By Isatou Jawara
The Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources has said that the fisheries sector has been dormant for many years and it is their responsibility to bring it back to live.
James Gomez was speaking at a two-day fisheries stakeholders meeting held from 3 to 4 August 2018.
“The new Government of The Gambia will continue to provide support for the realization of improved and sustained management and development of the fisheries sector as defined in the goal from 2018-2021.
“The Government in collaboration with donor partners will focus the principal outcome areas to enhance institutional capacity and effectiveness in the fisheries sector and improve the values chain for the fisheries and aquaculture transformation.
“The Gambia have joined other countries and will benefit from the second phase of the West African Regional Fisheries Programme (WARFP). The expected investment for The Gambia from this programme is US$30 Million with justifications on developing landing sites and adding value to the fisheries products for improved food security and poverty eradication,” he said.
“The Gambia and Senegal have signed a bilateral cooperation in the field of fisheries and aquaculture and its implementing protocols for the first time in the Agreement; both countries are genuinely willing to support each other for the effective management and development of both fisheries sectors. Gambians on yearly basis are going to be trained in key areas of fisheries management,” he added.
The FAO Country rep Dr Perpetua Kalala, also speaking at the occasion, said the ongoing formulation of the country’s National Development Plan, FAO recognizes the Government’s commitment to the development of fisheries and aquaculture for enhanced nutrition and employment creation.
“I believe that collaborative approach to the development of the sector can be achieved in areas for potential technical cooperation with FAO through a sustainable fisheries management mechanism with stakeholders reducing post harvesting losses and increasing value,” she noted.
“This retreat will provide priority areas of actions that will strengthen our combined efforts to effectively manage and sustainably utilize the fisheries resources in this country. The discussions to be held in this retreat will strengthen our collective efforts to ably manage our fisheries resources for the well-being of our future generations,” she added.