By Hatab Nyang / Makutu Manneh
Foroyaa has been informed of the scarcity of fish in the market recently prompting the Medium’s reporters to look into the veracity of the information.
Visitng the Banjul and Serrekunda markets, fish mongers confirm to these reporters that there has been inadequate fish in the market barely a week now; that the poor weather condition is a major cause of the problem, noting that fishermen have been restricted by the Gambia Navy to go to sea due to the bad weather to ensure their safety.
“From my understanding, the recent shortage of fish is due to the windy weather and high waves at sea,” said Awa Nyang a fishmonger at the Banjul Market.
Awa said this is because the weather has been stormy and windy in recent days that the Gambia Navy restricted fishermen from going to sea; that few fishermen have broken the restriction and went fishing; but that they had low catches making fish to be costly these days. Awa said since last week, they have been going back and forth with their containers without any fish.
Sainabou Ndure is another fishmonger in Banjul. According to Sainabou, a fisherman was alleged to be found dead on the shores of the river bank which has been attributed to the high winds at sea; that this is why the Navy has stopped fishermen from going to sea.
Fish mongers at Serrekunda and other coastal fish landing towns and villages made similar remarks regarding the dangerous weather at sea.
Bintou Colley, a senior fisheries officer in Tanji said fish scarcity is due to bad weather because of strong winds at sea which is very dangerous; that boats ceased to go out fishing due to bad weather which took some days to settle; but that now fishermen have started landing with their catches in Tanji. Colley said big boats with bigger fishing nets have not been going out fishing which has contributed to the recent scarcity of fish.
Lamin Bojang, the Chairperson of the Refrigerated Lorries Association who distribute fish to other parts of the country and beyond, said the reason for fish scarcity are two major factors; that one is the bad weather and the other is the bright moonlight.
‘‘Fish is usually caught in abundance when it is dark but not during bright moonlight or bad weather,’’ he said; that they have few Lorries that are loaded with fish for distribution to local fishmongers inland.
Senegalese fisher folk in Gunjur also indicate that many Senegalese boats have declined fishing due to the bad weather.