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Fisheries Department to regularize commercial fishing activities

Dec 22, 2014, 9:53 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Dr Bamba A.M. Banja, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries, has said the Ministry of Fisheries is to regularize commercial fishing activities in The Gambia’s waters, through an initiative that would include boats of all categories registered in the country.

Speaking at a press conference recently convened by the Ministry in Banjul, Dr Banja said the move is to curb the challenge facing the nation’s fishing industry.

According him, the regularization plan targets all commercial boats be they motorized or un-motorized, that operate in the country’s waters.

The ministry would conduct a nationwide canoe registration of artisanal fishing boats in accordance with the Fisheries Act 2008 and regulations.

The regulations empower the ministry to see if boat owners have met the requirements of regulation 17 of the national Fisheries authorities, he said.

He announced that a canoe shall not undertake commercial fishing in Gambia’s water without registration. “This is very clear from the Fisheries Regulation Act,” he added.

The applicant needs to process the application by taking a form and applying for registration, which has to be accompanied by prescribed fees, for a motorized boat at D750, unmotorized boat D500 and any other type of boat at D300.

The legislature has empowered the Director of Fisheries to ensure no commercial fishing canoe is issued with a licence without satisfying the requirements.

He said any fisherman or master of boat that has been convicted in the last five years for offences that include firearms, immigration issues, navigation violations, customs irregularities and the like would not be registered.

He said the ports would also be part of the registration procedures, especially for identification purposes.