Fish is one of the most consumable proteins in The Gambia but scores of people have said its price has immensely increased over the past years, with many describing it as terrible and lack of government commitment to address the issue.
Speaking to The Point exclusively at the Serekunda Market, Yama Touray, a daily fish buyer, described the price of fishes in the market as very high. She said the exorbitant fish prices drastically affect both consumers and fish vendors.
“Government should try to make sure the price of fish in the market is reduced. Fish is expensive and now if one needs good fish, he or she has to spend D400 or D500 compared with previous years,” she said.
She added that previously, D50 would have earned one a good number of fishes for family consumption. She said there is a need for the government to reduce the cost of fish.
Fatoumatta Barry, a restaurant owner at the Serekunda market said: “I was working in this restaurant for years but fish is more expensive in the market now. The fish I was buying for D200 in the market is now worth about D500 to D600. This is too expensive for us.”
She said the cost of the fish has drastically affected her business and noted that despite the escalation of fish prices, restaurants do not increase the cost of food. This, she said, affects their business.
She, however, said: “I urge the government to put plans in place to reduce the high cost of fish in the market. Because we are working to earn but if we are not earning, then we are just working for the sake of working.”
Ello Jatta, a fish vendor at the Serekunda Market said: “The fish is very expensive in the market. The cost of fish in the market has slowed our businesses because many find it difficult to buy fish. Before, we used to sell fish at D10 but now we sell it at D20, D25, D50 and up to D100 depending on what price we get fish from the fishing ports.”
Ms. Jatta opined that the government should have a consultation meeting with the fishing communities and fish vendors in order to know the constraints surrounding the fishing industry, and proffer solutions.
Fatou Faal, a woman who has spent seven years selling fishes at the market, said previously she used to buy a basket of red snapper fish at D3000 or D3500, but now she often purchases it at D6500 or D7000.
Ms. Faal alluded that her customers often complain about the high cost of fish.
“Now, we hardly get profit compared with the previous years. We are just working because we do not want to stay at home but our profit is very minimal,” she lamented.