By Ramatoulie Jawo
On Monday, the National Assembly Select Committee on Environment, Sustainable Development, and NGOs Affairs presented a report to the plenary revealing that there are “serious violations” of fishing regulations in the country.
Hon. Lamin Ceesay, while presenting the report, said that the committee toured facilities to observe the materials used by official fishermen, as well as the storage and processing mechanisms available to traders.
Hon. Ceesay said the report reveals various challenges in the fishing sector, such as insufficient and faulty equipment and materials, widespread breaches of fishing regulations, unauthorized and unsuitable nets and fishing gear, ineffective waste disposal system, and scarce or absent inspectors from the Fisheries Ministry.
Hon. Ceesay said that the Committee found that fish meal factories in The Gambia do not provide job security for Gambian employees, safety equipment for these employees, or adequate waste disposal mechanisms. These factors have negative environmental and social consequences.
“The Committee took into consideration the fact that the city experienced a massive flooding last year and took this opportunity to visit the Banjul Sewage System,” he said.
The Committee additionally recommended that the Government implement the fisheries regulations and Act in a full and strict manner; That it conduct a comprehensive review of the fishing agreement between the Gambia and Senegal, and that it regulate the operational activities of all foreign fishermen and fishing vessels in the country.