The Coastal Resources Center and the Fisheries Center at the University of Rhode Island were awarded a five-year, $11.5 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to help the sub-Saharan African country of Senegal promote sustainable fishing.
Fishing has been an economic safety net in Senegal, which has created competing interests familiar in some parts of New England. Farmers who were struggling financially could switch to fishing. But as they left the land for the sea, one result has been overfishing.
The Coastal Resources Center will establish an office in Dakar, Senegal, and work with local partners and fishermen to develop strategies to protect critical marine habitats and threatened marine species. The project will also pilot an initiative similar to the Sea Grant and Land Grant models in the U.S. that link universities with private-sector and government stakeholders to use science in management decision-making.