over the past 30 years, fish stocks in Senegal have declined considerably.
The arrival of a lazy boat returning with sardinella filled calls immediately generates an effervescence on the port. the porters' ball starts.
Holders are paid approximately 200CFA (0.3€) per 50kg case. The faster they make the return journey to the unloading port 150 metres higher, the more they earn enough to live on.
The arrival of a lazy boat returning with sardinella filled calls immediately generates an effervescence on the port. the porters' ball starts.
The sardinella is THE fish that ensures the food security of the Senagal. Other species such as the captain have become too expensive for most families.
Women come to the port to buy fish and then sell it at retail.
Almost all fishermen use nylon nets, even though they are officially banned. They cost less and catch fish more easily.
The return of fishing was very rough that morning in Djifer, a port overlooking the Sine Saloum. Not even enough to pay for the night's fuel. Alphang Sarr, prepares a new 800m fillet to increase his chances of taking.
In the port of Djifer, like in joal, the proliferation of canoes is impressive. artisanal fishing is not regulated.
Women are mainly involved in the sale and processing of fish. The whole economy of the city is based on fishing.
The fishing port of Joal is the most important in Senegal. The fishermen of Dakar come to fill their trucks for local sale or for export.
Two fishmeal factories are located in Joal, they belong to Koreans. Their access is strictly forbidden and impossible to have. On the whole Senegalese coast these factories flower to feed the world fish farm.
Omar's wife prepares the Tieboudienne (traditional rice, fish and vegetable dish) for lunch. Like all Senegalese families, several generations live in the family home with their spouses and children.
Omar's wife prepares the Tieboudienne (traditional rice, fish and vegetable dish) for lunch. Like all Senegalese families, several generations live in the family home with their spouses and children.
Meals are taken with family but also with friends or neighbours passing through. There is a tieb dish for women, one for children and one for men.
Omar's wife prepares tea after lunch's Tieboudienne (traditional rice, fish and vegetable dish). Like all Senegalese families, several generations live in the family home with their spouses and children.
Omar shares photos of his life in France with his friend Sabassi. He stayed home and works as a driver.
Omar regarde un match de foot dans sa chambre, c'est la pièce ou il vit avec sa femme et son enfant.
Senegalese wrestling is the most popular sport just behind football. Especially here in joal where one of the most famous champion resides.
Senegalese wrestling is the most popular sport just behind football. Especially here in joal where one of the most famous champion resides.
Karim Saal is the secretary of the fishermen's association and the president of Joal's AMP. Thanks to him, a reforestation program was launched to save mangroves.
Karim Saal is the secretary of the fishermen's association and the president of Joal's AMP. It regularly patrols the MPA closed fishing area and educates fishers about the importance of this marine protected area.
After a day in the water collecting wild oysters in the mangrove, Bintou and his colleagues leave before the tide rises.
Bitou spends the day walking in the mud inlaid with sharp shells of dead oysters. They protect their feet and hands with thick cotton gloves.
Bintou Sonko is vice-president of Joal's AMP and president of the association of oyster farming women. Mbogayaye means: we come from the same mother. They are all sisters thanks to this association.
Once the oysters are cooked, they are taken out of their shells and dried. In two days of cooking, Bintou will recover 2 kg of oysters. They will sell them for 20 000 CFA on the Mbour market (30€).
The sardinelles are unloaded to be sorted, smoked and salted in a district of Joal dedicated to this activity. The export of fish to all countries bordering Senegal provides a significant amount of animal protein in the diet of the sub-region.
The sardinelles are unloaded to be sorted, smoked and salted in a district of Joal dedicated to this activity. The export of fish to all countries bordering Senegal provides a significant amount of animal protein in the diet of the sub-region.
There are dozens of trades related to fishing, carpentry, painting, mechanics, spinners, stringers...
The whole beach of Joal is occupied by canoes. The size varies from 9 to 30 meters. They are restored about every year.
The trawlers only sail 26 km from the coast of Joal. Artisanal and industrial fishermen work less than a kilometre away. For years, artisanal fishermen have denounced this competition which has plundered resources and threatened Senegal's food security.
The trawlers only sail 26 km from the coast of Joal. Artisanal and industrial fishermen work less than a kilometre away. For years, artisanal fishermen have denounced this competition which has plundered resources and threatened Senegal's food security.
The box carriers are waiting for the pirogues to arrive. They are paid between 100 and 200 CFA (0.15 to 0.3 €) per case of fish transported to the unloading dock.
If nothing is done to regulate fishing and manage fish stocks in Senegalese waters, the ocean risks becoming a "liquid desert", a term used by Karim Sall, Secretary General of the Joal-Fadiouth Fishermen's Association.
Comme dans de nombreux pays, la gestion des déchets (plastiques et autres) n'est pas du tout gérée par les autorités. A long terme, l'océan risque de passer du statut de gardien de nourriture à celui de poubelle, mettant en péril la sécurité alimentaire du Sénégal et du reste de la planète.