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The sea urchin fisherwomen of Senegal

The sea urchin fisherwomen of Senegal
By Euronews with Africanews correspondent, Christina Gnahoure in Dakar
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Fishing in the sea remains the main activity for most women in Senegal's local Community Lebu.


Fishing in the sea remains the main activity for most women in Senegal’s local Community Lebu.

Despite the various risk involved, and less benefit, request for sea urchins from the local market persist.

“We are in the process of preparation before we get to the sea. All these pieces of equipment you see allow us to better protect ourselves because the sea urchins often bite in the water. Therefore, we will protect ourselves.“said Touti Samboura fisherwoman.

The women can spend 2 to 3 hours in the sea before they emerge with precious fruits from the sea. They have been practising the activity for several decades, and their main customers are the foreign conservators.

The customers work close to the place where the fishing is done, the region of the Almadies, a nice district of Dakar with many restaurants.

A basket of 60 to 70 sea urchins is sold to conservators for only 2000 FCFA.

“We are working in difficult situations with lots of risk in sea. When we are bitten by sea urchins, we can stay a month in the House without work. We are exposed to diseases such as tetanus and we do not have adequate facilities to work better, and it is very difficult for us,” said Khoudja Diallo, fisherwoman.

“We sell the sea urchins for 2 000 FR to Aminta our client for years, we have no choice because she is the only customer that we have. If we had the opportunity to sell directly to consumers, It would be beneficial for us,” said Samboura.

The women say they sell mostly to Aminta their customer for years adding that they have no other alternatives.

“Actually I buy the basket of sea urchins for 2 000 FCFA, and I resell for 1500 Fcfa per dozen. EEvery dayI make a profit of 10 000 FR. The sale of sea urchins works very well because most of my clients are Chinese and Europeans. I get to meet all my needs thanks to this profession, I give thanks to God,” said Madam Aminta Gueye, restaurantwner Sokone, Almadies in Dakar.

The women make consistent efforts, but the task is not easy. Abandoning the activity is not an option for these brave fisher women of sea urchins in Senegal.

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