Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Pa Ousman Jarju,
has said there is a need for multi sectoral partnership in the fisheries
“Our fisheries sector has the potential to transform national, urban and rural economies in the Sub Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) member states,” he said.
Minister Jarju was speaking at the extraordinary session of the coordinating committee of the SFRC currently underway at a local hotel in Kololi
However, he said, for this huge potential to be realised, it is imperative that there is a multi-sectoral approach among government, the private sector and development partners.
The Minister added that partnership is required, as no government could singlehandedly undertake the task and do it successfully.
“We as policymakers are quite aware of our responsibilities for the provision of enabling environment through the development of fisheries infrastructures and provision of appropriate policies and fisheries regulations,” he said.
The Gambia as a country is calling for more robust financial means and activities to control, combat and meet the challenges of Illegal Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) activities head on, he added.
In this regard, they also wish to support the passing of the register convention in member states as this would provide member states and the regional organization the means to generate alternative financial resources through the register, he said.
The Director of Fisheries, Matarr Bah, speaking on the occasion, noted that the fisheries sector in the sub-region is faced with many challenges, mainly illegal fishing by both artisanal and industrial fisheries sectors, thereby contributing to overexploitation of fisheries and other marine resources.
He said the consequences of IUU fishing are the scarcity of fisheries resources, lack of fish products in the markets, and above all food insecurity.
All these are the important economic losses and irreversible threats of destruction of resources caused by illegal fishing, he stated.
Amadou Camara Kana, chairman of the Coordinating Committee of SRFC, said the main objective is to implement rules and modalities of coordination of the member states as to defined general principles governing the right to pursue vessels operating in waters under the jurisdictions of the member states.
He said the SRFC has benefitted from several projects and programmes, and among them is the West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme, which ensured the elaboration and the establishment of the strategic plans, including the latest plan for 2011-2015.