By Yunus S Saliu
In the quest to develop a sustainable management plan for the sardinella fishery in The Gambia, scores of stakeholders on Tuesday, 26th September 2023 gathered at the Metzy Residence Hotel, Kololi to validate the Management Plan for Sardinellaand Bonga Fisheries in the Gambia.
The validation program was organized by the Department of Fisheries under the auspices of the Shared Sardinella project, a vital initiative of the FAO’s EAF-Nansen Program.
The validation is tagged as a crucial step in the development of a sustainable management plan for the sardinella fishery in The Gambia.
In his address, Mr Alagie Nyangado, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries welcomed the stakeholders to the validation workshop which he described as a significant milestone in sharing their commitment to the responsible stewardship of the country’s marine ecosystem.
Before other things, the PS expressed gratitude to the Department of Fisheries and FAO’s EAF-Nansen Program for their tireless dedication in spearheading the Shared SardinellaProject.
He noted that the initiative underscores their collective responsibility to ensure the well-being of the country’s oceans, safeguarding not only the livelihoods of the fishing communities but also the ecological balance that sustains life within the waters.
Dilating on the project, PS Nyangado said component two of the project has already witnessed remarkable progress, “the meticulous baseline scoping exercise conducted using the EAF-IMT, has provided us with invaluable insights into the current state of our sardinella and bonga fishery.”
Meanwhile, he noted that the collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholder consultations have further enriched the understanding of the complexities and challenges facing.
In conclusion, he thanked the stakeholders for their dedication to the cause, as their presence was a testament to their commitment to the betterment of fisheries and the well-being of the Gambia people.
Momodou Sidibeh, Deputy Director of Fisheries representing his director gave a brief background of the Management Plan for Sardinella and Bonga Fisheries in the Gambia and expectations from the stakeholders as regarding the validation.
He went further to give a comprehensive explanation of the species of these Sardinella and Bonga fisheries while noting that the project has just set a stage for more collaboration and harmonizing management measures.
He therefore used the opportunity to welcome all and appreciate the sponsor.
However, the presentation on the Shared Sardinella initiative and the fisheries management plan elaboration process was made by Matthieu Bernardon, the draft Sardinella Fishery Management Plan in The Gambia was presented by the consultant and this was followed by the stakeholders’ discussion on intervention on the proposed management measures, while the document was later validated.