Western Sahara, 2011

In the small town of Dakhla, Western Sahara, everything is about fishery. Fishing boats are moored close together in the main port, in the outskirts of town the smell of fishing industries is obvious, and evereywhere you´ll find a foodstall selling deepfried fish.

But the people working in the various parts of the fishing trade are foreigners, mainly Moroccans. Since 1975, Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco. The region is poor and the indigenous Sahrawi population are almost totally kept out from the rich industry. Licenses hare hard to get from the Moroccan authorities – if you don´t stop calling yourself Sahrawi and accept to be Moroccan.

The waters in the Atlantic outside Dakhla are still rich of fish. And even if the occupation is illegal according to the UN, the EU pays Morocco 36 million Euro every year for the rights to fish in the waters of Western Sahara. Most of the fish end up on trucks pulling the load north, to Morocco and further on to the EU.

Copyright © Erik Abel.