By: Makutu Manneh
Fishermen at Bakau Fish landing site have expressed concern over the number of unknown fishing trawlers intruding the Bakau coastline.
This they say makes them experience low catches within this period which results in scarcity of fish in the market. Fishermen in Brufut and Tanji raised similar complaints. The Bakau fishermen alleged that these trawlers use illegal fishing nets to catch juvenile fishes which are premature for consumption, and later throw most of it in the river.
Visiting the Fish landing site in Bakau, many fishermen could be seen idling ashore.
Baye John who spoke to this reporter, alleged that some trawlers are engaged in illegal activities in Gambian waters; that the trawlers can be seen at sea working both day and night to harvest catches, without giving them the chance to spread their nets.
John said currently, they are experiencing a decline in catches, attributing the problem to the dead juvenile fish including other unneeded species that is thrown into the river, by unknown fishing trawlers.
‘‘We used to catch many species of fish before the arrival of the trawlers. But now many of those species have vanished from our sight,” John narrated.
John and his fellow fisher folk, have called on Government to investigate and combat the illegal fishing that is going on in Gambian waters.