By: Nyima Sillah
Fishmongers in the Greater Banjul Area have explained the course of the recent scarcity of fish in the market barely a few days after the celebration of Eid-Al-Adha (Tobaski). With this scarcity, fishmongers have called for more Gambian youth in the fishing industry to avoid depending on other nationalities all the time and work hard to meet up with the demand of the populace.
Speaking to this medium, Search Joof, a fishmonger said the scarcity was not something new, it has been a norm in The Gambia, that after Eid celebrations, especially Tobaski, the markets become empty with limited or no fish.
She explained “The issue is that the people that normally give us supply are here on a temporal basis and most of them go to their villages and countries during feasts like Tobaski and spend days or weeks there with their families before come back to The Gambia. This affects our businesses, we have no choice, but to cope and bear with them patiently.”
Rohingya Ceesay, another fishmonger explained to lamented that she has been going to Tanji all these days, but she could not purchase even a crate of ‘Bonga’ fish because it was not available.
“The beach side is empty. This normally happened but it lasts for just a few days, like 2 days or 3 days, but this time around, it’s almost a week, now it is becoming unbearable because we depend on this business for our daily livelihood.
This is one of the reasons why we need more Gambian youth in the fishing industry. We cannot just depend on other nationalities all the time. Sometimes we cause some of these difficulties for ourselves and unless we have more Gambians in the industry, it will be hard to figure out the solution,” Rohingya declared.
Meanwhile, Mbasy Fatty said both the fishmongers and the buyers suffer after Tobaski thus one of the most consumed food that people normally prefer after Tobaski is fish and it makes the demand so high.
In her words “you cannot be eating meat throughout the week, it is not healthy that is why most of us prefer fish but it is hard to get. I normally buy a lot of fish and keep them before Tobaski but this year due to financial constraints, I could not.
Although, we don’t know when sales will get back to normal because this year a lot of people had the chance to join their families after a serious pandemic in the previous years.”