By Madiba Singhateh
Karamo Janneh, the Managing Director of Gambia Maritime Administration (GMA) said no boat goes to sea in the country, without being allocated a Licence.
Mr. Janneh said this in a workshop held by Gambia Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection Regulations at a local hotel in Banjul.
He said the GMA regulates all maritime affairs in the country with the most important of their mandate being safety and security of lives and property as well as the protection of Gambian waters from unregulated shipping and other illegal activities at sea.
Mr. Janneh said GMA ensures that all vessels, ships, crafts and canoes operating within the jurisdiction of the Gambia, avail their vessels before being issued a licensed to satisfy certain conditions; that they have different types of licensed for different boats and vessels and further said that the eco-system should also be enhanced and protected.
He concluded that no boat in the country goes to sea without being issued a licensed; that hence ‘Operation no licence/No sea going’ will start after a given time frame that will son be communicated to their partners’.
In his opening statement, Mod Cessay the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure said they gathered to review the new license and regulation for sea going vessels that GMA plans to introduce later in the new year.
‘‘The mandate is set up by Government in 2006 and the administration is tasked with the responsibility together with the Ministry in regulating all maritime affairs in the country,’’ Ceesay said.
Permanent Secretary Ceesay said the objective is basically to introduce a license regime to regulate, protect and saveguard the lives of sea farers, the environment and marine resources of the country in a manner that will be in the interest of Gambians and the marine time industry overall; that he wants them to look at what is provided carefully for the interest of operators and those mining their resources. He said they want to transform the young agency as to a global player.
The workshop was witness by officials, fishermen and sea farers.