By KEBBA MAMBURAY
Three fishing vessels were arrested by the Gambia Navy on May16th 2018, for fishing in prohibited zones with the wrong fishing nets.
Lt. Farra Jobe, Chief of Operations of the Gambia Navy, said that further checks were done regarding the fishing vessels and unfortunately one of the vessels were uncertified for fishing. Jobe further added that the captains of all the arrested fishing vessels where operating without a competency certificate, meaning illegally fishing in Gambian waters.
Lt. Jobe further explained that the vessels were not keeping record of their fishing activities in the Fishing Log Book to indicate their location. Jobe said after the arrest of these vessels, the Chinese fishermen could not produce their Record book; that before the arrest of the vessels, they (Navy) were able to detect their illegal fishing through the help of their official GPS device.
Lt. Jobe pointed out that, when they were conducting investigations regarding the vessels, they found out that the Chinese fishermen destroyed evidences in one of the three vessels named ‘Dehong2’; that the GPS data of this particular vessel, was completely destroyed and deleted. He narrated that the destruction of the GPS means deleting of data which could have the tracked the vessel’s movements from one place to another.
Lt. Jobe asserted that the Law authorises one to fish beyond nine miles and the Chinese were fishing less than 5 miles from the coast, an area that is restricted for fishing.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, said he had no information regarding the Chinese Fishing vessels and cannot give any information to this medium for now.