Every year, over half a million tons of fish are turned into fishmeal and fish oil to feed animals in industrial aquaculture systems and on intensive farms. Demand is growing, as is outrage in West African fishing communities, who rely on small pelagic species for food security and jobs. In Senegal, recent protests have centered on the opening of a new factory by a Spanish fishmeal processor. Women fish processors and fishermen share stories of their losses as fishery scientists sound alarms over severe fish stock depletion.
This collaborative reporting team is on the ground in Senegal and Spain, collecting data on the scale of trade from West Africa to the EU and highlighting how growing demand for fishmeal Europe, particularly in Spain where the pig sector is booming, supports unsustainable fishmeal production.
Through video, text, and radio, this project looks at how the fishmeal industry has spread across West Africa, how much of the fishmeal production imported into Spain is eaten by pigs, and the amount of people in West Africa that could have been fed per year by fish that is currently used for EU fishmeal.