By Juldeh Njie The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries, Dr. Bamba Banja, has made some straight talking on the issue of foreign domination in the country’s fisheries sector, saying the young people are not ready or keen to work in the sector. He made these remarks yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 7th steering committee meeting of the project on the ‘Protection of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem’ (CCLME) funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with co-financing from participating countries and other partners and implemented by (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program at a local hotel. The PS added that if Gambians are better organized, committed and willing to work in the fisheries sector, the sector will even be better managed. He added: “In managing it we will not allow foreigners to be coming in and employing bad fishing techniques and practices killing our small juvenile fish as is often in the river along the countryside”. Banja said people should manage their natural resources by coming up with community bye -laws to enable them to regulate the foreigners’ activity by making sure that it is consistent and compliant with the fisheries legislations. He said government is always committed to supporting national fisheries organisations, and empowering them to work with regional governors, local authorities together with fisheries department in protecting, controlling and the management of the natural resources. He continued: “Once Gambians particularly youths are ready to take up fisheries as a livelihood activity then there will be hope and we will collectively work towards achieving food and nutrition security”. Commenting on the Senegal-Gambia fishing agreement, PS Banja said the agreement is an age-old practice between the two countries dating back to the 80s. “According to the agreement, Gambians can go to Senegal and fish in their waters and Senegalese can also come and fish in the Gambian waters but their actions have to be in compliance with fisheries legislations here,” he said. He said the Gambia is benefiting a lot from the agreement contrary to wide spread belief that it is in our own loss. “I have always told Gambians this is a win-win situation. As far as the Gambia is concerned, we are equally benefiting from this agreement in terms of capacity building, generation of revenue and even fish landing.”]]>
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