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Aug 1, 2013, 11:55 AM
The forum held at the Governor’s Bantaba was organized in collaboration with the department of Fisheries with funding from the European Union, World Wide Fund and the West African Marine Programme office in Dakar, Senegal.
Speaking at the event, the deputy governor, Bakery Jaiteh, underscored the importance of the forum, while commending NAPSUF and the department of Fisheries for the initiative.
He advised participants to always use the best fishing methods for the realization of the objectives set by the fisheries sector.
The secretary general of the national platform for sustainable fisheries, Dawda Sene, said the aim of the sensitization activity, among others, is to create awareness on Fisheries Act 2007, the regulations of 2008 and the importance of establishing a district, central and national coordinating body that would spearhead the activities of fishermen and fisher-folk.
The regulations 2008, he noted, call for a proper management, conservation and the promotion of the adoption of best practices in terms of sustainable utilization of marine and coastal resources.
Janko Bojang, of the extension unit of the Fisheries department, spoke at length on the regulations 2008, explaining that no fishing gear, especially “dumbu” traps and other gears that catch juvenile fish shall not be used in the fishing waters without written permission from the director of Fisheries.
He said that a person shall not catch, take, have in his or her possession, sell or expose for sale, export or purchase any lobster which is carrying eggs, or undersized.
Bojang noted that people should desist from fishing at all fish breeding grounds within the water’s of The Gambia, and also from fishing with any gear and fishing materials that are prohibited by the fisheries regulations.
According to him, any person who contravenes the regulations commits an offence, and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding D750 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
The president of NAPSUF, Mustapha Yarbo, called for concerted efforts in the protection and management of the fisheries sector, adding that the main objective of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction, and strengthen food security of the coastal communities.
He urged anglers to change all their illegal fishing materials such as “Mball Digal” and “Dumbu”, among others.
Arfang Sarr, a fisherman, and Teneng Naria, both urged the department of Fisheries to ban the use of “purse seine” nets and prosecute anyone found wanting.