The Point (Banjul)

30 January 2013

Gambia: Utilising Potential in Fisheries Sector

The Gambia's fisheries sub-sector has a huge potential to help reduce poverty in the country.

The increase in the fisheries catch will no doubt help to alleviate the country's food shortage plaguing the economy.

Our waters are capable of providing huge quantities of exportable catches on a sustainable basis, only if we redirect more resources to this direction.

The country was one time listed among the richest fishing zones in the world, by a survey conducted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in collaboration with the Norwegian government.

This one time predicament about the country's fisheries potential is seemly realistic with the sector providing employment opportunities for many Gambians and non-Gambians alike.

We believe that for the country to maximise its full potential in the fisheries sector, there is a need to build our infrastructure; support those in the sector and better coordinate and organise fishermen into a well-coordinated proactive groups.

Encouraging more unemployed youth to venture into fishing would reduce the problems of unemployment, thus generate more income; and ultimately improve the living conditions of the people.

Training of youth interested in venturing into the sector and providing them with required tools would also encourage more youth to take fishing as a job.

We, therefore, urge the Ministry of Youth and Sports, through its Inter- Ministerial Committee to engage the Ministry of Fisheries in order to come up with practical solutions to encourage more Gambian youths into the fishing industry.

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