Dyhia Belhabib, Ph.D.


Dyhia Belhabib, Ph.D.

Using technology and community engagement to reduce illegal fishing within artisanal zones and marine protected areas in Senegal

Illegal fishing is a major challenge for marine conservation in Senegal, where more than 600,000 people depend on fisheries for their livelihoods. To safeguard its marine resources, the country has established a network of marine protected areas and reserved areas within 6 nautical miles of shore solely for artisanal fishers. Yet industrial fishing vessels’ frequent incursions into the artisanal zone and protected areas, and subsequent laundering of illegally caught fish through activities such as transshipment, continue to threaten fish stocks, degrade ecosystems, and reduce food security in coastal communities.

Dyhia Belhabib will trace the seafood supply chain in Senegal to understand how illegally caught fish enter the market, who is involved in the trade, how seafood is laundered, and where the fish end up. Using a combination of tools and approaches—including vessel tracking technology, artificial intelligence tools, and community engagement—she will identify areas where illegal commercial fishing is most prevalent and will work with enforcement agencies to prioritize sites for additional monitoring and intervention. By increasing transparency in Senegal’s seafood supply chain, Belhabib aims to cut off market access for illegally caught fish and to reduce illegal fishing within marine protected areas and artisanal zones.

To learn more about Belhabib, read her bio.

See the full list of 2024 Pew marine fellows.

A man and a woman hold a white-and-blue fishing net while standing on a sandy beach as the sun sets behind them. Other individuals stand behind them next to another pile of fishing nets.
Dyhia Belhabib (right) visits coastal fishing communities in Togo.
Courtesy of Dyhia Belhabib

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