Anna Mbenga Cham, director of Fisheries in her opening statement, expressed sincere gratitude to participants and as well their partners for their commitment to the sustainable management, conservation and development of fisheries resources.
She further reaffirmed the Department’s commitment through the Ministry of Fisheries to the development of the Fisheries sector since the sector plays a crucial role in the economic and social development of the nation.
Dr. Patrice Brehmer, IRD gave a brief background of the IRD, stating that it is a French institution and promotes research for development in different sectors including the fisheries sector.
“The workshop is a continuation of what we have done in the first phase, that is the harmonization of data collection at sub-regional level and to deploy a digital data collection system in order to facilitate the work on the landing site,” he said.
He added that they are currently focusing on small pelagic fish with the objective to extend to all other geographic species.
According to Dr. Patrice, they are trying to promote the sub-regional collaboration inside the project and that in the second phase they want to extend the use of the android tablets in order to collect some important data.
For this purpose, he revealed that they would deploy some sea water temperature sensor which can communicate with the tablet and the information can be sent directly to the Fisheries department.
“We will also try to set an observatory for mammals on the beach and also all sea weed events as well as try to report other observations like in case of marine pollution, accidents or an unusual interference at sea.” he added.
The objective according to him is to show the ability of the Fisheries Department and its data collectors to be the eyes and ears of The Gambia along the coast.
He further elaborated on the importance of environmental parameters which he indicated as very important if one wants to manage the fish stock well.
“If you only get the information from the landing site about the capture and all the socioeconomic information but miss the information on the water temperature, sea salinity, wind, among other factors which impact the dynamics of productivity of the ecosystem it will directly impact the fish stock dynamic,” he stressed.