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Pictures Report

Fishmeal factories plunder Africa
With relentless demand from China pushing fishmeal prices to record highs, companies have set their sights on West Africa as a new source of supply. From state-owned conglomerates to adventurous entrepreneurs, Chinese investors are racing to build new factories on the shores of Mauritania and its two neighbors to the south, Senegal and Gambia.

But in the rush for sardinella, global business interests are snatching a staple of West Africa's diet from the people who need it the most. And the blades of the grinding machines are posing a new threat to the species at a time when climate change already has sardinella swimming for its life.
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5Q7
October 30, 2018
A man delivers fish to an artisanal fish processing facility in the Senegalese coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth....
Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal
A man delivers fish to an artisanal fish processing facility in the Senegalese coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth...
A man delivers fish to an artisanal fish processing facility in the Senegalese coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth. With relentless demand from China pushing fishmeal prices to record highs, companies have set their sights on West Africa as a new source of supply.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5QI
October 30, 2018
Men carry fishing ropes outside the gates of the Chinese-owned Golden Lead fishmeal factory in the fishing...
Gunjur, Gambia
Men carry fishing ropes outside the gates of the Chinese-owned Golden Lead fishmeal factory in the fishing...
Men carry fishing ropes outside the gates of the Chinese-owned Golden Lead fishmeal factory in the fishing village of Gunjur, Gambia. From state-owned conglomerates to adventurous entrepreneurs, Chinese investors are racing to build new factories on the shores of Mauritania and its two neighbors to the south, Senegal and Gambia.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5PH
October 30, 2018
A worker pulls a trolley loaded with sacks of fishmeal produced by the Omaurci SA company in Nouadhibou,...
Nouadhibou, Mauritania
A worker pulls a trolley loaded with sacks of fishmeal produced by the Omaurci SA company in Nouadhibou...
A worker pulls a trolley loaded with sacks of fishmeal produced by the Omaurci SA company in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.



REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5R8
October 30, 2018
Women apply salt to dried fish at an artisanal fish processing facility in the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth,...
Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal
Women apply salt to dried fish at an artisanal fish processing facility in the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth...
Women apply salt to dried fish at an artisanal fish processing facility in the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal. In the rush for sardinella, global business interests are snatching a staple of West Africa's diet from the people who need it the most. And the blades of the grinding machines are posing a new threat to the species at a time when climate change already has sardinella swimming for its life.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5QD
October 30, 2018
Porters deliver freshly caught fish to the Chinese-owned Golden Lead fishmeal factory in the fishing...
Gunjur, Gambia
Porters deliver freshly caught fish to the Chinese-owned Golden Lead fishmeal factory in the fishing...
Porters deliver freshly caught fish to the Chinese-owned Golden Lead fishmeal factory in the fishing village of Gunjur, Gambia. Satellite data indicate that the waters off northern Senegal and Mauritania are warming faster than any other part of the equator-girdling belt called the tropical convergence zone, once known to sailors simply as the "doldrums."

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5RC
October 30, 2018
This hidden-from-view climate change has had an ominous impact: A new study by researchers at the Marseille-based...
Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal
A woman sorts through fish at an artisanal fish processing facility in the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth...
This hidden-from-view climate change has had an ominous impact: A new study by researchers at the Marseille-based institute IRD-France found that the rising temperatures have pushed sardinella an average of 200 miles north since 1995. Pictured: a woman sorts through fish at an artisanal fish processing facility in the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5PI
October 30, 2018
Chinese fishing vessels are seen moored off the coast of Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Climate change is not...
Nouadhibou, Mauritania
Chinese fishing vessels are seen moored off the coast of Nouadhibou
Chinese fishing vessels are seen moored off the coast of Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Climate change is not only displacing sardinella from their traditional habitat, it's putting pressure on the fish in another, indirect way, by increasing the incentives for West African fishmeal production even further.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5RM
October 30, 2018
This growing volatility might bode well for West Africa's fishmeal producers, who stand to make more...
Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal
Women sort through fish on the beach near the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth
This growing volatility might bode well for West Africa's fishmeal producers, who stand to make more money each time prices spike. But overproduction could have dire consequences for millions of the region's people, by endangering the fish they depend on for their primary source of employment, income and protein. Pictured: Women sort through fish on the beach near the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal. REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5R1
October 30, 2018
Coastal communities in West Africa are already among the populations most vulnerable to the effects of...
Gunjur, Gambia
A fisherman walks on the beach in the fishing village of Gunjur
Coastal communities in West Africa are already among the populations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rising seas have begun to swallow coastal villages whole, while rougher weather is making fishing ever more perilous. Droughts and irregular rainfall have forced farmers to abandon their land and head for the shore, swelling the fast-growing ranks of men whose best hope of feeding their families lies beyond the breakers.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5PS
October 30, 2018
Fans watch a football match, sponsored by Mauritanian fish-processing and fishmeal company Omaurci SA,...
Nouadhibou, Mauritania
Fans watch a football match in Nouadhibou
Fans watch a football match, sponsored by Mauritanian fish-processing and fishmeal company Omaurci SA, in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5OZ
October 30, 2018
An aerial view of fishmeal production plants in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
Nouadhibou, Mauritania
An aerial view of fishmeal production plants in Nouadhibou
An aerial view of fishmeal production plants in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5RY
October 30, 2018
A gold-rush mentality has doubled the size of Senegal's small-scale fishing fleet in the past decade....
Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal
Fishermen land their boat at the beach near the coastal town of Joal-Fadiouth
A gold-rush mentality has doubled the size of Senegal's small-scale fishing fleet in the past decade. Eager to win votes, the government has subsidized outboard motors to allow fishermen to rove even farther. Now directly or indirectly employing 600,000 people, or 17 percent of the workforce, the fast-growing fleet is threatening to throttle the very resource that sustains it.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5RT
October 30, 2018
A porter carries a ray across the beach at the town of Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui...
Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal
A porter carries a ray across the beach at the town of Joal-Fadiouth
A porter carries a ray across the beach at the town of Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5PU
October 30, 2018
Samples of fishmeal are stored at a quality control laboratory owned by the Omaurci SA company in Nouadhibou,...
Nouadhibou, Mauritania
Samples of fishmeal are stored at a quality control laboratory owned by the Omaurci SA company in Nouadhibou...
Samples of fishmeal are stored at a quality control laboratory owned by the Omaurci SA company in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5QA
October 30, 2018
A woman picks up a fish from the beach at the fishing village of Gunjur, Gambia.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui...
Gunjur, Gambia
A woman picks up a fish from the beach at the fishing village of Gunjur
A woman picks up a fish from the beach at the fishing village of Gunjur, Gambia.


REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5R5
October 30, 2018
An aerial view of artisanal fishing boats moored in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui...
Nouadhibou, Mauritania
An aerial view of artisanal fishing boats moored in Nouadhibou
An aerial view of artisanal fishing boats moored in Nouadhibou, Mauritania.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5PE
October 30, 2018
Artisanal fishing boats moored in the harbour at Nouadhibou, Mauritania.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
Nouadhibou, Mauritania
Artisanal fishing boats moored in the harbour at Nouadhibou
Artisanal fishing boats moored in the harbour at Nouadhibou, Mauritania.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
OCEANS-TIDE/SARDINELLA
RTX6H5OW
October 30, 2018
Fish are displayed for sale at the fish market in Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui...
Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal
Fish are displayed for sale at the fish market in Joal-Fadiouth
Fish are displayed for sale at the fish market in Joal-Fadiouth, Senegal.

REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui
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