Monday, October 10, 2016

WADAF training: Gov't expresses concerns on sustainable conservation of fisheries

The West African Association for the Development of Artisanal fisheries (WADAF) recently organised a five days training on management of artisanal fishing processing sites and fisheries products. 

The purpose of the training, according to the organisers, is for stakeholders to understand the artisanal. sea products and the processing conditions as well as to how to managed fishing processing sites thus know how to process sea products eg smoking, packaging and labeling.

The regional training targeted artisanal fishermen from Sierra Leano and The Gambia and  the training was held at Nana Conference Center, in Banjul, The Gambia.

The Director of Fisheries, Mr Matarr Bah said that, the Ministry of fisheries is happy to be associated with the training whose objectives are in line with the fisheries policies of all sub regional fisheries commission member states.

"The major concern of the Government of the Gambia in the fisheries sector is the sustainable conservation of management of fisheries stocks saying that the sector plays an important contribution to food security". 

He added that, capacity development is key for effective conservation, management and development of the fisheries sector as well as the application of the bottom top approach.

He noted, without the required capacities, you as artisanal operators cannot be or will be difficult to challenging influence government policies and contributions to strategies for sustainable fisheries management and utilization.

He said that the training on standards of international trade, sub regional and national, all have a great impacts on the trade of fish workers organized in Sierra Leane and others.

The Executive Director of WADAF, Mr Musa Mbenga while delivering the opening remarks said that, the training of fisheries stakeholders in the general artisanal fisheries in particular is a precondition for their effective participation in public fisheries policies and the sustainability of fisheries. 

He said, in West Africa, the fisheries sector in general and the artisanal fisheries in particular plays socio cultural, economic and environmental. functions adding that it contributes significantly to job creation, wealth of states and communities as a source of income for the population.

Mr Mbenga explained that, regional governments and development partners have embarked on fisheries co-management experiences that support and creates conditions for a more active particpantion of actors and stakeholders. Even though some significant progresses have been made, he added the professionals of artisanal fisheries still express significant progresses.

He adds: "The fisheries industry is now modernized that things are no longer used to be back in the 80s.:

According to him, the development of the sector is undermined by-crisis, crisis reflected on the signs of degradation of fisheries resources.

He continued, this worrying situation is basically the result of a fishing overcapacity, subsequent to inefficient fisheries management systems adding that for years African countries have been developing to expand the sector by modernization of artisanal fisheries and he was quick to say that professional artisanal fishing were left out.

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