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New NASCOM chairperson speaks out

Oct 7, 2010, 1:13 PM | Article By: Abdourahman Sallah

Elliman Sarr of the new National Sole Fishery Co-Management (NASCOM) has said his committee is committed to nation-building and as a result they will do their best to ensure fisheries and marine resources are protected from all kinds of exploitation for the interest of all.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Point at the Gunjur Fisheries Centre at the weekend, Mr Sarr said: "Some of the fishermen are not using the rightful recommended fishing gears, thus kill small fish that are supposed to be parents tomorrow".

"The recommended fishing mesh sizes range from 42 to 50 and with this type only the bigger ones can be caught and small ones can go free for future catching. Our fish has reduced drastically simply because of our own human activities such as over fishing, using wrong fishing gears among others."

The first National Chairperson of NASCOM said his committee will collaborate with all the relevant stakeholders in the fishing industry, covering from Kartong, to Gunjur, Brufut and Sanyang, to ensure marine resources within The Gambia are not exploited by individuals for their selfish interest.

He added that plans are already in place to visit all fishing centres operating within the Ba-Nafaa Project.

The visit, he added, would avail them the opportunity to discuss with the local committees and try to re-activate them for effective operations.

He noted that there are over one thousand fishing canoes/boats landing on the Gambian shores every day and "most of them are foreigners".

"In Gunjur alone there are eighty-five fishing boats operating and out of these only forty- five of them are Gambia boats," he said, "adding that plans are underway to register all the boats so that they will have specific identification that would distinguish boats from Banjul or elsewhere."

He revealed that Gunjur Community Fishing Centre has trained a lot of Gambian youths who are now qualified to join the fishing trade but need seed capital to start their trips to sea. He also appealed to the government, the NGOs and philanthropists to invest in the fishing industry to encourage and empower the youth to venture into the fishing trade.

While commending Ba-Nafaa Project and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for their support,  

Mr Sarr also used the occasion to thank the National Sole Fishery Co-Management members for electing him as their national chairperson.