USAID / BaNafaa holds forum on Bilateral Co-Management of Artisanal Fisheries
Thursday, June 07, 2012
USAID/BaNafaa project, has on 30thand 31st May, 2012, organised a two-day bilateral forum on improved
co-management of artisanal fisheries The Gambia and Senegal at the Paradise
The forum brought together artisanal fishers, fishmongers and dealers, women non-governmental organisations, the fishing industries and government officials from the Gambia and Senegal to discuss on matters of common concern and to share experiences on successes and failures in fisheries management of the two sister countries.
BaNafaa, a five-year initiative project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has since been supporting the Gambia government in achieving its fisheries development objectives of bio-diversity protection, poverty reduction, food security as well as employment and income generation. Evidence of this shows the project involvement in the ongoing efforts of the Department of Fisheries working with several communities, fisheries centers and their management committee to improve fisher folk involvement in the management of fisheries resources.
In his opening statement, the director of Fisheries Department Nfamara Dampha expressed gratitude to the USAID/BaNafaa project for its continuous support to the Fisheries department, most especially in the areas of management and development of artisanal fisheries and building the capacity of their staffs in meeting the department’s policy objectives. He referred the continuous decline of fish stocks particularly in the high value demurral as due to over fishing and the use of inappropriate fishing method, which he described as a major concern to the Gambia government in the fisheries sector.
“A single state may well reform their fisheries policies and governance yet remains vulnerable to the activities of their neighbors. Efforts will be needed to ensure bilateral collaboration involving all stakeholders to address the management of fish stock especially those that share pelagic species which are mainly targeted by the artisanal fishermen and a major source of affordable animal protein,” he said.
according to him, has gained a lot of experience in the co-management of
infrastructure for artisanal fisher folk and will be glad to share their
experience on the co-management of fisheries resource with their Senegalese
For his part, Ousman Drammeh, the project manager who doubles as the chairman of the ceremony also described the forum as the first of its kind that brought together fish dealers in a forum to discuss issues of common interest. The forum according to him, will discuss important issues such as fisheries co-management, functioning of community-based fisheries organisation in the Gambia and Senegal, fisheries sustainability and eco-labeled of artisanal fisheries product.
“Open access and over fishing of fisheries product should be a great concern to everyone, since its effect on the resource base and the threat to the livelihood security is felt by the populace who entirely depend on the fisheries resources,” he said. Participants, he said, are expected to develop a better understanding of the commonality of concern on issues in the fisheries sector of the two countries.
part, the outgoing US Ambassador to The Gambia H.E Pamela White, also dwelled
on the importance of the forum, describing it as historic of bringing together
communities of sister countries who share the same language to share ideas of
common interest. She further advised them to maintain the friendly relationship
that prevails between the two countries. She further told the participants to
actively participate in the discussion to the mutual benefit of the two
Kathleen Castro of the University of Rhode Island also dilated on the
importance of the forum. Her words: “What is so important is that this
discussion happens at the fishermen level, with people in contact with the sea,
with the women who handles the product, the government who try to collect the
information needed to help make decisions and with NGOs who add the voice of
all consumers worldwide –people who wish to obtain the full benefit of the
“The artisanal fisheries in The Gambia and selected stocks shared with Senegal are being managed more sustainably, incorporating significant participation of fisher folk in decision making and attaining improved economic benefits for both men and women,” she added.
The forum also witnessed presentation by both Gambian and Senegalese participants on their various areas of knowledge in the artisanal fisheries management.
Author: Meita Touray