Gambia indexes Moroccans over illegal fishing

Fishing Boats at Bakau on the Atlantic coast of The Gambia in West Africa. Photo : CGram

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – The Gambian government has bought two surveillance vessels to fight against illegal fishing and indexed Moroccan fishermen over the violation.

The Gambia’s leading Standard Times newspaper on Friday quoted the country’s Minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, James Gomez as making the statement.

“We are ready to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing because our country has not benefited anything as some foreign vessels continue to illegally fishing in our waters,” he said.

The source attributed poor monitoring capacity, corrupt local officials and lack of surveillance mechanisms in Gambia which has led the country to lose an estimated $2.3 billion a year.

“Can you imagine what that amounts to since the illegal fishing has been going on over the last 22 years,” the minister asked.

The minister expressed regrets that Gambia was importing fish from abroad while other countries were illegally fishing in its waters.

“That is why we have now bought the surveillance vessels and are encouraging our Gambian citizens to invest in the sector and make money,” he said.

Gambia, like many of its neighbors has long been fighting a losing battle against illegal fishing but the minister experessed the hope that the phenomenon will be drastically curtailed when the surveillance vessels begin operation by February 2019.

In 2018 under the new government, The Gambia with the support of regional partners alleged that it seized three boats for fishing illegally in Gambian waters.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV)