Fatou Camara of the Department of Fisheries and Water Resources has challenged fish dealers to protect the mangrove for the sustainability of the natural resources.
Camara made this call on Tuesday during a daylong sensitisation on the importance of mangrove to fish dealers at the fishing community-landing site, in old Jeshwang.
Organised by the Department of Fisheries and Water Resources, in collaboration with the National Sole Fishery Co-Management Committee (NASCOM), under the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) support for Climate Change Adaptation in Marine Artisanal Fisheries Communities in West Africa project, it was co-funded by the West African Rural Foundation (WARF) and FAO for a period of two years.
The concept of the project is to support and promote climate change adaptation among value-chain actors in the selected artisanal fisheries communities in Sierra Leone, Senegal and The Gambia.
The overall objective of the project is to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacities of fisheries livelihoods to climate change impacts and risks on artisanal marine fisheries communities in The Gambia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
According to Camara, mangroves are known as rich centre of biodiversity, as they provide shelter for many species, including fish, birds, frog, etc.
Noting that they are vital in providing breeding grounds for fish, Camara said, mangrove threats on human activity has devastating effects on the mangrove forest on extensive economic development, which often leads to the destruction of nature.
For his part, Adama Sanneh, a senior fisheries officer said the TCP project is centred on climate change adaptation. He informed the participants that mangroves are also very sensitive to changing condition, thus many trees can neither bear the sea-level rise, caused by global warming, nor do they put up with too high concentration of mangrove-made chemicals, such as pesticides.
Sanneh stated that the forum is also meant to sensitise the community to preserve and protect the area as mangroves are breeding ground for fish, among other species.
Ebrima Singhateh, park warden of Abuko Nature Reserve also urged the community of Jeshwang to stop throwing rubbish at the landing site.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Omar Jeng, a fishmonger thanked the organisers for sensitising them on the importance of mangrove for the development of the natural resources of The Gambia.
He therefore promised them that they would utilise the knowledge gained and share information with their colleagues.