The Department of Fisheries through the Ministry of Fisheries Water Resources and National Assembly Matters recently concluded a nationwide distribution of fish reservation materials and covid-19 relief items to fishing communities across the nation.
The gesture came following a proposal from the EU to redirect part of the sector support funds to COVID-19 response for the improvement of sanitary measures of vulnerable fishing communities and fish markets, activities were designed by the implementing team in line with the guidelines highlighted in the EU correspondence.
About 27 fishing communities’ fish markets and post-harvest operators have benefitted from the provisions while bill boards were stationed in 17 fishing communities to raise awareness and sensitize them about COVID-19 during the pandemic and would also serve a means of visibility of the EU Sector.
On arrival at the Banjul landing site, Omar Jeng, President Centre Management Committee, appreciated the good gesture initiated by the Department while adding that the items presented would add value to their work.
He added that the materials would be used accordingly while adding that the government and other partners should continue to help fisher folks in other to make their work easier.
Kebba Sonko, member of the Bakau Fishing Association narrated on the difficulties they encounter to manage waste at the beach site, stating that the waste bins that have been donated to them by the Department would be used to accumulate waste and it will be easier for them to transport the waste for disposal.
He also stated that at Bakau landing site, the size of the coolers to be donated there should be considered because usually the fish that they catch are lengthy and therefore would not be able to be stored in small coolers.
Abdoulie Sillah of Wassu on receiving the items applauded the donors adding that times have been hard since COVID-19 has negative impact in the lives of many of which the fishing communities are not an exception.
He stated that fish is getting extinct and the only way out is to introduce aquaculture in communities and empower other communities who are already engaged in aquaculture.
He requested for the government and its partners to help them renovate their fish pond stating that they are facing problems such as outside invaders (thieves) and the lack of fingerlings.
Malick Nyang, member of the Wassu Fishing Committee joined his colleagues in applauding the good gesture.
He stressed that the fish in their aquaculture pond is poorly harvested while adding that the pond needs to be fenced so that it can be saved from invaders.
Malfi Barry, Bansang landing site explained that since 1987 they have not been receiving any form of support towards their fishing sector. He applauded the good gesture and hoped that such of this kind would be frequent in the community
Basse Fishing Committee upon receiving their share of the donated items, raised their constraints which includes lack of a well-structured Centre Management Committee and none existence of a fish market.
Vessel owners and agents operating in Gambian waters are urged to register their vessels and get certified