For World Ocean Week we are sharing stories that highlight the connection humans have to the Ocean and the importance it has for the livelihoods of so many communities.

Meet the women of Bargny

In Bargny and other coastal villages of Senegal, traditional fishing and processing of the catch is a livelihood and a pride. Methods have been passed down through generations. Women work as processors — drying, smoking, salting, and fermenting the catch brought home. They were baptized by fish, these women say. 

Their livelihoods depend on the Ocean and their connection to the Ocean is undeniable

The women above were interviewed to explain their connection and dependency on the Ocean and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their livelihoods.

Fatou Samba, 56, said, “all over the world, and in Africa, women are fighters…we are the pillars of all development”. She depends on the fishing industry to feed her six children, and the pandemic seriously impacted this. 

These communities are not only facing problems from the pandemic, but the ever-increasing threat of climate change. The rising levels of the Ocean threaten the livelihoods and homes of those along the coast, and many can't afford to build new homes or move inland. A steel processing plant rising near Bargny’s beach raises fears about pollution and will join a cement factory that also is nearby, though advocates argue they are needed to replace resources depleted by overfishing.

The Bargny community depends on the Ocean, and the Ocean depends on us. This World Ocean Week, take time to reflect on your connection to the Ocean and the steps you can take in your daily lives to free of the Ocean of human threats.

Photography Credit: Leo Correa

Join the Ocean Generation

The Ocean Generation is coming together to restore a healthy relationship between humanity and the Ocean. Because as the first generation to understand ocean issues, we are also the last generation who can stop them. We are all the Ocean Generation. Join the movement. 

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