Tuna is the main export fishery product from Côte d’Ivoire. And the country is the world’s second largest exporter after Japan with an annual export traffic of over 270,000 tonnes. To maintain its status as an African leader, the country has invested in the modernization of the fishing port of Abidjan.
The investments were aimed in particular at increasing the capacity of fishing traffic, improving the working conditions of operators in the sector and making additional industrial spaces available.
More than 60% of the catches made in Ivorian waters are processed locally by three industrial units. Almost all industrial production is exported to the European Union. The three industrial units employ more than 3000 people, 80% of whom are women. the fish used in “garbadromes” is the residue of what these companies use to make canned food. That is to say, unfit for consumption.
Because it contains a high level of stanice, a powerful toxic product that is found in this fish when it is distressed after its capture. Explains a specialist: the fish used for “garba” has nothing to do with that used in the manufacture of canned tuna sold on the shelves of supermarkets in the country and outside Côte d’Ivoire.
Besides the presence of the stanice there is a strong high level of salt above 5% which does not meet the standards. “The saltier the fish, the more contaminated it is,” say tuna production experts. These are the rejections that are sold on the market and are used by sellers of “garba”.