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Senegal Accused Of Money Making On Seiner Collision

Experienced fishermen from Bermeo, Spain have stressed that they do not understand how the vessel, Almadraba Uno reached the protected marine area off the coast of Senegal. They believe that the Senegalese government has imprisoned two of the crew for environmental crimes in order to gain monetary compensation.

The fishing village has said to be torn between astonishment and concern for the charged crew members and their families. The Bermeo fishermen highlight that the crew would have had ample experience in the waters off the African coast and many generations have earned a living off those fishing grounds.
The Almadraba Uno, operated and now owned by Grupo Calvo hit rocks and ran aground shortly after leaving the port of Dakar on August 2. Concerns were raised about the possibility of an oil leak and contamination of the surrounding waters.

Prudencio Etxebarria, a Bermeo fishermen who claimed to have been on at least eight fishing trips on tuna seiners back and forth along the coast of Senegal described the event as “weird”, especially since the point of collision “is an area known to anyone who is out there.”
He added that uncertainty surrounding the incident may be clarified with tasks to recover the ship that are scheduled to begin this week.
Anthony Lopez, another experienced fisherman said: “It’s a place of barnacles and makes no sense to go for tuna.” Javier Elortegi emphasized this point by stating that it would make no sense for the vessel to have consciously gone there because there is no depth to navigate and no possibility of launching nets.
Lopez added that Senegal want to make money and take advantage of the accident. He explains that while it is a protected area, he believes the Senegalese government is using this as an excuse to heighten the consequences of the collision.
Senegalese authorities are claiming 3.5 million euros (USD 4.7 million) from the vessel owner as compensation for the environmental damage caused.