By Yankuba Jallow and Hatab Nyang
Fishermen on the Gunjur Beach have expressed happiness over the resuming of work by the Golden Lead Company amidst days of closure.
Since closure of the company, many fishermen and businessmen express the challenges they faced just for days of closure which caused most of them to desist from fishing for some days because of the low buyer turnout. They compared the days of closure and the days of work saying it is like day and night.
The company stopped work on Tuesday June 13, 2017 which prompted many people to stay away from coming to the river.
On Wednesday June 21, work resumed and fishermen went back into the sea to fish. When our reporter visited the beach, it was observed that many people were not there because not all were aware of the opening of the company. Boats went in their large numbers to fetch fish and many women were seen waiting for the arrival of the fish to buy from the fishermen and sell it to the company.
The company was established two years ago and it is principal purpose is processing fish into fish meal and oil. They buy fish and process it to oil and meal which has attracted many fishermen to the Gunjur Beach. The effects of the closure also posed effects on some major fishing centers such as Tanji.
In their narration, the few fishermen who were engaged in fishing during the days of the closure of the company said they had losses daily from their sales. They also said they sold a basket at price lower than D100 and most of the times pleaded to customers to buy their fish because of the low turnout of buyers and concord to prices of the customers to avoid spoilage of the fish. They further said there are some days when they land at 11a.m and they stay on the beach till late in the evening and give away most of the fish.
They held that at the instance where there are no one to be given the fish, they will have no other option than to dump it on the beach or give it to the smokers to smoke it for free. They decried that if the company has continued to stop work for more than a month, it will have an effect on them.
Many vehicles were seen on the garage around the beach side following a week and some days of absence.