Thursday, March 17, 2016

In Gunjur Fishing Site: Fish industry, a lucrative business

A young fisherman in Gunjur fishing centre has told Mansa Banko blog that fishing is a profitable business that takes care of his family needs and responsibilities. 
Mr. Buba Badjie said: “I engaged in fishing some years back. I go to sea both day and night in order to settle my family needs but so far so good, I can brag to say that I feed my family and pay my children’s school fees thanks to the fishing industry.

“I believed not everybody can get a white collar job. There are many opportunities awaiting people especially the youth to grab in the fishing sector.”

The settlement is 10 kilometres from Sanyang and 39 kilometres by road from the capital of Banjul. About 3km from the main town, and on the coast, is the bustling fishing village with its fish smoking houses and rows of multi-coloured African pirogues. North of the fish centre, the beaches are excellent for miles.

Gunjur is another fishing area in West Coast region where vendors buy big basket of fish to re-sell in other market outlets.

“I believe that fishing is one of the most important sector considerably health wise. 80% of the population cannot cook without fish protein.

“Interestingly, a fish vendor goes home every day with at least a token unlike salary earners who receives monthly.

“You work at your own time and able to help your family without delay,” says Badjie. 

Visiting the largest fisheries centre in Gambia, at Bator Sateh, at the end of the Beach Road, is one of the best ways to experience vibrant village life. In what would appear to be smoke-filled organised chaos at the harbour, you can see brightly painted, multi-coloured African longboats heave, sway and surge on the often threatening Atlantic Ocean waves. 

Women sometimes wade in shoulder high to collect the catch in wide plastic buckets on their heads. Once the pirogues are on shore they are then manually hauled in on chunky wooden rollers to the shouts of fishery workers. 

The fish catch, often bonga, is traded by fishmongers, sometimes gutted and washed, then dried, frozen or smoked in dim, hazy, rusting sheds and pungent cold stores, while fishing nets are mended and pirogue hull breaches repaired. 

Most of the fishermen are Senegalese, many of whom live in the town.

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