The Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources, and National Assembly Matters (MoFWR-NAMs) is currently on a five (5) day technical retreat on the Terminal Evaluation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Strategic Plan (2017-2021).
The technical retreat brought together stakeholders from various ministries and institutions to critically scrutinize the draft evaluation report, provide inputs and recommendations during the various presentations and discussions in order to develop a consultative replacement policy and strategic plan.
Day two of the technical session taking place in Sindola, Kanilai, amongst the activities was a presentation made by the Director of Fisheries who gave an overview of the Sector.
Followed by the various Heads of the Units at the Department Fisheries which includes Research and Development Unit, Monitoring Control and Surveillance Unit, Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Unit, Inspectorate Unit, and Extension Unit, where they highlighted the progress made, challenges, and as well as the way forward for their various Units.
The stakeholders applauded the presenters while also analyzing, scrutinizing, and as well as raising issues, contributions, and comments relating to each subsector while the Fisheries officials on the other hand addressed the issues throughout the session.
Amongst the Presenters was Momodou Saidyleigh, head of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Unit, who gave a brief history of Aquaculture in the Gambia and the various Aquaculture potential.
He also presented on the way forward which he highlighted would be an increase in budgetary support by the government, provide capacity-building training for the staff on aquaculture and related discipline, private sector participation.
He further narrated that among the way forward for the subsector is to encourage women and youth to take aquaculture as a business enterprise, move from extensive to semi-intensive and intensive aquaculture to attract investors to invest in aquaculture, and as well as to seek international funding for aquaculture development in the country.
According to him, the challenges confronting the subsector include inadequate funding, inadequate knowledge, and skills of fish farmers, inadequate personnel, the problem of theft, the start-up capital is high adding that there is little or no private investment in the subsector.
Vessel owners and agents operating in Gambian waters are urged to register their vessels and get certified