Danielle Kaye is a 2022-2023 NPR Kroc Fellow
Fellowship Year(s): 2021
Project/Theme Title: Livelihoods in Crisis: Threats to Senegal’s Artisanal Fishing Communities
Abstracts: Senegal’s artisanal fishing sector is crucial for employment and food security nationwide. Available data on the state of Senegal’s fish stocks paints a picture of dwindling marine resources — a phenomenon supported by the experiences of those living and working in the coastal West African country’s fishing communities, whose livelihoods are increasingly threatened by fish scarcity. This thesis identifies the interconnected national, regional, and international variables driving fish stock decline in Senegal from a policy and environmental standpoint. By analyzing the political economy context shaping the state of Senegalese fisheries and through extensive interviews with Senegalese fishers and civil society groups, this study dispels common misconceptions that identify overfishing among artisanal fishers as the root of Senegal’s fish scarcity crisis, pointing instead to the influence of production-oriented national policies and international aid patterns that encourage overexploitation of fish stocks. This thesis provides essential research to inform further local-level studies of indigenous survival systems and adaptation strategies, as well as African fisheries studies in a comparative regional context.
Fellowship: Geist and Rosberg Undergraduate Research Grants
Fellowship Year(s): 2020
Project/Theme Title: Artisanal Fishing in Senegal: Livelihood Threats and Adaptation Strategies
Abstracts: My research question is two-fold: first, what are the various causes of fish stock decline in Senegal? Second, how are Senegalese artisanal fishing communities adapting to fish stock decline, and what are the limits to their adaptation? Senegal is West Africa’s largest producer of marine fish, with recorded exports increasing from 500,000 tonnes in 1950 to 5.5 million tonnes in the early 2000s, and with the majority of this fishing activity occurring among artisanal fishers who target small pelagic fish species such as sardines and mackerel. Yet unsustainable growth of Senegal’s fisheries sector in recent decades threatens the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people employed in the domestic fishing industry, simultaneously raising concerns about food insecurity as the price of fish continues to mount. It is crucial to consider existing literature on the global, regional, and local dimensions of fish stock decline in Senegal in order to understand the causes of the crisis and the shifting adaptation strategies within the country’s artisanal fishing communities.