By Louise Jobe
The Minister of Fisheries, James Gomez, said the growth and development of the fisheries sector depends on the sustainable exploitation of the resources and reduce post-harvest loses
The minister made the remarks on Wednesday 17th March 2021 during FAO’s two-day sensitization meeting held at Sir Dawda Jawara Conference Hall.
Minister Gomez said the FAO Fisheries Technical Cooperation (TCP) project intervention has contributed tremendously to the development of the capital assets of communities and created an environment of trust and partnership among community groups in several aspects, including decision making processes.
Gomez acknowledged that their partnership with FAO in sustainable development, management, conversation and protection of the fisheries sector has enabled the sector to be responsive, sustainable and efficient in attaining its desired goal.
“Fish is the primary source of protein in the diets of the vast majority of Gambians with an estimated national per capita fish consumption of 25 kilograms per annum around the coastal areas and 9 kilograms in the inland areas,” Minister Gomez informed the gathering.
According to him, the artisanal (small-scale) fisheries sub-sector contributes greatly to the livelihoods of Gambians and the economy of this country.
“Research has shown that an estimated 200, 000 people in The Gambia are directly or indirectly employed in the fisheries sector and fishery products contribute immensely to gross value of exports,” he said.
The fisheries minister emphasized that the importance of the fisheries sectors in The Gambia cannot be overemphasized and the Government is fully determined to ensure the fisheries sector succeed in meeting the national development plan objectives.
Gomez stressed that the growth and development of the fisheries sector depends on the sustainable exploitation of the resources and reduce post-harvest loses.
He said his ministry is endeavoring to meet the availability of quality fish products for human consumption geared towards food security and to improve lives and livelihood activities of the Gambians.
“FAO support in the fisheries sector is in line with fisheries objectives of the
National Development Plan such as strengthening the capacities of the
fisher folk, particularly women who constitutes 80% of the post-harvest
operators,” he said.