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AGRICULTURE & DEVELOPMENT: Gambia invests heavily in combating illegal fishing - Environment PS Sowe

Aug 8, 2016, 10:59 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Ousman Sowe, permanent secretary at the Ministry Environment, has revealed that The Gambia has invested heavily in combating or reducing illegal fishing through MCS activities.

He also said in collaboration with other stakeholders, they have come up with measures such as the signing of an MoU with the Gambia Navy, as well as the Gambia Maritime Authority.

PS Sowe made the statement while presiding over the opening ceremony of the 6th regional steering committee meeting of the West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme, held at Paradise Suites Hotel from 4th to 5th August 2016.

He said this was done with a view to reducing illegal fishing on the one hand and on the other hand to exploit the fisheries resources in a judicious and sustainable manner, so as to create wealth and stimulate the economy.

On increase value addition, PS Sowe said already The Gambia is making strides in this area, and with plans in place to make value addition prominent in the fisheries sector to have fish landed in the country, processed, packaged and labelled for export.

 He thanked the World Bank and all other partners for the financial and technical support to the regional fisheries programme, as well as commended the Sub Regional Fisheries Commission for bringing the meeting to Banjul.

PS Sowe also spoke about the importance of the project, saying the meeting was a demonstration of the objectives the project aims to achieve.

 He said the countries in the region have assessed and identified their challenges and needs, in wanting to generate wealth out of their marine and fisheries resources.

He also said with regard to the objective of the programme, The Gambia had already invested greatly by enacting a fisheries Act and regulations with funding from the FAO, and the sole fish management plan which culminated in the setting up of national sole fisheries co-management committee, to implement the sole management plan, and have taken governance to the communities by establishing community fisheries centres.

Hence the expected support from the World Bank would strengthen the gains recorded by The Gambia, he added.

He reminded them that no single country has the naval resources, not the technological advancement, nor the detection and response capacity to monitor, control and police our waters.

 Indeed, he added, illegal fishing could not be solved at only national level, but regional or even international cooperation is required.