The Political Economy of Fisheries Reforms in Sénégal

37 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2016

See all articles by Mare Sarr

Mare Sarr

University of Cape Town - School of Economics

Date Written: May 2012


Fisheries in Sénégal are comprised of two sub-sectors: the artisanal sub-sector and the industrial sub-sector. While access to the Senegalese industrial sub-sector is controlled through licensing, making it a regulated form of limited access, the artisanal sub-sector essentially operates in a “quasi” unregulated open access environment. A major challenge presented by the current regulatory system is the need to regulate access to the artisanal sub-sector which represents 90 percent of all catches. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the realization of the shift from fish abundance to systematic depletion of the stock created a sense of urgency and a willingness to reform the way fisheries are managed to prevent an irreversible damage. This paper provides a political economy and historical perspective to analyse the fisheries reforms undertaken in Senegal in the 2000s. We show that while the design of the reform of industrial fisheries has been fairly successful, the reform of artisanal fisheries has been fairly contentious and problematic due to its complexity as well as the diversity of the actors involved. Possible avenues to improve the process of reform are also proposed.

Keywords: Fisheries reform, Governance, Senegal, Industrial, artisanal fisheries

JEL Classification: Q22,Q28

Suggested Citation

Sarr, Mare, The Political Economy of Fisheries Reforms in Sénégal (May 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Mare Sarr (Contact Author)

University of Cape Town - School of Economics ( email )

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