The Fisheries minister, who appeared before the deputies at parliament on Monday after his summon last week, explained the issues concerning his ministry.
“A total of 12 fish processing establishments and three fish mill plants are established in the country from 2017 to date, the activities of industrial fishing have created employment for 2,809 Gambian youths of which 2,124 are deckhands and 685 as fisheries observers,” he said.
The minister details the statistics as: Total revenue from fishing licence: 141,370,412.59; total revenue from 10 per cent landing 209,121,472.25; total revenue from arrested vessels 31,760,000.00; total revenue from Senegalo-Gambian Agreement 7,539,738.01 and total revenue from EU-Gambia SFPA 71,829,399.16.
The minister further stated that a total of 186 fish landing sites operate in small scale artisanal fisheries sub-sector of which 10 are located within the Atlantic Coast and over 14,000 artisanal operatives are engaged in fish drying, smoking, marketing and distribution.
He said this number does not include the young women and youth involved in loading and unloading fish from the boats. Similarly, a combined total of 4234 fishermen are operating in the sub-sector.
He explained that the fisheries sector of the Gambia is one of economic and social importance in that it provides sustainable livelihoods, proteins of high nutritional value and revenues for both fishing and non-fishing communities.
He added that fisheries contribute 12 per cent to GDP and the livelihoods of over 200,000 Gambians are critically dependent on it and its related activities. It is the third largest sector after agriculture and tourism in the country.