The job of fisheries scientists is to provide evidence that can be used for fisheries management both in tactical terms (i.e., from one year to the next) and strategically, in term of their broad orientations. Catch reconstructions, which consider all fisheries in a given area, can help with the latter, but they are often contested, as broad assumptions must often be made to reconcile and harmonize divergent data sets. Here, contra Chaboud et al. (Comment on "Fisheries catch misreporting and its implications: The case of Senegal") on Belhabib et al. (2013, 2014b), we justify the assumptions and methods we used, in close collaboration with Senegalese government agencies, to reconstruct the historic and current artisanal catch of Senegal and the illegal catch taken by foreign industrial vessels in Senegalese waters. This done, we argue that such work, rather than haggling about the number of pirogues deployed decades ago, is a current task of fisheries scientists working on Senegalese fisheries, and by extension, elsewhere in West Africa, where the conflict between artisanal and foreign industrial fisheries is most acute.