Gambia-EU fishing deal is the best agreement so far —says Fisheries PS

Friday, January 04, 2019

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters has said that the recent EU fishing deal with The Gambia is the best agreement so far compared to other countries, clarifying that the government of The Gambia would never involve in an agreement that would not be of interest to the country.

Dr. Bamba Banja was speaking recently during the Association of Gambian Sailors (AGS) annual general meeting held in Banjul. In the recent past, rumours are making rounds on the social media regarding the EU fishing deal, which many believed is not in our best interest.

He clarifies: “The government will never involve in such an agreement that will not be in the interest of The Gambia. This fishing agreement will also benefit citizens that are Gambian sailors and it will create an atmosphere of job opportunity’’.

According to him, the EU fishing vessels will also employ Gambians to work onboard.

Fisheries PS made it clear that looking at the level of the EU fishing agreement; it is the best agreement deal so far compared to other sister countries.

He noted that since the new government took over, his ministry recorded seven hundred and forty sailors, who have already secured job opportunity onboard.

Ebrima Jammeh, an experienced sailor, who attended the Regional Maritime University in Ghana, said the training is a requirement for all seafarers in accordance with the standard of training, certification and watch keeping for seafarers 2010 manila convention.

Jammeh, is serving as a second officer onboard and his duties include: to prepare navigational equipments, chats and navigational books of reference.

“The medical certificate going to be issued to the trainees would be accepted throughout the world,’’ he added, further calling on sailors do their best to stop smoking as it can make them to fail  their medical exams.

Mr. Jammeh was a senior instructor with the Gambia Maritime Institute since 2000 to 2008 and he also served in different positions within the administrative level.

Starting sailing in 2010, Jammeh also worked in different vessels, ranging from tanker vessels, tug boats, barges and cargo vessels.

Also addressing the gathering, Abdou Sanyang, the secretary general of the association, said the association is committed to bringing together all members and stakeholders, especially those who partner with the association to strengthen and harmonise its roles.

Sanyang dwelled on the requirements of maritime regulations and how to map out possible areas of cooperation in the coming years.

He revealed that the AGS office has achieved a lot of benefits within the maritime industry, noting that during the year under review, the association has been preoccupied with the task of providing deckhands to sea going vessels that registered in The Gambia.

He dislcosed that more than four hundred sailors and cooks secured job contracts onboard with the fishing vessels.

“We also seek ways to improve our member’s chances of employment as we have started negotiations with several organisations in The Gambia and abroad,” he added.

He revealed that over the years, the association has initiated moves to partner with The Gambia Navy, The Gambia Red Cross Society, The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services so as to train its members.

The association, he added, is working hand in glove with partners to establish a training school in accordance with regulations of The Gambia Maritime Administration.

He indicated that the association is temporarily providing space in its office for the school and that The Gambia Maritime Administration will issue certificate of proficiency and competency to the graduates.

According to him, only graduates of the school will be certified to board vessels and The Gambia Maritime will issue a national seafarers employment record book to competent and medically fit seafarers.

He challenged members to practice the job ethics, respect and avoid gross indiscipline while on duties onboard.

Author: Mamour M. Mbenga