An extremely eyesoring picture of a massive fish dump on the Gambian coast has angered environmentalists and youths from affected communities. In Kartong some youths even took to the streets to protest over the matter while others vowed to take the matter to Banjul this morning for redress.
According to various accounts on social media, the dead heap of fish was as a result of the activities of a foreign fishmeal factory, which they accused of polluting the coast with stink and rotten fish.
However an independent survey conducted by The Standard revealed that the mass dumping occurred only on one day when the fishmeal factory had a breakdown. “The fish suppliers and middlemen who sell fish to the factories for grinding were left with no choice but to dump the huge quantity of fish they have since the factory which buys and consumes them in bulk had a break down. This is what led to the massive dumping of fish on the coast on that day, ” said our source.
However another source said the waste from the fishmeal factory itself produces a disturbing foul smell inimical to health.
The issue and controversy surrounding it attracted the Ministry of Fisheries, which issued a statement acknowledging it has noticed that fishermen and transporters who supply fish to the fishmeal factory have dumped juvenile fish along the coast of Gunjur.
The statement warned fishermen and transporters to desist from the practice of catching or dumping juvenile fish immediately.
Meanwhile in Tanji, a misunderstanding arose last week after local fishermen complained about the presence of fishermen from Mbourr and other places in Senegal taking advantage of a recent fishing agreement between The Gambia and Senegal.
Under this particular agreement, fishermen from one nation can have access to fish in the other. However some fishermen based in Tanji have expressed concern that with the new comers the market will be over crowded leading to unattractive producer prices or less marketing opportunities for their catches. The Gambian authorities have urged each side to abide by the law.