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Rampant Juvenile Fishes In Gunjur Beach

By: Hatab Nyang

December 19th,2020 Gunjur Beach is rampant with juvenile Bonga Fish and some juvenile catfishes. This reporter observed since the opening of the Golden Lead Fishmeal Factory on November 31st,2020 most fishes that comes ashore are juvenile fishes. 

A fisherman was asked who want to be in anonimity why all these juvenile fishes and his answer was  that,  because the authorities did not care. He said last year they took away juvenile fishes from any fishermen who catches them but this year he’s not seeing that. ‘It’s like this country have no government, people can come from other countries fish in our sea anyhow they like. He said. 

Fisheries officer Ebrima Jabang alias EJ in Gunjur Beach was approached by this reporter about the incident. He said those juvenile fishes were usually selected from the big ones,that only ten percent are juvenile. But this reporter asked him to go together to the seashore to verify this as we were standing on the fisheries premises at the time. When we got to the seashore he Ebrima  saw it for himself that 90-95 percent were all juvenile fishes. 

Mr. Jabang said that he’s an expert in fish that most of those fishes were not juvenile fishes that he’s having a measurer to measure to know whether a fish is juvenile or not. This reporter further asked him to go to bring that measurement equipment, but the fisheries office Ebrima Jarbang was not able to provide the said measuring equipment.

This reporter also noticed that 95 percent of the fishing boats in Gunjur beach are from Senegal and they give most of their catches  to Golden Lead Fishmeal Factory. Many people interviewed by this reporter who do not want their names to be mentioned said that this is a conspiracy between the factory ,the fishermen, fisheries officials and other people on the beach that the boats can come with juvenile fishes and that the factory will take them….. 

There was a meeting between Permanent Secretary and Director of Fisheries and the Fisher’s/ fishermen stakeholders convened at Gunjur Fisheries premises on the 23rd November 2020 where the Director of Fisheries Nfamara Darboe said the following- ‘We urged you to stop using small holes fishing nets but you still continue  using them,we gave you big holes fishing nets you refused to use them.’ He said they forced them and they refused to comply. ‘Some among you are resistant (people on the beaches) because if the government says that  don’t do this that’s the time you will be doing it which is exactly an act of a resistance .All artisanal Fisheries Cooperative Association (AFICOSA) which according to the Permanent Secretary of Fisheries Omar Gibba said that, they set them up at the beaches to regulate the affairs of the beaches and working with them hand in hand with the Navy,beach community and the fisheries official to try and stop illegal fishing. But when this reporter face those AFICOSA officials about this juvenile fishes they said fisheries took it upon themselves of the monitoring, responsible for juvenile fishing and illegal fishing.

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