BirdLife International in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries commenced a three-day workshop for onboard observers on data collection of seabirds and sea turtles bycatch.
The objective of the three-day workshop is to build the capacity of observers in The Gambia to take better account of the collection of data relating to incidental catches of birds and sea turtles in Industrial fisheries.
Anna Mbenga Cham, director of Fisheries, said that the onboard observers are important officials providing permanent presence at sea and monitoring the activities on board fishing vessels.
She explained that seabirds and sea turtles share the characteristic of breeding on land, favouring undisturbed coastlines and islands, adding that both groups often experience threats in their breeding areas and at sea.
Musa Jawla, head of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Unit, urged the participants to partake meaningfully in the training and use it as an opportunity to share knowledge and as well as their experiences as observers.
Oumar Ba, representative of Birdlife International, expressed joy to be back in The Gambia to once again host a training, adding that the first training that took place in The Gambia was a success.
“We are here to build the capacity of Fisheries Observers in the sea and we hope to deliver to expectation throughout the training,” he added.
He emphasized the importance of Fisheries Observers since they are primarily tasked to collect data that is being analysed by them to achieve their objective.
Vessel owners and agents operating in Gambian waters are urged to register their vessels and get certified