Fisheries minister warns of looming fish, water crisis unless…


He said: “Within the next 25 years 48 countries accounting for 35 percent of the world’s projected population will face water shortage. Over the next 50 years the world’s population is estimated to grow by 50 percent to 9.3 billion. Virtually all of this growth will be in today’s developing countries. The poorest countries will see their population grow from 668 million to 1.8 billion people. This grim statistical list could go on and on. 

“If the world does not managed its natural resources well, including fisheries and the problem will almost certainly get worse before it gets better. Between the years 1970 and 2000, the natural wealth of the earth’s forest, fresh water eco-systems, oceans and coasts declined by 33 percent. Today, 58 percent of the world’s coral reefs and 34 percent of all fish species are at risk.”

Minister Gaye made this observation in a speech read on his behalf by the deputy permanent secretary of his ministry, Fatou Sosseh Jallow. This was at a two-day training for environmental journalists held at the Nana conference hall in Kanifing, organised by the National Platform for Sustainable fisheries.


He noted that the poorest countries have the smallest footprints when it comes to using the world’s resources, but they are to be affected most by imminent ecological disasters. 

He continued: “Therefore, while long term solutions to the world’s major environmental and food security problems depend significantly on actions of the wealthy and most industrialised countries. The day-to-day survival for the poor and marginalised will depend increasingly on the careful local management of natural resources in a context of increasing scarcity and demand.

“And it is clear that the coming years will present unprecedented challenges, especially for the rural poor. So, as journeys to find firewood gets longer, maintaining the fertility of the soil gets harder, catches of fish gets smaller and the hands to do the work get fewer, the need to effectively manage natural resources has never been greater before. Similarly, improving communication as a tool to share these resources will require dialogue and compromise at global, national and local levels.”

The National Platform for Sustainable Fisheries was created in 2013 with co-funding support by the EU/UNDP and WWF-Wampo, under an initiative entitled, ‘Governance, Marine Resources Management Policies and Poverty Reduction’ in the West Africa marine eco-region in six countries of the sub-region including The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde respectively.