By: Kebba AF Touray

Members of the CRR Fishing Association yesterday vented their frustration and dissatisfaction towards the use of illegal fishing gears in their region, which according to them, is detrimental to both fish and fisher folks.

Alkalo Sawaneh, the Secretary of the association said there is a law that condemn this illegal act of fishing at the Ministry of Fisheries; that copies of the Act have been given to all the relevant and stakeholders in the CRR.

“The fishermen coming from Senegal are flouting this Act. We reported the matter to our Chief, who tabled this to the Fisheries Ministry, but nothing positive has been done to this effect”, said Sawaneh. Sawaneh also informed that one person is involved in the sale of these illegal fishing gears in the region.

He refuted that they are denying their Senegalese counterparts from fishing in the river, but clarified that they should do so in line with the Fisheries Act; that there are fishing methods and the gears they use is detrimental to juvenile fish and women working in the Faros. He expressed concerns over the overstay of a director who he disclosed should have retired since 2005. The Chairman of the National Fishermen’s Platform in CRR Mr. Amidou James Jallow, confirmed the use of illegal fishing gears by the Senegalese and other foreign fishermen in the Sofaniama Bolong, which he described as deadly to the juvenile fish therein and can lead to scarcity of fish in the region.

“The use of illegal fishing gears is not in the interests of the country. We have reported the matter to the Director of Fisheries, but our efforts continue to prove useless”, stressed Mr. Jallow

He emphasized the need for Senegalese and other foreign fishermen to adhere to the law that guides fishing in the country; that it will be in the interest of both states as it is meant to protect the source of living of the people,; that without this, their work as fishermen will be impeded and will also deplete the country of its fish resources.

“We are appealing to Ministry for Fisheries and relevant authorities to intervene and make the illegal use of fishing gears a thing of the past as well as ensuring the full implementation of the Act”, appealed Mr. Jallow

The duo thanked Saidy Leigh and Mustapha Yabo for their hard work and the tremendous efforts they have been making in protecting the country’s fish resources, especially juvenile fish from detrimental acts, which is possible through their awareness campaigns of communities in the CRR.

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