ZIGUINCHOR, Senegal (AP) -- More than 300 fishermen in southern Senegal have urged their government to crack down on Russian trawlers operating illegally off the coast of this West African nation, saying their livelihoods are at stake.
Irama Djiba, president of a fishing association in the regional capital of Ziguinchor, said Wednesday the area had recently been overrun with Russian vessels using neighboring Guinea-Bissau as a "rear base" to access Senegalese waters.
He spoke following a meeting of local fishermen held in Ziguinchor to address the problem.
Over the weekend, Senegalese marines boarded a Russian boat that the government said was fishing illegally off the coast. There were 62 Russians and 20 residents of Guinea-Bissau on board.
Illegal fishing is rampant in West Africa, depleting fish populations and threatening local industries.