Changing Markets

Fishing for catastrophe

Fisherman showing his catch in The Gambia

Journalistic photography. The Gambia. Fishmeal.

Despite the Gambia boasting some of the world’s richest fishing grounds, food insecurity rates continue to rise. The relentless economics of the fishmeal and fish oil (FMFO) industry leave fishing communities with no option but to take part in supplying FMFO factories for onward export to the global market.

Industrial fishing activities have subjected our planet’s fish stocks to such pressure that ocean ecosystems are now critically depleted, and local economies are collapsing. We worked with Changing Markets to produce journalistic photography as part of their investigation into the food-security implications of the FMFO industry across Africa and Asia.

What did we do?   Drone work   •   Photography

93% of marine fish stocks have been fished to their limits.

– Changing Markets.

The objective of the trip was to investigate whether three fishmeal plants in the Gambia are still causing serious social and environmental damages, following the government’s assertion that they are operating properly after being temporarily shut down last year. For this purpose, the team spoke to sources and visited key locations, sometimes undercover.

Gambian fishmeal plants continue being involved in social and environmental scandals, ranging from the uncontrolled dumping of industrial wastewater to air pollution which is damaging the local eco-tourism industry. This is happening despite repeated government assurances that they are now operating safely and respect existing regulations. Read the final report here.

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