Jun 26, 2008, 6:05 AM
Tanji Fish Smokers Association set up in 1990 in Tanji has brought many success stories to the coastal community by creating employment for many Gambians through fishing and sale of fish products.
Speaking recently in an interview with this reporter, the president of Tanji Fish Smokers Association, Essa Jammeh, said the association currently has sixty members most of whom are Gambians.
He added that they decided to establish the association to create self-employment for Gambians and to always speak with one voice.
The association smokes large quantities of fish for sale, Mr Jammeh said, adding that while some of the fish are consumed in The Gambia others are exported to Guinea Conakry, Mali,
He also said they however need fishing boats to engage Gambian youths in fish harvesting, “because most of the fishing boats at the Tanji seaside belong to Senegalese”, which, he added, had affected their trade to a large extent. “We can only work effectively when we have our own boats,” he said.
Salifu Touray, vice-president of the association, called for the provision of an organised market for processing and selling smoked fish, saying such a market will promote their trade. “We sometimes find it very difficult to have a place or market conducive to do our business,” he said.
He also called on the government, philanthropists and individuals to help them to get a “properly organised” market.
Alhagie Jallow, a member of the association, said: “We would like the government to help us with a good market to do our business.”
Mr Jallow also urged youths in the country to join the fish business to maintain a source of livelihood for themselves and their families. “The fishing business in this country has been dominated by foreigners,” he added.