Thursday, March 17, 2016

Brikama fish vendors speak to Mansa Banko blog

On Wednesday 16th March 2016, Mansa Banko blog visited the Brikama Market in the West Coast Region (WCR) to chat with the fish vendors on pertinent issues concerning their welfare vis-à-vis the market.

Brikama is also considered as one of the biggest market in the Gambia that offers and supply affordable commodities to the masses. The fish market is no exception.

“I have been a fish vendor for the past 11th years. It is through the fishing industry that I become a successful man and I am also the bread winner of my family,” says Mr. Modou Lamin Sabally, a fish vendor at the Brikama market. 

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.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

‘Fish is not expensive in Tanji’---Vendor

Mansa Banko blog has visited one of the busiest and biggest fishing sites in the Islamic Republic of The Gambia to share the stories of the fish vendors and sailors after attending the African Journalists for Sustainable Fisheries Workshop in Elmina, Ghana.

The high profile workshop gathered more than 140 journalists drawn from 40 African countries- February 29th to March 4th, 2016.

The World Bank, African Union- Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the USAID funded the workshop. 

The workshop culminated with the opening of an Award Competition for African journalists from the 4th to 17th March, 2016 to submit fisheries-related stories.

Tanji Village, often called the Tanji Fishing Village, is close to the Atlantic Ocean beach, in the northern section of the Kombo South District, West Coast Region of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, in West Africa.

‘Fishing in the morning helps our sea’

Says Bakau fisherman

Mr. Saikou Mendy, a fisherman in Bakau has called on the fishermen folk to adapt to best fishing practices especially fishing in the morning in a bid to protect and safe the sea for posterity.

Speaking to Mansa Banko Blog, he said, this is the best way to protect the sea instead of fishing throughout the day (Morning, afternoon and evening).

Bakau town includes the Cape Point promontory, and its northernmost coastline marks the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gambia River. It is part desirable suburb, part shanty town and part coastal resort.

The coastline is fringed with palm trees however, the beach area is composed of rocky, laterite cliff edges and at high tide the sand can disappear altogether.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Islamic Republic of The Gambia: At Tanji Fishing site

Africa can leverage its rich marine and fresh water resource endowments and maximize sustainable and inclusive growth by investing in improved management systems and appropriate infrastructure. 

By 2030, global fish demand, driven by growing population and income, is expected to rise by 40 million tons, and to consistently continue growing over the coming decades. 

As described in the Policy Framework and Reform Strategies for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa prepared in May 2014 by the African Union NEPAD, there is a strong opportunity for Africa to play a crucial role in the sector. This will be done in two ways; through
·         Capture fisheries with improved management systems and chanced value chains; and
·         Investments in sustainable aquaculture that would enable to meet regional and global shortfalls in food fish supply, and capitalize on the expected higher seafood prices.

Latrikunda fish sellers spoke on fish market

This interview was conducted at Latrikunda Sabiji fish market. Four fish sellers spoke to Mansa Banko Blog on the level of the fish market.

 Mariama Sanyang, a fish seller said that she bought her fish from Tanji Sailors.

According to her, when there is fish scarcity, she bought a basket of red snappers at D6, 000.00 ($150) but when it is abundant, it costs D5, 000.00 ($125) or even less.

“We also pay D100.00 ($2.5) to the fishermen for bookings as being locally called (tekma) to compensate them when the demand is high,” she noted.

Fish Sellers in Serrekunda Market decry diminishing fish industry

Fish Vendor busy at the Tanji Sea site

Fish sellers in the Serrekunda market which can be considered as one of the biggest market that supplied more than 200,000 inhabitants with daily fish consumptions cried low catch of fish nowadays. 

In an exclusive chat with Mansa Banko Blog, speaker after speaker lamented the high cost of fish saying that nowadays, they are not getting plenty fish from the fishermen compared to the past five years thus the price of fish is escalating daily in the market.

Mrs. Meita Bojang, narrated that she have been in the fishing industry buying and selling fish (Bonga) for the past seven (7) years, and noted that “the prices fluctuate  as sometimes it is cheap and a times its expensive.”

 “When we got it at cheap price from the fishermen, we also sell it at cheap price and if we get it at an expensive price vice versa,” she said.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

No fish, no health- Fish meal contain proteins

In Africa, including the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, many families suffer from malnutrition due to lack of good quality fish consumption in their houses.

The problem of malnutrition affects the entire population, but for children under five and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. 

Poor communities are more dependent on the natural resources they find in their surroundings than wealthy people are. The poor, moreover, are especially vulnerable in situations of crisis. 

The fishing sector is important for developing countries in other ways as well; it is a source of income for fish-folk. 

We mainly treat malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, anaemia, hypertension and pregnancy related complications- and most of them are made worse by malnutrition.

If fishing grounds are to stay rich in the long run, they must not be over exploited to provide food for millions.

GENDER AND YOUTH: New models of masculinity and feminity to fight gender inequality

Women and Youth
The Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa- Creating a conducive and enabling environment for the fish sector to create equitable, social and economic development in Africa, highlights that, to a make sustainable positive changes in gender equality, a long-term bottom-up process requiring adequate funding is needed and to recongnize the critical role played by women within fisheries.

According to the Policy document, putting in place mechanisms to promote and protect women’s rights to participate in all aspects of marine, coastal and inland water fisheries governance and management and seek to improve access of women to fish and fish markets, particularly through the provision of credit at affordable rates is key. While consideration of age is important in gender analysis, youth also needs specific attention in its own right.

AU-IBAR, World Bank others raised concerns on the marginalization of the fisheries sector

This event- Fisheries Communications Workshop on Harnessing the Power of Media to Raise Awareness on the issues of the African Fisheries Sector- is the culmination of enormous collective efforts which began with conceptualization of the idea by World Bank team in collobration with AU-IBAR and many other institutions that contributed in one form or another towards the organisation of the workshop says Dr. Mohamed Seisay, Senior Fisheries Officer AU-IBAR.

Dr. Seisay was reading a statement on behalf of the AU-IBAR Director at the official opening ceremony of the 29th February-4th March, 2016 African Journalists for Sustainable Fisheries Workshop held in Elmina, Ghana which gathered more than 140 journalists- newspapers, TV, radios and online from 40 African countries.

Giving a brief overview of the African union institute, the co-convener of the workshop said the inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is a speacilized technical office of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the African Union Commission and has been in existence since 1951 with main focus on animal production and health issues, livestock, fisheries and wildlife as resources for both human wellbeing and economic development in the Member States of the African Union.